Topiramate, commonly known as Topamax is an anti-epileptic or anti-seizure drug that is taken orally and is used to prevent the seizures of epilepsy. If nothing works on your epilepsy, Topamax is ultimate cure. It controls those patients who are not controlled and cured by any other drug. About 1 in 4 Americans who don’t respond to any other anti-epileptic drug had their seizures controlled with Topamax.

It also averts migraine headaches. Seizures occur due to the abnormal activity of brain ranging from smaller or larger portions and unusual action of nerves in the brain. Topamax is considered the ultimate drug to treat such seizures but the exact mode of action is still a mystery. It is suggested by scientific studies that neurotransmitters of the brain are altered by Topamax.

Chemicals that nerves manufacture and use to communicate with other nearby nerves are known as neurotransmitters. Topamax alters the production or action of the neurotransmitters and curbs the nerves that cause the seizures, suppresses their abnormal activity in the brain. It also prevents the abnormal activity from spreading to other nerves. Some experts also assume that Topamax stops nerves from damaging the brain by not altering neurotransmitters but suppressing the nerves directly.

Like every drug Topamax too has side effects. However various steps are taken to reduce them. One such step is a slow approach in the beginning of the treatment. Usually Topamax is taken initially in low doses i.e. 25 or 50 mg per day for adults and up to 25 mg for children, then as per the instructions of the doctor it is increased.

Side effect of Topamax, as is commonly reported is tingling of the extremities or paresthesia. Tiredness, dizziness, coordination problems, speech problems, changes in vision or double vision, difficulty with memory, sensory distortion, sleepiness and fatigue are some common side effects of Topamax in adults. Sleepiness and fatigue are the result of higher, rather over, dosage.

You should act as per your reaction to the drug. If you know intake of this drug causes you dizziness, confusion and you can’t concentrate, then leave driving or operating any machinery.

Loss of appetite, nervousness, drowsiness, tiredness, difficulty with concentration/attention, difficulty with memory, weight decrease and aggressive reaction are common in children. Eye problems like redness, elevated ocular pressure, decreased depth of the anterior chamber of the eye, myopia (nearsightedness), eye pain, acute onset of daecreased vision starts as early as the first month of treatment. Secondary angle closure glaucoma is caused by the fluid that gets accumulated within the eye and may displace the lens and frontal portion of the iris. In humans, Topamax can increase the chances of birth defects known as oral clefts.

Also, to minimize the risk of kidney stones, patients should maintain sufficient fluid intake.  Based on the judgment of the treating physician, it is advisable to discontinue Topamax as rapidly as possible if patients develop such conditions, but never stop taking Topamax abruptly as it can cause an increase in the risk of seizures.