Topamax

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Generic Name: topiramate (oral) (toe PYRE a mate)

Topamax is a seizure medication, also called an anticonvulsant. Topamax is used alone or in combination with other medications to prevent seizures in adults and children who are at least 2 years old. Topamax is also used to prevent migraine headaches. Topamax will only prevent migraine headaches or reduce the number of attacks. It will not treat a headache that has already begun.
What is the most important information I should know about Topamax ?
• Seek immediate medical attention if you experience blurred vision , changes in vision, or pain in or around the eyes during treatment with Topamax. These may be early signs of a serious side effect.
• Do not stop taking Topamax without first talking to your doctor , even if your symptoms have improved. It is important to continue taking Topamax to prevent seizures from recurring.
• Carry or wear a medical identification tag to let others know that you are taking Topamax in the case of an emergency.
• Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Topamax may cause dizziness or drowsiness. If you experience dizziness or drowsiness, avoid these activities.
• Alcohol should be avoided while taking Topamax. Alcohol may cause increased sedation or drowsiness. It may also increase the risk of having a seizure.
• Drink several extra glasses of fluid each day during treatment with Topamax to minimize the risk of kidney stone formation. Additional fluid may be necessary during hot weather, vigorous exercise, and illness.


What is Topamax?
• Topamax is used to control seizures. The exact way that it works is unknown. However, it is believed that Topamax alters the chemical impulses in the brain that cause seizures.
• Topamax may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.


What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking Topamax?
• Before taking Topamax, tell your doctor if you have liver or kidney disease . You may not be able to take Topamax, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment.
• Topamax is in the FDA pregnancy category C. This means that it is not known whether Topamax will harm an unborn baby. Do not take this medication without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or if you could become pregnant during treatment.
• It is not known whether Topamax passes into breast milk. Do not take Topamax without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
• The safety and effectiveness of Topamax have not been established for children younger than 2 years of age.


How should I take Topamax?
• Take Topamax exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these directions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.
• Take each dose of Topamax with a full glass of water.
• The Topamax Sprinkle Capsules may be carefully opened and the contents sprinkled onto a small amount (teaspoon) of soft food. This drug/food mixture should be swallowed immediately, without chewing. The mixture should not be stored for future use. If the mixture is combined in a small container, add some water to the container after the dose has been taken, and drink the water to ensure the whole dose has been taken.
• Due to their bitter taste, the Topamax tablets should not be broken.
• Topamax can be taken with or without food.
• Carry or wear a medical identification tag to let others know that you are taking this medicine in the case of an emergency.
• Do not stop taking Topamax without first talking to your doctor, even if your symptoms have improved. It is important to continue taking Topamax to prevent seizures from recurring.
• Drink several extra glasses of fluid each day during treatment with Topamax to minimize the risk of kidney stone formation. Additional fluid may be necessary during hot weather, vigorous exercise, and illness.
• Store Topamax at room temperature away from moisture and heat.



What happens if I miss a dose?
• Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the dose you missed and take only the next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose of this medication.


What happens if I overdose?
• Seek emergency medical treatment.
• Symptoms of a Topamax overdose are unknown but may include severe drowsiness, poor coordination, tremor, confusion, difficulty speaking, and nausea.


What should I avoid while taking Topamax?
• Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Topamax may cause dizziness or drowsiness. If you experience dizziness or drowsiness, avoid these activities.
• Alcohol should be avoided while taking Topamax. Alcohol may cause increased sedation or drowsiness. It may also increase the risk of having a seizure.
• Drink several extra glasses of fluid each day during treatment with Topamax to minimize the risk of kidney stone formation. Additional fluid may be necessary during hot weather, vigorous exercise, and illness.
• Ketogenic diets (high protein, very low carbohydrate diets that may induce ketosis) may increase the risk of kidney stone formation and should be avoided during treatment with Topamax.


What are the possible side effects of Topamax?
• If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop taking Topamax and seek emergency medical attention:
· an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives);
· blurred vision, changes in vision, or pain in or around the eyes
· worsening of seizures.
• Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take Topamax and talk to your doctor if you experience
· dizziness, poor coordination, sluggishness, or drowsiness;
· irregular back-and-forth movements of the eyes;
· nausea, loss of appetite, or weight loss;
· tremor, numbness, or tingling;
· confusion, difficulty concentrating or decreased memory;
· speech or language difficulties; or
· changes in behavior, depression, nervousness, or agitation.
• Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.


What other drugs will affect Topamax?
• Before taking Topamax, tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following medicines:
· another seizure medication such as valproic acid (Depakote, Depakene), carbamazepine (Tegretol, Carbatrol, Epitol), phenytoin (Dilantin), and others;
· a carbonic anhydrase inhibitor such as acetazolamide (Diamox), methazolamide (Neptazane), or dichlorphenamide (Daranide); or
· digoxin (Lanoxin, Lanoxicaps).
• You may not be able to take Topamax, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you are taking any of the drugs listed above.
• Topamax may decrease the effectiveness of birth control pills . Talk to your doctor about other birth control options to prevent unintended pregnancy.
• Topamax may increase the effects of other drugs that cause drowsiness, including antidepressants, alcohol, antihistamines, pain relievers, sedative (sleep aids), anxiety medicines, and muscle relaxants. Dangerous sedation, dizziness, or drowsiness may occur if Topamax is taken with any of these medications.
• Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with Topamax. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines.

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