Drug Class: What is Topamax and why is it prescribed?
Drug Mechanism: How does Topamax work?
Dosage: How should you take Topamax?
Possible food and drug interactions when taking Topamax
Special information on Topamax
Topamax side effects
|Drug Class: What is Topamax and why is it prescribed?|
Topamax, Topiramate is an oral antiepileptic drug, prescribed to control both the mild attacks known as partial seizures and the severe tonic-clonic convulsions known as grand mal seizures. It is typically added to the treatment regimen when other drugs fail to fully control a patient s attacks. About 1 in 4 Americans diagnosed with epilepsy has seizures that resist treatment with other anti-epileptic drugs. Topiramate acts on the brain and nervous system.
Topiramate works with other medications to control seizures
|Drug Mechanism: How does Topamax work?|
| Seizures are due to the abnormal activity (firing) of nerves in the brain, and the abnormal activity spreads to smaller or larger portions of the brain.
Although Topamax (topiramate s) exact mechanism of action is unknown, scientific studies suggest that it may alter neurotransmitters within the brain. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that nerves manufacture and use to communicate with other nearby nerves. By altering the production or action of the neurotransmitters, topiramate may suppress the abnormal activity of the nerves in the brain that cause the seizures
|Dosage: How should you take Topamax?|
It is important to take this medication exactly as prescribed. It can be taken with or without food. Avoid breaking the tablets; the medication has a bitter taste. Topamax capsules may be swallowed whole, or the capsule may be opened and its contents sprinkled on a teaspoonful of soft food. To open the capsule, hold it so you can read the word top and carefully twist off the clear portion of the capsule. The drug and food mixture should be swallowed whole and not chewed. Do not store the mixture for future use. Topamax increases your risk
|Possible food and drug interactions when taking Topamax|
If Topamax is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Topamax with: Acetazolamide (Diamox), Carbamazepine (Tegretol), Dichlorphenamide (Daranide), Digoxin (Lanoxin), Metformin (Glucophage), Phenytoin (Dilantin), Oral contraceptives, Valproic acid (Depakene).
Topamax can depress the central nervous system. Be extremely cautious about combining it with alcohol, sedatives, tranquilizers,
|Special information on Topamax|
Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding: In animal studies, Topamax has caused harm to the developing fetus, and its safety has not been verified in pregnant humans. It is recommended for use during pregnancy only if the doctor feels that its potential benefit outweighs the potential risk to the infant. This medication may appear in breast milk, and its possible effect on the nursing infant remains unknown. Check with your doctor if you plan to breastfeed your baby.
Most Important Fact about this Drug: Do not abruptly stop taking
|Topamax side effects|
Some side effects Topamax, such as fatigue, are more likely to surface with high doses of Topamax. Others occur regardless of dosage. While many tend to disappear after the first 8 weeks of therapy, it s still important to report them to your doctor. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Topamax.
More common side effects of Topamax: May include abdominal pain, abnormal coordination, abnormal vision, agitation, anxiety, appetite
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