Topiramate is used mainly for epilepsy treatment in both adults and children. In many circumstances, it can also be used as an antidepressant, mostly for cases involving depressive realism. It is also used to treat Lennox-Gastaut syndrome in children, which is a disorder that causes development delay and seizures. It is also FDA-approved and most commonly prescribed for the treatment and prevention of migraines.
The efficiency of topiramate has been shown in controlled trials in epileptic patients who had no more than two seizures in three months prior to testing. Effectiveness and safety in patients who were converted to monotherapy from a previous treatment of other anticonvulsant medication have not been established in controlled trials.
Topiramate comes in tablet and capsule form. Sprinkle capsules can be used as introductory monotherapy for patients who are ten years of age or older with primary generalized tonic-clonic or partial onset seizures. The typical dose for topiramate monotherapy for both adults and children is 400 milligrams a day in two divided doses. Conversely, the total daily dose of adjunctive therapy topiramate is 200 to 400 milligrams a day in divided doses for adults with partial onset seizures, and 400 milligrams a day for adults with primary generalized tonic-clonic seizures.
Topiramate tablets should not be chewed or broken down; instead, they should always be swallowed whole. On the other hand, topiramate capsules can either be swallowed whole or opened and its contents sprinkled on a teaspoon of soft food like yoghurt, applesauce, ice cream, or mashed banana. On the latter instance, the food and medicine mixture should be swallowed promptly without chewing. It shouldn't be kept for later use either.
Taking topiramate may cause concentration problems, lowered alertness, and drowsiness. As such, it is not advisable for you to operate heavy machinery or drive while under medication. Drinking alcohol is likely to increase this particular side effect as well. Moreover, be warned that topiramate can increase the chances for kidney stones, especially if you have a personal of family history with that disease or you're under treatment with medications that have the same side effect. Drinking plenty of water helps reduce the risk of developing this complication.
On that note, it is also important to drink plenty of water while taking this medicine, because topiramate has been known to sometimes reduce sweating, which could cause raised body temperature and flushed skin. This side effect is particularly problematic during exercise or in the middle of warm environments, so feel free to drink lots of water while under topiramate treatment, because it helps keep your body cool. Children are most prone to this particular side effect.
The most common side effects of topiramate are clumsiness, unsteadiness, burning, prickling, tingling sensations, dizziness, double vision or other vision problems, clumsiness or unsteadiness, unusual tiredness or weakness, drowsiness, trouble in concentrating or paying attention, speech or language problems, nervousness, menstrual pain, menstrual changes, memory problems, and generalized slowing of mental and physical activity.
In addition, there is a small but increased chance of suicidal behavior and thoughts in people taking antiepileptic medicines such as topiramate for any reason. If faced with this circumstance, it's very important for you to seek prompt medical advice. If you or a loved one taking this medicine start to experience any changes in mood, gain feelings about suicide or self-harm, or have distressing thoughts, contact your doctor immediately.
Brand name(s): Tipiramate, Tipiramato, Topamax, Topiramato, Topiramatum
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