Topiramate is a medication that is useful for controlling epilepsy as well as relieving certain types of pain. You are receiving this medication to prevent headaches from occurring.
Is it safe?
Topiramate has been used successfully by many patients for the prevention of headaches. In order for it to be used safely it is important that you have told your pain specialist/GP about any other medicines, allergies and medical problems that you are suffering from before starting this medicine.
Pregnancy and Breast-feeding
Topiramate is not recommended if you are pregnant, trying for pregnancy or are breast-feeding. Women of childbearing age should take adequate contraceptive precautions. Higher doses of the oral contraceptive pill are required whilst taking Topiramate. Women taking the oral contraceptive pill should discuss the dose with their GP.
Are there Any Side Effects?
As with all medications Topiramate can cause side effects but not everyone is affected by them. The most common side effects are: tiredness, pins and needles in the fingers and toes, dizziness, numbness, difficulty with language, nausea, diarrhoea, indigestion, dry mouth, weight loss, decrease in appetite, drowsiness, forgetfulness, difficulty with concentration or attention, difficulty in sleeping (insomnia), anxiety, mood swings, depression, changes in taste, vision disorders and kidney stones (long term use).
Rarely, sudden blurring of vision, pain and redness of the eyes has occurred, in both adults and children, typically during the first month of starting Topiramate. This can indicate raised pressure within the eye (glaucoma). If you develop any eye symptoms, particularly in the first few weeks of treatment, you should tell your doctor immediately.
Do not stop taking Topiramate unless your doctor tells you to. If your treatment is stopped it is usually done gradually.
How should I take it?
The dose has to be increased gradually as described below. Continue increasing the dose until it is effective at suppressing your headaches, or you reach the dose recommended by your doctor, or you reach the maximum dose of 100mgs twice daily. Please see table in the attached document for dosage information – Topiramate Patient Information (PDF)
Who do I contact with queries or concerns?
The information in this leaflet is to guide your use of Topiramate safely. Further information is available inside the medication package. If you have any further questions or concerns about taking this medicine, please contact your prescribing doctor or dispensing pharmacist.