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Topomax for Migraines...causing memory loss??
  1. #1
    JASPERSTONE is offline New Member
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    Default Topomax for Migraines...causing memory loss??

    My doctor prescribed Topomax about 3-4 mos. ago for Migraine headaches. Whether they were Migraines, per say, was ?, but they were severe, blinding, never went away with any over the counter drug, and were an everyday occurence. I take 100 mg. every evening. I am headache free. I am 56, female & post-menopausal, and I have some Chronic Fatigue...not terribly bad, thankfully. I am on 40 mg. Prozac, 300 mg. Wellbutrin XL, and 1 mg. of Klonopin (split dose, sometomes less), and Lodine (anti-inflammatory) for severe osteoarthritis, everyday, in addition to the Topomax. I suffered Post Traumatic stress (delayed) in 2003-2004 from 9/11 events. I was a 33 year veteran Flt. Attendant at the time. I am very well balanced emotionally and spiritually & intellectually , and have good solid relationships and support, and I do volunteer work. However, my memory (short-term) seems to be getting MUCH worse. I'm wondering if it is the addition of the Topomax? I am terribly disorganized. Forgetting to pay bills, forgetting appts., some of my friends names; I walk out of a room and leave an unfinished project for an hour or so! It's awful. Any experiences, advice, knowledge to share? Thanks

  2. #2
    addict doc is offline New Member
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    Default

    Topomax... we used to call it 'dopamax' in my psych residency. It is notorious for shaving off a few IQ points while on it. The effect goes away when you go off the drug.

  3. #3
    jessi_lynn is offline New Member
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    I am also on topamax - I have been on it for almost 3 years now. 75 mg. I have heard the 'dopamax' name it has been referred to, and if you do read about it, that is one of the common side effects. I am finishing my last year of law school and have done well. I do find my short-term memory is not as on point as it used to be. I also have trouble with words from time to time. The help it has brought to me, though, leaves me to tolerate the unneccessary evils. I was put on it when it was first approved to treat bulimia and it has been a wonder drug. I can proudly say I am no longer battling that horrible disease with part thanks to topamax. Good luck with your health!

    jessi

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    jessi_lynn is offline New Member
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    Oh, I forgot the biggie that helped me. Make a to-do list everynight and carry around a pad of paper to write down things you know that are important to remember short-term. Now is also the time to be keeping a daily planner. If you write things down when you receive the info, your short-term memory may forget, but you can also job that 'topamax' memory.

  5. #5
    carla-t is offline New Member
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    Default Topomax

    In response to the memory loss. It has truly in my case caused me to forget on a lot of occasions. Sometimes I am talking to someone and in the middle of my sentence I cannot remember the words I want to say. I feel totally incapacitated. At times it is hard for me to express myself or to remember someone's name. I have been taking the medication for about 3 years at a dose of about 200mg. The loss of memory has been something gradual, it seemed to just sneak up on me. It has also had other affects on me. I am thinking of trying to find an alternative to this medication.

  6. #6
    Coppergirl is offline New Member
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    Default memory

    I looked at a butter dish yesterday and couldn't for the life of me remember what it was. Stood there blank. Never did come to me. Husband came home, had to ask him what it was. The positive effects it has had on me far outweight the negative however.

  7. #7
    rbhayden is offline New Member
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    Unhappy Topomax-------never again

    My doctor prescribed my Topomax for migraine prevention. The first thing I noticed was the weight loss. It peeled off several pounds, but over time, other side effects kicked in....mainly a feeling of constant fatigue. I was in a blur most of the time and ready to sleep anytime...anywhere.
    I talked to my doctor about it and he prescibed me Lexapro. I've been taking that for about 3 months now and it only makes me tired. I will be tapering off of it soon.
    Now what?

  8. #8
    Ashleytanya is offline New Member
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    Default Topamax

    I too have sruggled with this drug. While when it does work it aleviates the horrible debilitating pains of migraine headaches. Unless one goes through a a sever attack can they understand. I had been diagnoses with complicated migraines and it is the worst type you can have. The person has symptoms that mimic a stroke. I have difficulties with my vision, I cannot walk right, I talk and sound as if I am intoxicated, etc. Topamax has kept the number of those type of attacks down. I am currently at 100 mg and doing ok with my cognitive function I do have some slower short term memort recall problems but I dont know whether to blam it on the med or just on life. At one point I was up to 175 mg of Topamax with a neurologist at UAB and needless to say I felt like a walking zombie because that was when I had first started getting ill with all of my neuro things. I am a nurse so all of these things have been so frustrating, especially when you are treated like garbage by people. I wish everyone luck!

  9. #9
    TJK
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    Default Klonopin

    I know this reply is about 1yr. & half late but your question on memory loss can also be related to the Klonopin. It is notorious for causing the memory problems you mentioned, my own brother was hospitalized twice from taking Klonopin, once because He couldn't figure out how to open His front door and ask'd a neighbor for help. He was only taking 1.5mg a day for less than a year, the doctors told me that it can cause near amnesia like symptoms in certain people depending on dosage and length of time you've been on it.

  10. #10
    sammyb88 is offline New Member
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    I take Topamax and lets just say they dont call it Stupamax for nothing. I take 200 BID. I just had the dose increase. It 'can' cause cognative impairment. It does with me, it just kind of makes me a little slower and I'm not able to keep track of things of well, but with the side affects of my other meds, I'm used kinda used to this by now it's sad!

  11. #11
    mackessy is offline New Member
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    Default Topomax for migraine

    Hi
    I am a nurse also. I am having quite a time trying to figure out what to do. I started having vertigo on 3/10/09 and because I had had what nurologists thought was a cva vs tia in the past they did a MRI on me. MY MRI showed black spots... so of coarse they thought it was going to be MS or vasculitis of the brain. the neuro thinks migraine syndrome and put me on topomax. I had an lp to r/o MS and all was negative and I have to tell you i have never been so happy. BUT... I am having memory problems and speech slurring AND dizzyness and weakness and fatigue and I feel as though I will never be myself again.. I can in no way imagine putting the lives of others in my hands and I am so scared I do not no what to do. What happened with your situation? I know I am a complete stranger and this is off the wall but I was searching for some one who has had the same side effects and there you were. If you get this please write back.

  12. #12
    anotheraddict is offline Member
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    I can only offer my experiences. I used to suffer from migraines, and I also experienced what was thought to be a TIA. Unfortunately I never got to have any testing done. My problems actually were stemming from the way that the triptans take effect. When I would take them in the midst of a migraine, they would clamp down the blood vessels and cause the TIAs. I never heard of this before taking them, but I experienced it at least to some degree with each one.

    By far the worst one was Relpax for me. I was at work, and my coworker kept asking me what was wrong. I was tripping over the rug, slurring my words, and I couldn't see. I am only 24 now and this was a few years ago, so a stroke was the furthest thing from anyone's mind. Eventually, I left work 20 mins early as I couldn't deal anymore, and my boss threatened to fire me. Great boss, huh? I don't work for that company anymore.

    I am sorry to hear of your troubles. While I am glad that the lp was negative for MS, it's frustrating to not know what's wrong. I wish you the best, and don't hesitate to ask if there's any other questions I might be able to answer.

    Jean

    PS: I no longer get migraines thanks to a freak accident that caused my studies to be done and a sphenoid sinus cyst to be found. It was pushing on my carotid artery. Surgery was done as they thought it might be a pouch of csf fluid given the location and feared it bursting in an uncontrolled environment. No more cyst pushing on artery, no more migraines. It's my miracle. Hopefully we can find something like this for you
    1 is too many, and 1000 is never enough

    Freed from my own personal hell since 03/24/2009

  13. #13
    Windmill47 is offline New Member
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    Mackessy---We nurses have all the odd illnesses.
    I also take Topamax as well as many other meds for a condition called "Neurocardiogenic Syncope"(NCS). I was working as a RN supervisor at a local hospital one day and literally the next day-I was having a grand mal seizure on my bathroom floor. I had no symptoms prior to the seizure, other than a URI. I did have however fatigue, headaches (not migraines) and some muscle aches. All of which I wrote off to the URI. It was only diagnosed by doing a tilt table test. Which is a non-invasive(other than the IV) test where you are stood up to 75 degrees and wait to see how your heart and your brain react. If you have NCS, you usually pass out within a minute or so. If you do not pass out in that minute, some Docs will try to irritate the heart by giving you NTG subligual. I passed out in 26 seconds.....and again had the Grand mal party! I have now been diagnosed for 13 years. Maybe you could ask your GP about the tilt table and see what he thinks.
    I would not wish it on you. However, if you have it-it is treatable. Not curable. But having a diagnosis is a relief. I cannot practice any longer, which I hate. But it could always be worse. I tell myself that every day.
    I wish you well in your quest for answers. Stay the course-someone will have them. You just have to be strong enough to find them. Jerri in Ohio

  14. #14
    Windmill47 is offline New Member
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    Mackessy---We nurses have all the odd illnesses.
    I also take Topamax as well as many other meds for a condition called "Neurocardiogenic Syncope"(NCS). I was working as a RN supervisor at a local hospital one day and literally the next day-I was having a grand mal seizure on my bathroom floor. I had no symptoms prior to the seizure, other than a URI. I did have however fatigue, headaches (not migraines) and some muscle aches. All of which I wrote off to the URI. It was only diagnosed by doing a tilt table test. Which is a non-invasive(other than the IV) test where you are stood up to 75 degrees and wait to see how your heart and your brain react. If you have NCS, you usually pass out within a minute or so. If you do not pass out in that minute, some Docs will try to irritate the heart by giving you NTG subligual. I passed out in 26 seconds.....and again had the Grand mal party! I have now been diagnosed for 13 years. Maybe you could ask your GP about the tilt table and see what he thinks.
    I would not wish it on you. However, if you have it-it is treatable. Not curable. But having a diagnosis is a relief. I cannot practice any longer, which I hate. But it could always be worse. I tell myself that every day.
    I wish you well in your quest for answers. Stay the course-someone will have them. You just have to be strong enough to find them. Jerri in Ohio

  15. #15
    amgalvin3 is offline New Member
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    Smile Try fiorcet

    This is my new migrane wonder pill. Fiorcet is a combo of tylenol, barbituate, and caffeine. It's also the BEST hangover pill (take it the night you're drinking, wa-la- no hangover!)

  16. #16
    praetor is offline New Member
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    watch taking fiorcet a lot. I am almost immune and they used to knock me out. Sometimes they don't even touch my headaches and I can make two bottles last a year.

  17. #17
    Tuzz510 is offline New Member
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    Default Topomax and Epilepsy

    After many years of having epilepsy, I was on 4400 mgs. Neurontin & 700mgs Lamactal per day, nothing seemed to work. He prescribed 200mgs. of Topomax and it cured me almost instantly. No more seizures for over 15 years now. My weight dropped, which I thought was the only side effect.
    After reading these postings, I am like, MY GOD, THATS ME TOO!
    I have all these same symptoms, forgetfullness to the max, short term memory loss. Difficulty in reading or remembering things I was just told.
    Is this related to Topomax, or am I just stupid? It's 15 years now. People even make fun of me (playfully of course) because I am like this.

  18. #18
    Kylin is offline New Member
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    Default So glad i'm not alone!

    Hi. I've been getting migraines since I was 17 and have tried every drug out there. Topamax is really the first preventative that has worked for me. I've been taking Topamax for about 2 yrs now and switched to Topiramate the second it became available (as you know, Topamax was so expensive EVEN with insurance so I was ready for it!). I take 100mg total per day and have been on that same dosage for over a year. This will sound silly but I had forgotten that the side effect was short-term memory loss and I was getting so frustrated that I was having trouble remembering things, not knowing why it was happening. I used to be an actress so my memory has never been an issue. Now, I will look at a simple object (anything - towel, toaster, picture frame) and not be able to identify what it is called. I have trouble with names of co-workers that I've worked with for almost 5 years as well. It's humiliating as I work in a professional environment where my memory is extremely ........(can't think of the word....). Needless to say I have word recall issues. What encouraged me to grab my computer and search blogs was I drove on the wrong side of the road last night in a town I should know not to do that. Granted, they have several one-way roads here and there so I am sure I was confused but I feel the Topiramate contributed to it. SO QUESTION TO ANYONE- I've noticed I have to think harder when driving and tell myself which side of the road is the correct side to drive on. Does that make sense or am I crazy????? I certainly feel like I'm getting stupider in my old age and I'm only 33. Sometimes I wonder if these side effects are worth the fact that I don't get as many migraines.

  19. #19
    rmpstudio is offline New Member
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    Default I love topamax!

    Memory Loss? Dunno about that. But i've been having migraines since i was 17 as well and i've FINALLY found a drug that will keep them from happening - yahoo!!

    I take a little yellow pill once a day and now when i'm about to get a migraine (when the aura shows up) i don't freak out.

    For those with memory loss, i'd say reduce your dosage.

  20. #20
    Anonymous Guest

    Default Not experiencing memory loss per se...

    .................................................. ..............
    Last edited by Anonymous; 10-23-2009 at 01:20 PM.

  21. #21
    ravyn is offline New Member
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    Default Have to weigh the pros and Cons!


    I have had chronic migraines since I was 10 years old! I have taken everything imaginable to try to help them..nothing, not even fiorocet worked. A year ago I started having what seemed to be strokes. Slurred speak, my whole right side would go paralized, I would completely forget words, speak backwards! It was so scary and frustrating. I could walk into a room and end up so confused becaus ei would forget what I was doing completely. The y did an CAT Scan and found a shadow..God they thought tumor at first which Thank God a MRI ruled out. Then came possible MS.After a battery of tests that was also negative. After much relief and many EEG's later I found that My Migraines along with Stress and such caused Stress Seizures...yes, these stroke like sypmtoms are a form of seizure. The sun spot as they called it on the left side of my brain was from seizures and would flair up everytime I have a migraine and cause a seizure. Sadly not only do I get chronic migraines I get stress induced migraines. So they put me n Topomax. I have been on over a year now. I take 300 mg a day. Yes I do have some signifigant memory problems ( then again I had that before)! I have the tingling hands and feet at times, the internal over heating in extremem temperatures and the weightloss ( over 50lbs) But truthfully I would rather carry a notebook and post it notes with me then suffer with migraines and talk like Ozzy! It is scary but managable!

  22. #22
    cath090556 is offline New Member
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    Default Migraines and Topomax

    I have suffered from migraines since I was 9 years old..My mother took me to every doctor possible back then.They ran every test possible..My migraines were so bad I couldn't function on a daily basis.. They started with light bursts, then they went to wiggly lines going across my eyes... It all depended on where the pain was on my head, to figure out how long the migraine was going to last..
    Now as an adult, they have finally found something to keep them under control..
    It is called Divalproex Sod DR 250mg.. I take one tablet per day. Try it,
    Last edited by cath090556; 08-22-2011 at 08:38 PM. Reason: Forgot important information

  23. #23
    cath090556 is offline New Member
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    Smile Migraines & Topomax

    I as well had major memory loss..The first one was 4yrs ago, and it was diagnosed as a minor stroke...I still don't remember 100% of everything before that date...It is however coming back slowly..It again happened in May of 2011..I woke up at 3:30am and went into a panick, I didn't know where I was, the date, the time, my name and I didn't know my address or my husband...My husband was absolutely wonderful, he told me to relax and that we were going to the ER... Off we went, and of course I was in a panic, he was asking me questions while driving and I didn't remember the answers...In the ER they checked the normal things and diagnosed it as GLOBAL AMNESIA, and told me to follow up with the neurologist.. 2weeks later I was told he wanted to do a 48 hour EEG and he found that I was having constant seizures...he prescribed DIVALPROEX SOD DR 200mg...follow-up in 2weeks..When I went back and told him they didn't work, he raised the mg to 250mg and to take 1 tablet 4xs per day..If this didnt work he would have to take away my driving license due to the seizures and they could continue the memory loss, and problams can occur...LUCKILY AS I said before these pills are a god send... As I said in the previos reply try them...I have NO MIGRAINES, NO MEMORY LOSS..
    I feel like a new person again.....

  24. #24
    cath090556 is offline New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by amgalvin3 View Post
    This is my new migrane wonder pill. Fiorcet is a combo of tylenol, barbituate, and caffeine. It's also the BEST hangover pill (take it the night you're drinking, wa-la- no hangover!)
    Stop taking that:: it is called Butalb/Apap/Caff tabs 50/325, They are equal to taking >>>>>>e or cocaine..From taking them for over 5 years , they said I had a stroke 5 years ago and I was again in the hospital in May 2011..This time they called it Global Amnesia..After seeing that neurologist he wanted a 48 hr EEG where it showed constant seizures..3 weeks to be whined off them..It was horrid..I was them told to take DIVALPROEX SOD DR 250mg..3xs a day..I am a NEW PERSON...NO MIGRAINES, NO SIDE affects..I can live again..The migraines started when I was 9, I am now 54 soon to be 55..GREAT BIRTHDAY present to me..TRY it ask your doctor....GOOD LUCK

  25. #25
    Chiquitita is offline New Member
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    Topamax depletes your potassium level and I have been told multiple times by my doc that the memory problems can be relieved by taking extra potassium. I am bad at taking additional pills, so I cannot say if it works, but I would suggest it.

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