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Weight loss---Topamax?
  1. #1
    cardsDR is offline New Member
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    Default Weight loss---Topamax?

    Hi,
    about 3 weeks ago, I started a patient on Topamax for weight loss..... it is an off label use, but well known side effect. She came back today for a check up and had lost 15 pounds!

    This female weighs 290 pounds now. At the most she weighed 340 pounds. She says that she just doesn't feel hungry anymore and has lost her cravings for food.

    Anyone else been on Topamax before?
    Last edited by cardsDR; 02-16-2007 at 09:18 PM.
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  2. #2
    sweetchikk05 is offline Banned
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    I have never been on it, but, vcamo, she needs it for her headaches every month but I guess its a couple hundred dollars every month so she can't afford it, I know there was someone else on here whos on it...

    what mg's did you prescribe her?

    Another question, your a dr right? What would I have to do . say to get a dr to prescribe me methadone every month?

    I am so sick of driving 250 miles every monday to get my weekly take homes, gas is so expensive, not to mention its 70$ a week,
    thankfully my insurance is still covering it for me!!
    Anyhow, what could I say to a new doc to get him/her to prescribe it without them thinking I am "drug seeking"???

    Thanks

    By the way, where the hek have you been? I havent seen you here in a while, Miss Ya!!
    How are you??

    LIz Ann

  3. #3
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    i was started on topomax for migraines, but while i don't think it does to much for them, it does surely help with my weight which i have had problems with all my life. i have never been able to eat normally without excercising excessively but now i can and it is really nice. probably not the smartest reason to keep taking it but hopefully it is helping for the migraines also. i haven't yet heard of anyone rx-ing it for weight loss though, but dang, it does work good for it!!

  4. #4
    cardsDR is offline New Member
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    Yea, I placed the patient on 50mg qhs and after one week increased to 100 mg qhs, she denied any side effects, in fact, I spoke to her today and she is loving it, states she is at 16+ lbs lost.
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  5. #5
    Moreenjh is offline New Member
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    Thumbs down Topamax

    This is Vcamo but I had to change my username in order to register. Don't understand why because I see that a lot of of other people got to keep their same usernames.

    Anyway, about the Topamax......it finally started helping my headaches on Sun.. My head still hurts some but not nearly as bad as it has during the past 8 weeks. I haven't lost any weight, darn it, and everything still tastes the same to me, darn it again,. As I mentioned before I won't be getting anymore after I take what I have left because it's too expensive.

  6. #6
    Vcamo is offline Banned
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    Thumbs up Topamax

    I've been taking Topamax for almost 2 weeks. The first week I had to take 2 25 milligrams at bedtime for 7 days and I'm now taking 1 25 milligram in the morning and 2 at bedtime and will take that dosage for 7 days but can't remember how many I'm supposed to take a day the 3rd week.

    I did finally get my password mailed to me so as you can see I have my regular username back.

  7. #7
    AmandaJane is offline New Member
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    Default Weight Loss with Topamax

    I don't know if any of you that previously posted on this thread check in here now or not, but I wanted to post. I just found this website and think it is wonderful.

    I have been on Topamax for about 5 years (this Nov., I think). There have been some periods of time during the 5 years that I did not take the medicine. I am not sure how much difference it has made in my headaches, but I don't really want to try going without it unless something better comes along. My Drs. prescribed Topamax due to the migraines and some tremors I had started having.

    I have been blessed to have the side effect of weight loss. As the Dr. posted about his patient being 290, I was about 290/295. I am now down to 218/220 and still loosing. I did gain about 20/30 lbs back that I previously lost and had to loose it again. I believe I was off the meds when I had the weight gain.

    Someone else mentioned not being able to take the medicine due to cost. I am assuming that is because you do not or did not have insurance to cover most of the cost. For anyone that does not have insurance, please be aware that you may qualify for the Patient Assistance Program that the Drug Company offers. At the moment I cannot remember the company that makes Topamax, but go to their website and there should be something listed there about the Program. You can also ask your Dr's. office about it. Also, there are some states that have programs that have Prescription Programs to provide medicine for those that do not have insurance, but meet their qualification. This does not usually come through the Social Services office, it is usually a separate entity.

    The programs do work because I was able to get my Topamax through the Drug Manufacturer for a few years after I lost my medical insurance.

    Good luck!

  8. #8
    tori13vc is offline New Member
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    I am on Topamax for Migraines, have been for 2 months. They have really helped with them. I still get them sometimes, hormonal mostly due to that time of the month but they have dramaticly changed from 6 a week to about 4 a month. I have had the tingling feet and hands and the change in taste with carbonation. As far as the weight loss, I was unaware that you could or would prescribe this drug as a weight loss tool. I have lost 6 pounds in a month which seems a healthier amount then 16 in 3 weeks. I know that weight loss is a side effect and i expect and look forward to losing more, however, it seems odd that the patient doesnt report any other side effects and maybe she isnt being completley honest because she is so happy with the results so far. I am also on 100 mgs aday and have had difficulty remembering things at times. These side effects are well worth it to me to avoid the pain and sickness of the migraines that were taking over my life. I just have to wonder if this is really a reaponsible way to lose weight. I am not judging, please dont feel that way, I just wouldnt want to live with these side effects if I did not have to. And before you say it, I am very overweight, so I do know how that feels as well. I have done alot of research and read alot of comments on Topamax and I have not come across one where they have not had any side effects. Good luck to you and to your patient.

  9. #9
    Marin is offline New Member
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    Default Weight gain with Topamax

    In the beginning, my neurologist had put me on 150 mg. for migraines and I did experience some weight loss. After using Topamax for approximately a year to year and a half, I started gaining weight and went from 145 lbs. to 162 lbs. over a period of about 4 months. I had no idea what caused my weight gain, until a couple of months ago, when I decided to take myself off of it gradually. It was with the second 50 mg. tablet that I went off of that I began to lose weight. So far I have lost 6 lbs. in two weeks. My mind feels less foggy and I don't have the feeling of indigestion all the time. The reason I wanted to go off of it was the brain fog. The warnings say that you will experience headaches when going off the medication. I haven't had this experience. I did choose a time when I wasn't having my period, when I typically have uncontrollable migraines, to go off Topamax. So far, this has been a very good decision.

  10. #10
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    Random insight... people were commenting on the price of Topamax. I haven't been on that med in a long time so I don't know if there's a generic, but right before Depakote ER became available in generic, my doc suggested doing a mail order pharmacy in Canada. He basically said anti-convulsant meds like Topamax aren't becoming generic as quickly as other more popular meds, like anti-depressants and heart meds, etc. I asked if it was legally okay, he said yeah, as long as it's not a controlled substance. He said it's probably not encouraged, but he understood how pharmaceutical companies in the US rip you off big time. I dunno, maybe this tidbit will help someone. Best of luck all of you, I'm on an anti-convulsant for migraines too, and know how trying it can be sometimes.

  11. #11
    lostlynne is offline New Member
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    Default weigh loss

    I have lost 30 pounds in 6 months on topamax. I love it. Unfortunately I just lost my insurance and have to try to reach the manufacturer to see if I qualify for the plan. I've been dealing with migraines for 26 years now, and topamax seems to halp a little. 5 migraines a month were to much last year.
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  12. #12
    shye01 is offline New Member
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    Thought u might like to know that just last week they released a generic that runs about 12 dollars a week. I have switched to it and so far have not seen any changes. Hope this helps!

  13. #13
    JDiamondW is offline New Member
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    Default Topamax has a Generic

    Just got my refill for Topamax in the mail and it wasn't Topamax but something called Topiramate. Did a search and it's the generic for Topamax. It's been avaliable since April 1 2009. I'm so glad. Drops my price by $30 every three months. Just letting people know.

  14. #14
    SmartChick84 is offline New Member
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    Default Jansen Patient Assistance

    I am a nursing student with Epilepsy and no health ins. and my Dr. just switched me to Topamax. I literally cried after I left the pharmacy because the generic was going to cost me over $250 a month. So I found a patient assistance program that is going to pay for my meds: Jansen Ortho Patient Assistance Foundation, for anyone who was needing any help. Now I'm just gonna start waiting for the weight loss to kick in

  15. #15
    emmagrace is offline New Member
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    Default weight loss on Topamax

    Hi,

    I asked my doctor to put me on Topamax a year ago after I read that it reduced cravings for alcohol without making you reject it completely, like Antabuse (I didn't know you could also lose weight on it). Not only did I reduce my drinking from five drinks a DAY to four or five a week, I have lost 62 pounds. My loss has been consistent and continues at five pounds a month. My doctor has reduced my diabetes meds and my blood pressure meds. I'm about to go off my BiPAP machine, probably at my next checkup.

    I have had none of the side effects that many have. For tori13vc: Or maybe the patient isn't reporting any side effects because she isn't having any. There are a number of people posting here who apparently aren't having side effects either. Honestly, I really am not foggy headed or having memory problems. On the contrary, after no longer having five drinks a day, I feel pretty darn clear-headed. Nothing tingles. I consider using this drug as responsible as using my diabetes and blood pressure medicine. I'm sorry it didn't work for you.

    I realize I am one of the lucky ones.
    Last edited by emmagrace; 09-05-2009 at 11:33 AM. Reason: add to comment

  16. #16
    m.firestone is offline New Member
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    Smile Topamax & Weight loss for me - 2.5 months

    I'm on Topomax (100 mg/day) for Bipolar and I have gone from 173 to 149 in 2.5 months. Unfortunately I do actually miss my appetite sometimes and can get sick to my stomach if I eat too much at one sitting. I had gained a great deal from Risperdal, so I am pleased to be losing it with the Topamax and it also works well for my issues.

    ~Mary in PA
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  17. #17
    topcatdancer is offline New Member
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    Default topamax

    I went from 315 to 205 in the year and a half that I was on it for my seizures back in 2004-05. I would just forget to eat. Now, part of that was also because I was dirt poor, got the meds through prescription assistance. When that ran out and i didn't reapply, i had to stop because of the increased price. Well, working full time now, have insurance and went to the neuro about my headaches. I am going back on topamax, and thanks to the generic form (and insurance) it will cost me about 10 dollars per month. If it helps the seizures and the headaches, great; if I lose some of the weight i put back on, even better. But I lost muscle tone because I wasn't exercising, not fat. Plus, my cholesterol went up, because i could only really afford junk. Now the cholesterol is below 200, the hdl/ldl is good, too, and i can afford better, leaner food. So even if it doesn't work for weight loss, i hope it helps the headaches and seizures. I do know of at least one other person whose md put her on it for weight loss. She didn't anticipate the other side effects and couldn't handle it.
    Christy

  18. #18
    saintlucy is offline New Member
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    I've been on 400mg Topamax per day for 9 months now for seizures. I have not been able to gain weight while on it no matter how much I eat. Since I've been on it, I've had to eat literally 5000+ calories per day in order to maintain my current weight (at 5'4", I weigh 97 lbs)--so that's what I do each and every day. That said, Topamax has not blunted my appetite in the least bit; I'm hungry all the time basically. (This can be rather expensive and time-consuming especially because I also have CVID which often (and in my case) comes with celiac, and I'm also allergic to dairy.... but it's unspeakably better than having seizures every day.) Have not had issues with other side effects, however. The weight thing is just bizarre given how much I eat. Strange drug!
    Last edited by saintlucy; 12-26-2009 at 01:08 AM.

  19. #19
    Jo6712 is offline New Member
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    Default topamax

    I had taken topamax about 3 years ago at a dosage of 400mg per day and lost about 80lbs . I went off it due to brain fog and a improvement in my cluster headaches. I have since been diagnosed with hypothyroid and have gained back the 80 lobs plus a lot more. I also have depression which I have been on abilify for among other things. I was wondering if the topamax would be a good substitute for the abilify because I need to get off the abilify which causes weight gain. Anyone who has any insight into this if you could please respond it would be greatly appreciated .
    Jo

  20. #20
    Jmmoulton is offline New Member
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    My doctor prescribed Topamax to me about a week and a half ago. She started me on 25 mg one/day for the first 7 days, now I'm on 25 mg/day for 7 days, then I'll be on 50 mg twice a day. She prescribed it for my frequent and debilitating migraines, but chose topamax specifically because I had gained weight recently after going on anti-depressants. She hoped the weight loss side effect would help. Unfortunately, I have had nothing of the sort. I'm still ravenous all the time, continuing to gain weight and eat too much, and I don't even have the mental fogginess or tingling or bad tastes that people talk about. Does it take a while for these side effects to surface or am I just one of those people who is unaffected by the drug? Any advice or insights would be much appreciated.

    Jen

  21. #21
    hlk9898 is offline New Member
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    Default topamax

    I've been on Topamax for 3+ years, and was prescribed for the headaches, but I knew the side effects. I'll admit I was hoping the weight loss was a side effect that would occur. It's only in the last 18 mos that it kicked in - once my dosage was increased to 175 mg. Just little interest in food, plus I tried to make some smarter food choices, too. I lost 60 lbs.. the fuzziness, unfocused feeling, and tingling improves after a few months... the one side effect I had and two other friends experienced on the same drug - hair loss. My formerly thick hair thinned out a bit. But, to go from 3 headaches a week, to maybe one hormonal induced headache a month is worth all of it.

  22. #22
    mamapre is offline New Member
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    Unhappy

    Quote Originally Posted by Jmmoulton View Post
    My doctor prescribed Topamax to me about a week and a half ago. She started me on 25 mg one/day for the first 7 days, now I'm on 25 mg/day for 7 days, then I'll be on 50 mg twice a day. She prescribed it for my frequent and debilitating migraines, but chose topamax specifically because I had gained weight recently after going on anti-depressants. She hoped the weight loss side effect would help. Unfortunately, I have had nothing of the sort. I'm still ravenous all the time, continuing to gain weight and eat too much, and I don't even have the mental fogginess or tingling or bad tastes that people talk about. Does it take a while for these side effects to surface or am I just one of those people who is unaffected by the drug? Any advice or insights would be much appreciated.

    Jen
    I'm on 100 mg 2x/day; lost 54 lb. unintentionally. Been through 5 sizes of clothes in 7 months, and have no summer clothes that fit. I'm officially underwt., with a BMI of 18. Am in the process of tapering off the topamax. I also have the bad taste and tingling in my hands. It has taken 4 times requesting my dr. to taper it to finally get him to listen to me!

  23. #23
    allie_parker is offline New Member
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    I’m on Topamax to prevent migraines. Some foods do not taste the way they did before. Pop tastes awful. Because of this I think my interest in food has somewhat diminished. Because it does not taste as good or in some cases worse, I do not want to eat. I’ve lost 13 pounds in a month. I could stand to lose 20 or 30 pounds.
    Topamax was working really well for my migraines. Now they are back but not as bad. I will not be staying on Topamax just because of the weight loss benefit. I’m not cool with taking medication that messes with my neurotransmitters (brain electricity). It also stops sodium from entering the nerve cells. For me personally I’m choosing not to, but for others it may be the only option they have for weight loss. Good luck.

  24. #24
    allie_parker is offline New Member
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    JMMOULTON:

    Im not a Dr. but am guessing the higher the dose the less more you'll feel the side effects. I'm on 100mg to 20mg per day. My Dr. told me "whatever you want to take between there not over 200mg per day."
    Last edited by allie_parker; 06-15-2010 at 08:41 PM.

  25. #25
    MsDGC is offline New Member
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    Default Just starting Topamax

    I was just prescribed Topamax today, and came on here looking for more information on the product,

    About seven months ago I was started on Abilify in addition to Cymbalta. Since that time, I have gained over twenty pounds since starting the Abilify. Needless to say, my doctor took me off of it today and we are starting the Topamax in it's place. I wasn't aware that it could help you lose weight as I thought I was just taking it as a suppliment to my Cymbalta, for depression. However, I hope I am among the percentage that is fortunate enough to lose weight from this product, seeing that I gained the weight for no reason. I'll keep you posted on whether or not this helps with my weightloss.

  26. #26
    curbsideprophet is offline New Member
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    Angry HORRIBLE- no weight loss, major hair loss

    Horrible drug! Generic is even worse than brand name. The only benefit was that it helped make my moods a little more even. I was promised help in my binge eating or even that I would lose weight and that never happened. Going off Topamax did make me gain though! I had SERIOUS hair loss on the drug and it got worse as soon as I stopped. The hair that grew while I was taking it is a totally different texture- weak, thinner strands, and brittle. Whole sections just broke off. I was on the brand name for one year, off for a couple months then back on it with the generic again for half a year. Took 100mg-200mg over that time period. It has taken half a year for the regrowth to start and the shedding to stop. I have had to cut a lot of my hair to make it look normal, invest in supplements, and hair care products. My skin never looked worse on Topamax too- lots of little bumps. Also, I would wake up in the middle of the night with my feet tingling so badly it hurt. I highly recommend looking up forums on hair loss and Topamax and get off it before it's too late. Even if you do lose weight on it, it's not worth it if you feel bald. MAJOR DEPRESSION from its effect. I never felt worse about myself. I do a lot better with the binging since starting anti-anxiety meds (Klonopin) and have even lost a few pounds.

  27. #27
    Beckersgirl83 is offline Junior Member
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    I just wanted to give my experience with topamax. I take the generic which is topimirate and have been taking it for about a year. I did experience a huge weight loss. About 80 lbs. I got back to the size I was before I got married. I take 150mg at night.

    There are a few drawbacks. I did notice clumps of hair in he shower, and tingling in my toes and feet. Also I have terrible short term memory loss. The dr gave it to me for pain management and I've just continued to take it to keep the weight off. It does keep my sinus headaches at bay.

  28. #28
    caroline938 is offline New Member
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    Default I *love* Topomax

    I developed Addison's Disease six years ago, and chronic pain, including acute migraines, are part of my pattern. Steroids are what keep me alive, since I don't have any adrenal glands, and those steroids put 75 pounds on my body in the first year. I'll be taking them for the rest of my life, but the Topomax has not only been the first thing that's helped with my headaches, when we started it a year ago I weighed 236. I now weigh 180, and I'm still losing steadily. I don't know where it will end, though I do know that at some point it will probably flatten out. Since the drug is still effectively quieting my headaches, I don't anticipate going off of it, though I have a question:

    Does everyone who stops taking Topomax immediately regain all the weight they lost?

    My excess weight was causing me acute respiratory problems, including frequent pneumonias, and I was intubated a number of times. This is quite literally a matter of life and death. I can't afford to put this weight back on, and I will die if I don't take my steroids. So Topomax has been a godsend, but I'm petrified that it's a miracle that will end. Can anyone reassure me? At all? Thanks!

  29. #29
    susan-forever is offline New Member
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    Default My experiences

    I just got prescribed the generic Topamax about 3 weeks, and am finally on the full 100mg dose as of today. So far I am loving it.

    I was prescribed it for my headaches and migraines. I had been taking 50mg of amitryptyline for about a year and a half, but had gained 20lbs on that, and was tired of being incredibly dopey and all the rest that comes with ami. So I switched to this. I was looking forward to possibly losing the 20lbs as well, which had been seemingly impossible as well.

    I went from eating nothing and working out constantly and still gaining weight on ami, to stuffing my face and still losing weight on Topamax. What an awesome change of pace! I lost 8lbs on my first week on Topamax, and this was just on the beginning 25mg dose. I am now eating large quantities of food to slow it down because I don't think that's particularly healthy for someone who is as small as I am, but I feel confident i will lose my remaining weight shortly and am in no rush.

    I have had no "brain fog", or "losing words". I am not tired. Definitely not in comparison to how out of it the ami was making me. I have had very little of the "tinging" people talk about, it doesn't bother me at all, it comes for a couple seconds and then is gone. I think it helps if you stay well hydrated to prevent most of these bad side effects, which I do. No hair loss.

    I have had some food related side effects though. I used to love sweets. But all my sweet and carb cravings are gone now, and all I want to drink all day is water. All I used to ever drink was diet soda and coffee. Also, I used to like to have an alcoholic beverage every night in the evening, and now it's like I have zero desire for that. It's very strange. It's like this drug tries to make you healthier all around. Odd.
    oshay2000 likes this.

  30. #30
    skii is offline New Member
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    Red face no cravings

    Quote Originally Posted by cardsDR View Post
    Hi,
    about 3 weeks ago, I started a patient on Topamax for weight loss..... it is an off label use, but well known side effect. She came back today for a check up and had lost 15 pounds!

    This female weighs 290 pounds now. At the most she weighed 340 pounds. She says that she just doesn't feel hungry anymore and has lost her cravings for food.

    Anyone else been on Topamax before?
    I'm on it i've been on it for 5 years.I don't get hungry at all,if i do it's usally once a day.I have to have a craving for the food,so what ever my husband brings home.If i don't like it i don't it for the day.I'm on bipolar meds so & i'm having trouble with my knee replacemnt so i'm not dropping my weight off.

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