I've been on Topamax for Bipolar II for just over a month now. I've also been very sick with some form of pneumonia/bronchitis for nearly a month even after multiple rounds of different types of antibiotics and seeing multiple doctors. It seems like none of the doctors can figure it out. I'm a twenty-something female and I've never been this sick before. I have no history of allergies or asthma. Before getting sick I was an extremely active & healthy marathoner/triathlete/yoga enthusiast. The only common thread I can see at this point (although it seems far-fetched) is that I started 25mg Topamax just over a week before getting sick and started taking 50mg (my current dosage) around the time I got very sick. Has anyone experienced any similar respiratory symptoms on a similar dosage of Topamax? Could this be what's causing my respiratory issues?
Its not as fat fetched as you may think. It can leave you prone to infections. Have they done a white blood cell count on you? I think I'd ask my dr to take me off of it at least for a few weeks to see what happens.
Yours is a very interesting question. As a fellow Topamax user I'm quite interested in what you learn. Hope you're soon on the mend. Could you please come back and update us when you're feeling better? This is not the first time I've heard of this connection btw.
Thanks and best regards,
Hello. I suggest that you read the details on this medication, topamax. Here are some excerpts that relate to your comments. This is in the professional information of side effects:
Respiratory side effects including pulmonary embolism, coughing, pneumonia, asthma, and bronchitis have been reported.
Have you reported this to your physician? Your quests is valid and it is best you see the doctor very soon. Not all meds work on all people. Karen
I started topiramate in April and after a the first couple weeks I was up to 100mg. I became so sick with respiratory problems. I went to the Dr thinking I had pneumonia. I could barely take a deep breath. The Dr thought it was bronchitis and prescribed me albuterol inhaler . 3 days later I was worse. Went back in, he put me on augmenten 875mg antibiotic twice a day, plus lorazepam for the hacking cough and promethazine with codeine. For over a month I was stuck in my home trying to heal myself. My sinuses were so plugged I couldn't smell or taste for a month. Lost 26lbs in a month and a half. I just seen that this drug can have these side effects! I was so angry that I wasn't made aware and that my Dr didn't catch it being he prescribed my meds!!! I've been off topiramate for a week. I can breath, no cough, no inhaler... cured. I can not believe I induced that sickness and then drug it out for so long!
I started Topamax 50mg per day in May for migraine prevention and almost immediately started to experience respiratory issues. I would have shortness of breath and a mild to moderate cough, even while sitting still after no exertion whatsoever. I have no history of respiratory issues before this and there have been no other changes in my lifestyle, diet, or health status. I’m also taking Imitrex as an abortive for when migraines come on, but only very occasionally because the Topamax works so well to prevent migraines.
I hesitated to let my neurologist know of the shortness of breath because the Topamax was working so well to stop what had become 3x weekly debilitating migraines. I was hoping the breathing issue was a temporary side effect and would go away. Two weeks ago I finally went back to report the issue to my neurologist and to my surprise and dismay, she dismissed out of hand the idea that the Topamax could be the cause of the respiratory problem. Instead, she referred me to my Primary Care Physician for chest x-rays, etc. to see what was “really” causing the issue.
I have since dropped down to 25 mg per day of Topamax and have seen an improvement in the breathing problems, although it hasn’t subsided altogether. The correlation is clear to me but my neurologist obviously doesn’t believe there’s a connection.
I’m worried this dose will be too low to prevent migraines but I’ll still have the shortness of breath. A lose-lose situation. I’ll have to ask for an alternative to the Topamax for migraine prevention I’m afraid. There are several, but Topamax is by far the most effective and most prescribed.
- Topamax Information for Consumers
- Topamax Information for Healthcare Professionals (includes dosage details)
- Side Effects of Topamax (detailed)
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