Topamax Side Effects
Generic name: topiramate
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Oct 24, 2021.
Note: This document contains side effect information about topiramate. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Topamax.
Common side effects of Topamax include: anxiety, ataxia, confusion, diarrhea, diplopia, dizziness, drowsiness, dysphasia, fatigue, lack of concentration, memory impairment, nausea, nervousness, paresthesia, psychomotor disturbance, speech disturbance, depression, visual disturbance, weight loss, dysgeusia, mood changes, and anorexia. Other side effects include: arthralgia, and asthenia. See below for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.
For the Consumer
Applies to topiramate: oral capsule, oral capsule extended release, oral tablet
Side effects requiring immediate medical attention
Along with its needed effects, topiramate (the active ingredient contained in Topamax) may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking topiramate:
- Blurred vision
- burning, prickling, or tingling sensations
- clumsiness or unsteadiness
- continuous, uncontrolled back-and-forth or rolling eye movements
- double vision
- eye redness or pain
- generalized slowing of mental and physical activity
- increased eye pressure
- memory problems
- menstrual changes or pain
- speech or language problems
- trouble in concentrating or paying attention
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- chest pain
- feeling sad or empty
- lack of feeling or emotion
- lessening of sensations or perception
- loss of appetite
- loss of interest or pleasure
- red, irritated, or bleeding gums
- sore throat
- stomach pain
- trouble sleeping
- weight loss
- Blood in the urine
- difficult or painful urination
- frequent urination
- hearing loss
- itching, skin rash
- loss of bladder control
- lower back or side pain
- pale skin
- ringing or buzzing in the ears
- trouble breathing
Incidence not known
- Blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin
- clay-colored stools
- increased rate of breathing
- joint or muscle pain
- pain or tenderness in the upper stomach
- red skin lesions, often with a purple center
- sores, ulcers, or white spots in the mouth or on the lips
- yellow eyes or skin
Get emergency help immediately if any of the following symptoms of overdose occur while taking topiramate:
Symptoms of overdose
- Decreased awareness or responsiveness
- dizziness, fainting, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
- severe sleepiness
- unusual drowsiness, dullness, or feeling of sluggishness
Side effects not requiring immediate medical attention
Some side effects of topiramate may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects.
Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
- Breast pain in women
- Back pain
- feeling of warmth
- increased sweating
- leg pain
- redness of the face, neck, arms, and occasionally, upper chest
- Decrease in sexual performance or desire
For Healthcare Professionals
Applies to topiramate: oral capsule, oral capsule extended release, oral solution, oral tablet
The more commonly reported adverse reactions for use as an antiepileptic have included paresthesia, anorexia, weight loss, speech disorders/related speech problems, fatigue, dizziness, somnolence, nervousness, psychomotor slowing, abnormal vision and fever. For use in migraine, the more commonly reported adverse events have included paresthesia, anorexia, weight loss, difficulty with memory, taste perversion, diarrhea, hypoesthesia, nausea, abdominal pain and upper respiratory tract infection.
Frequency not reported: Toxic epidermal necrolysis, oligohidrosis
Postmarketing reports: Bullous skin reactions, pemphigus[Ref]
Common (1% to 10%): Anemia, epistaxis
Common (1% to 10%): Hypersensitivity
Frequency not reported: Allergic edema, conjunctival edema[Ref]
Rare (less than 0.1%): Hepatitis, hepatic failure, increase in liver enzymes
Postmarketing reports: Hepatic failure including fatalities[Ref]
Most CNS adverse reactions can be classified into 3 categories: cognitive-related dysfunction (e.g. confusion psychomotor slowing, difficulty with concentration/attention, difficulty with memory, speech, or language problems, particularly word-finding difficulties); psychiatric/behavioral disturbances (e.g. depression or mood problems); and somnolence or fatigue. Most were mild to moderate in severity and frequently occurred in isolation. Rapid titration rate and higher initial dose was associated with a higher occurrence.[Ref]
Very common (10% or more): Paraesthesia, somnolence, dizziness
Common (1% to 10%): Disturbance in attention, memory impairment, amnesia, cognitive disorder, mental impairment, psychomotor skills impaired, convulsion, coordination abnormal, tremor, lethargy, hypethesia, nystagmus, dysgeusia, balance disorder, dysarthria, intention tremor, sedation
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Depressed level of consciousness, grand mal convulsion, visual field defect, complex partial seizures, speech disorder, psychomotor hyperactivity, syncope, sensory disturbance, drooling, hypersomnia, aphasia, repetitive speech, hypokinesia, dyskinesia, dizziness postural, poor quality sleep, burning sensation, sensory loss, parosmia, cerebellar syndrome, dysesthesia, hypogeusia, stupor, clumsiness, aura, ageusia, dysgraphia, dysphasia, neuropathy peripheral, presyncope, dystonia, formication
Rare (less than 0.1%): Apraxia, circadian rhythm sleep disorder, hyperesthesia, hyposmia, anosmia, essential tremor, akinesia, unresponsive to stimuli[Ref]
Antiepileptic drugs increased the risk of suicidal thoughts or behaviors when taken for any indication. Pooled analyses of 199 placebo-controlled clinical trials of 11 different antiepileptic drugs showed patients on antiepileptics had approximately twice the risk compared to placebo. In these trials (median duration 12 weeks; most less than 24 weeks), the estimated incidence rate of suicidal behavior or ideation was 0.43% compared to 0.24% which represents an increase of approximately 1 case for every 530 patients treated.[Ref]
Very common (10% or more): Somnolence (15%), memory loss (10%), depression
Common (1% to 10%): Depression, difficulty with concentration/attention, anxiety psychomotor slowing, altered mood, confusion, cognitive difficulty, bradyphrenia, decreased libido, expressive language disorder, disorientation, aggression, aggression, anger, abnormal behavior
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Suicidal ideation, suicide attempt, hallucination, psychotic disorder, hallucination auditory, hallucination visual, apathy, lack of spontaneous speech, sleep disorder, affect lability, restlessness, crying, dysphemia, euphoria, paranoia, perseveration, panic attack, tearfulness, reading disorder, flat affect, thinking abnormal, listlessness, middle insomnia, distractibility, early morning awakening, panic reaction, elevated mood
Very common (10% or more): Nausea, diarrhea
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Pancreatitis, flatulence, gastroesophageal reflux disease, abdominal pain lower, hypoesthesia oral, gingival bleeding, abdominal distension, epigastric discomfort, abdominal tenderness, salivary hypersecretion, oral pain, breath odor, glossodynia[Ref]
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Erectile dysfunction, sexual dysfunction, renal calculus, intermenstrual bleeding, leucorrhoea, menorrhagia, vaginitis, amenorrhea, urinary tract infections, micturition frequency, urinary incontinence, dysuria
Very common (10% or more): Nasopharyngitis
Frequency not reported: Genital moniliasis[Ref]
Very common (10% or more): Weight decreased
Common (1% to 10%): Anorexia, decreased appetite, weight increased
Rare (less than 0.1%): Acidosis hyperchloremic, blood bicarbonate decreased
Generally, topiramate-induced metabolic acidosis occurs early in treatment; however, it can occur any time. Average decreases of serum bicarbonate of 4 mEq/L have been observed in adults receiving 400 mg/day and pediatrics receiving approximately 6 mg/kg/day. Values below 10 mEq/L have been rarely reported. In adult trials for adjunctive treatment of epilepsy, persistent serum bicarbonate decreases to less than 20 meq/L were reported in 32% of patients receiving 400 mg/day versus 1% of placebo-treated patients. In pediatric trials, adjunctive therapy yielded persistent decreases in serum bicarbonate of 67% for doses of approximately 6 mg/kg/day and 10% for placebo. In monotherapy trials for patients 6 to 15 years, the incidence of persistent decreases in serum bicarbonate was 9% for 50 mg per day and 25% for 400 mg per day. In adult migraine trials, persistent decreases in serum bicarbonate occurred in 44%, 39%, 23%, and 7% of patients receiving 200 mg/day, 100 mg/day, 50 mg/day, and placebo, respectively. In adolescent migraine trials, this was 77%, 27%, 30%, and 9% for those receiving 200 mg/day, 100 mg/day, 50 mg/day, and placebo, respectively.
The incidence of hyperammonemia (above the upper limit of normal) for adolescent patients receiving this drug for migraine prophylaxis was 26%, 14%, and 9% for doses of 100 mg, 50, mg, or placebo, respectively. Hyperammonemia with and without encephalopathy has been reported in the post-marketing period. Hyperammonemia appears to be more common when used concomitantly with valproic acid.[Ref]
Common (1% to 10%): Arthralgia, muscle spasms, myalgia, muscle twitching, muscular weakness, musculoskeletal chest pain
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Joint swelling, musculoskeletal stiffness, flank pain, muscle fatigue
Rare (less than 0.1%): Limb discomfort[Ref]
Common (1% to 10%): Vision blurred, diplopia, visual disturbance
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Visual acuity reduced, scotoma, myopia, abnormal sensation in eye, dry eye, photophobia, blepharospasm, lacrimation increased, photopsia, mydriasis, presbyopia
Rare (less than 0.1%): Blindness unilateral, blindness transient, glaucoma, accommodation disorder, altered visual depth perception, scintillating scotoma, eyelid edema, night blindness, amblyopia
Frequency not reported: Angle closure glaucoma, maculopathy, eye movement disorder[Ref]
Very common (10% or more): Fatigue
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Deafness, deafness unilateral, deafness neurosensory, ear discomfort, hearing impaired, hyperthermia, thirst, influenza like illness, sluggishness, peripheral coldness, feeling drunk, feeling jittery, tandem gait test abnormal
Rare (less than 0.1%): Face edema, calcinosis, learning disability
Frequency not reported: Hypothermia, hyperthermia (associated with oligohidrosis)[Ref]
In clinical trials, 1.5% of adult patients receiving this drug developed kidney stones (approximately 2 to 4 times more than expected). The incidence was higher in men. Kidney stone have been reported in pediatric patients taking this drug for epilepsy or migraine.[Ref]
Common (1% to 10%): Nephrolithiasis, pollakiuria, dysuria
Rare (less than 0.1%): Calculus ureteric, renal tubular acidosis[Ref]
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Dyspnea exertional, paranasal sinus hypersecretion, dysphonia[Ref]
Frequently asked questions
- When's the best time of day to take it?
- Can you stop taking this drug suddenly?
- Does this drug cause weight loss?
- Is this a controlled substance?
- What not to take with topiramate?
- Does topiramate cause hair loss?
- How long do you stay on Topamax for migraines?
- How long does it take for Topamax to start working?
- How long does Topamax stay in your system?
- How does Trokendi XR help with weight loss?
- Are Topamax and Trokendi XR the same thing?
- What is it used to treat?
- When is the best time of day to take Trokendi XR?
- How fast does Trokendi XR work for migraines?
More about Topamax (topiramate)
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Patient Tips
- Drug Images
- Drug Interactions
- Compare Alternatives
- Pricing & Coupons
- En Español
- 542 Reviews
- Generic Availability
- Drug class: carbonic anhydrase inhibitor anticonvulsants
- Drug Information
- Topamax (Advanced Reading)
- Topamax (Topiramate Sprinkle Capsules)
- Topamax (Topiramate Tablets)
Related treatment guides
1. "Product Information. Trokendi XR (topiramate)." Supernus Pharmaceuticals Inc, Rockville, MD.
2. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics." O 0
3. Cerner Multum, Inc. "Australian Product Information." O 0
4. "Product Information. Qudexy XR Sprinkle (topiramate)." Upsher-Smith Laboratories Inc, Minneapolis, MN.
5. "Product Information. Topiramate (topiramate)." Cipla USA Inc., Miami, FL.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.