Topiramate – See Related Topics
For use in treating certain types of seizures, topiramate is sometimes prescribed by healthcare providers. Sold in the United States as Topamax (with no generic available), topiramate is used to treat Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, tonic-clonic seizures, and partial seizures. Off-label uses for topiramate have included treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), eating disorders, mood disorders, and migraine headaches. Additionally, it is sometimes used to help relieve the withdrawal symptoms felt with alcohol and nicotine cessation or for weight loss.
Topiramate works by affecting neurotransmitters (naturally forming chemicals) in the brain that send signals between nerves. During a seizure, there is an abnormality in the firing of the nerves and Topiramate works to regulate them by calming them down.
In most cases, there is little chance of topiramate being abused, but it does happen. This is seen mostly when the drug is used for off-label purposes like addiction withdrawal. As the user’s body gets accustomed to the prescribed dose, they may feel less of an effect. If that happens, sometimes they start taking more of the drug or take it more frequently. This leads their body to become even more tolerant to topiramate and can create a physical dependency on this drug. Dependency can lead to addiction and withdrawal can be difficult because side effects may then further manifest. Side effects associated with use of topiramate include unsteadiness, memory problems, fatigue, lack of concentration, tingling in extremities, depression, and anxiety.
If you or somebody you know has become reliant on using topiramate, you may have questions about what can be done. To learn more, check out our related topics or contact a representative at The Recovery Village to learn about options for recovery.