What is Topamax?
Topamax is an antiepileptic agent. It is the brand name of the drug topiramate.
What is Topamax Used For?
Topamax is used as an initial monotherapy for patients two years old and up with primary generalized tonic-clonic seizures or partial onset seizures. This medication is also used as adjunctive therapy for adults and children between 2 and 16 years old with primary generalized tonic-clonic seizures or partial onset seizures. Topamax is also used to prevent migraine headaches in adults. This medication has some off-label uses as well.
How Does Topamax Work?
The exact mechanism of action for Topamax is not fully understood. Researchers have found a few properties that may explain this medication’s ability to prevent migraine headaches and treat seizure disorders. Topamax is believed to decrease the activity of cells in the brain that are associated with migraine headaches. This medication is also believed to increase the activity of a brain chemical known as gamma-aminobutyrate (GABA) and block sodium channels that rely on voltage or electrical signals, which may help decrease the risk of seizures.
How Long Does It Take for Topamax to Work?
The amount of time for Topamax to work typically varies from person to person based on different factors, such as the dosage taken. In general, this medication may take 2 to 3 months to become fully effective at preventing migraines and treating seizures.
Do Not Use Topamax If:
There are several situations where this medication may not be the right choice for you. According to the FDA, the following should not use Topamax:
- For the extended release version patients should not consume alcohol within 6 hours before and after taking the medication
- For the extended release version patients should not take metformin when in a state of metabolic acidosis.
Please note that this list may not be complete, and there may be other situations where use of this drug is not advisable.