TOPIRAMATE (toe PYRE a mate) prevents and controls seizures in people with epilepsy. It may also be used to prevent migraine headaches. It works by calming overactive nerves in your body.
What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
Suicidal thoughts, plans, or attempt by you or a family member
An unusual or allergic reaction to topiramate, other medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medication?
Take this medication by mouth with water. Take it as directed on the prescription label at the same time every day. Do not cut, crush or chew this medicine. Swallow the tablets whole. You can take it with or without food. If it upsets your stomach, take it with food. Keep taking it unless your care team tells you to stop.
A special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacist with each prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.
Talk to your care team about the use of this medication in children. While it may be prescribed for children as young as 2 years for selected conditions, precautions do apply.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can unless it is within 6 hours of the next dose. If it is within 6 hours of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Take the next dose at the normal time. Do not take double or extra doses.
What may interact with this medication?
Antihistamines for allergy, cough, and cold
Aspirin and aspirin-like medications
Certain medications for anxiety or sleep
Certain medications for bladder problems, such as oxybutynin, tolterodine
Certain medications for depression, such as amitriptyline, fluoxetine, sertraline
Certain medications for Parkinson disease, such as benztropine, trihexyphenidyl
Certain medications for seizures, such as carbamazepine, lamotrigine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, primidone, valproic acid, zonisamide
Certain medications for stomach problems, such as dicyclomine, hyoscyamine
Certain medications for travel sickness, such as scopolamine
Certain medications that treat or prevent blood clots, such as warfarin, enoxaparin, dalteparin, apixaban, dabigatran, rivaroxaban
Estrogen and progestin hormones
General anesthetics, such as halothane, isoflurane, methoxyflurane, propofol
Medications that relax muscles
NSAIDs, medications for pain and inflammation, such as ibuprofen or naproxen
Opioid medications for pain
Phenothiazines, such as chlorpromazine, mesoridazine, prochlorperazine, thioridazine
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?
Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:
Allergic reactions—skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
High acid level—trouble breathing, unusual weakness or fatigue, confusion, headache, fast or irregular heartbeat, nausea, vomiting
High ammonia level—unusual weakness or fatigue, confusion, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, seizures
Fever that does not go away, decrease in sweat
Kidney stones—blood in the urine, pain or trouble passing urine, pain in the lower back or sides
Redness, blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth
Sudden eye pain or change in vision such as blurry vision, seeing halos around lights, vision loss
Thoughts of suicide or self-harm, worsening mood, feelings of depression
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):
Burning or tingling sensation in hands or feet
Difficulty with paying attention, memory, or speech
Loss of appetite with weight loss
Slow or sluggish movements of the body
What should I watch for while using this medication?
Visit your care team for regular checks on your progress. Tell your care team if your symptoms do not start to get better or if they get worse.
Do not suddenly stop taking this medication. You may develop a severe reaction. Your care team will tell you how much medication to take. If your care team wants you to stop the medication, the dose may be slowly lowered over time to avoid any side effects.
Wear a medical ID bracelet or chain. Carry a card that describes your condition. List the medications and doses you take on the card.
This medication may affect your coordination, reaction time, or judgment. Do not drive or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you. Sit up or stand slowly to reduce the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Drinking alcohol with this medication can increase the risk of these side effects.
This medication may cause serious skin reactions. They can happen weeks to months after starting the medication. Contact your care team right away if you notice fevers or flu-like symptoms with a rash. The rash may be red or purple and then turn into blisters or peeling of the skin. You may also notice a red rash with swelling of the face, lips, or lymph nodes in your neck or under your arms.
This medication may cause thoughts of suicide or depression. This includes sudden changes in mood, behaviors, or thoughts. These changes can happen at any time but are more common in the beginning of treatment or after a change in dose. Call your care team right away if you experience these thoughts or worsening depression.
This medication may slow your child's growth if it is taken for a long time at high doses. Your child's care team will monitor your child's growth.
Using this medication for a long time may weaken your bones. The risk of bone fractures may be increased. Talk to your care team about your bone health.
Discuss this medication with your care team if you may be pregnant. Serious birth defects can occur if you take this medication during pregnancy. There are benefits and risks to taking medications during pregnancy. Your care team can help you find the option that works for you. Contraception is recommended while taking this medication. Estrogen and progestin hormones may not work as well while you are taking this medication. Your care team can help you find the option that works for you.
Talk to your care team before breastfeeding. Changes to your treatment plan may be needed.
Where should I keep my medication?
Keep out of the reach of children and pets.
Store between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Protect from moisture. Keep the container tightly closed. Get rid of any unused medication after the expiration date.
To get rid of medications that are no longer needed or have expired:
Take the medication to a medication take-back program. Check with your pharmacy or law enforcement to find a location.
If you cannot return the medication, check the label or package insert to see if the medication should be thrown out in the garbage or flushed down the toilet. If you are not sure, ask your care team. If it is safe to put it in the trash, empty the medication out of the container. Mix the medication with cat litter, dirt, coffee grounds, or other unwanted substance. Seal the mixture in a bag or container. Put it in the trash.
K Health articles are all written and reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, or PharmDs and are for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute and should not be relied on for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.
This information is educational only and should not be construed as specific instructions for individual patients nor as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Talk to your health care provider or pharmacist about the information and instructions. K Health assumes no liability for any use or reliance on this information.