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Topiramate For Weight Loss

Topiramate For Weight Loss

Description

Consequently there is particular interest in topiramate (Topamax and generic), a drug approved to treat certain types of seizures and prevent migraine headaches, but is used off-label to control binging and purging, and to promote weight loss in people with eating disorders.

Can topiramate be used for weight loss?

 According to the Topamax package insert, weight loss is one of the drug's most common side effects. However, weight gain is also a side effect of Topamax. Weight loss in patients taking Topamax appears to be dose-dependent -- that is, higher doses of Topamax cause more weight loss.

Topamax and Weight Loss

Doctors occasionally prescribe Topamax off-label to control binging and purging and promote weight loss in people with eating disorders such as bulimia nervosa and binge-eating disorder.The drug is seen as an alternative when first-line therapy with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have failed to achieve results.It is unclear why Topamax is effective for these uses; however, it is believed that the same properties that enable it to control migraines and seizures also work to inhibit the brain networks that cause food cravings.Although there have been a number of studies supporting the efficacy of Topamax for weight loss, there remain some concerns regarding its long-term safety. In addition, the drug has troubling, sometimes serious side effects.

Dosages

In the case of adults and children 10 years or older, the dose may be increased by 100 mg in week five and six if Topamax is used by itself. The final recommended adult dose is 400 mg, taken in two divided doses daily.Children should start with up to 25 mg taken each night for the first week, with the dose being increased at 1 or 2 week intervals. The maximum maintenance dose is based on weight.Migraine patients are usually given 25 mg every night for the first week, with the dose being increased by 25 mg weekly. The maximum dose is 100 mg, to be taken in two divided doses.

What are the risks and warnings?

Eye problems can lead to permanent loss of vision if not treated. Tell your doctor beforehand if you've had glaucoma and report eye pain, redness, or vision changes during treatment.Decreased sweating makes it more difficult for your body to cool down when it gets very hot and might make you more vulnerable to heat-stroke. Avoid exposure to heat, drink plenty of fluids, and notify your doctor if you have a fever.Suicidal thoughts or actions should be reported immediately to your doctor, including panic attacks, agitation, irritability, anxiety, depression, sleep problems, talking or thinking about suicide, and any other changes in behavior or mood.

Side Effect

  • Blurred or rapidly decreasing vision
  • Double vision
  • Eye pain and redness
  • Increased eye pressure
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Burning, prickling or tingling sensations
  • Nervousness
  • Clumsiness/unsteadiness

 

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