Migraine Dopers -- any luck with Topamax?

I tried it a couple of years ago but couldn’t afford to take any more than 50mg. It worked a little, but not enough to justify the expense. (Out of pocket, the stuff costs bargeloads of money.) My new insurance covers prescriptions, so my doc wants me to give it another shot – this time at 100 mg. I get migraines between 4 and 18 days out of every 30, so I don’t mind giving up some of what’s left of my mental acuity if the stuff will actually work.

I do realize that MM(will most definitely)V, but I was still wondering if anyone here had anything good to say about it.

I’ve been taking it for several years now, and have nothing but good things to say about it. My migraines have nearly disappeared with Topamax. When I first started it, I had some weird things going on with tingling sensations (like pins and needles) in my hands and fingers, but that’s supposedly a normal side effect, and I was willing to put up with it for getting rid of the crippling migraines I was having. It went away after a few months.

I take 200 mgs. a day, and the severity of the migraines and the number of migraines I get has been cut drastically. It’s worked really well for me.

Yes, the stuff is insanely expensive; I think without my prescription plan it would be $500 a month. :eek:
I’d say go for it. It’s been a Godsend for me.
I know a few other Dopers have taken it or are taking it. I think someone else did not have such a good outcome, but a few others have liked it.

Disclaimer: As always, YMMV. See your doctor. Do what he says before taking medical advice from a bunch of strangers on a message board. I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV.

I was on it for several years, and I loved it. My senior year of high school, I began to get horrible migraines for some unknown reason. Even IV treatments didn’t make a dent. While on the medicine, even my “normal” headaches (from hunger, stress, etc.) drastically decreased in number.

I went off of it earlier this year due to losing insurance coverage, but so far the migraines haven’t reappeared.

I was on it for six months, up to 100 mgs. It didn’t help me, and I had some unpleasant side effects - word-finding problems, tingly feet, and a really bad episode on vacation that my neuro and I are attributing to jet lag, lack of sleep, and accidental mis-dosing on my Topamax.

Lots of people do really well one it, though.

To clarify, it probably did help the migraines a little, but the side effects were bad enough that I had to go off it.

I do not have migraines, but my doctor prescribed 200 MG of topamax daily for help in control of compulsive eating. I’ve lost about 2 lbs a month for over a year without any effort on my part. I’ve also curtailed compulsive shopping and cut down on smoking by about two-thirds.

I had no idea that it helps with headaches. I think it was originally developed for seizures.

Yes, it’s an epilepsy drug. When I first started taking it, its use for migraines was very new. In fact, it took a couple of phone calls and a letter from my neuro to get my insurance company to cover it, since they (that faceless corporate “they”) knew I didn’t have epilepsy and wanted to know why I was going to be taking such an expensive drug for a condition I didn’t have.

I’m on it. It has brought my migraines down dramatically - not that they were very frequent, but they are nearly gone when I’m on Topamax.

It has weird side effets for me in the ramp up phase of dosage. I got the tingling extremeties, which was no big deal. But I also got this strange feeling where my feet felt ten feet away from my head, especially while driving. I’m glad to say this has gone away. I didn’t like that at all.

I just read an article where they’ve found that the drug has essentially switched off alcoholism in some people. It’s really amazing what they’re finding about the brain just from this one drug.

I find this fascinating. Can someone tell me HOW this drug works? I don’t have migraines, but I know people who do, and I feel so sorry for them. I get about two normal headaches a year, and I simply can’t understand how people can live through this intense, magnified pain. Fill me in if you can. Thanks!

I started on Topomax a month ago. It’s taken a while but I’m beginning to see a real decrease in the frequency and severity of my migraines and cluster headaches. I also experienced the tingling in my hands, feet and occassionally my lips. It made Coke taste funny, and has an appetite-suppresant effect, so I’m off caffeine and have lost some weight. My migraines are down from daily to about 2-3 times a week and my neurologist has said that if they don’t continue to improve over the next month he’ll increase the dosage from 100/mg a day.

I have had terrible insomnia since I went on Topomax. My doc has said it’ isn’t a common side effect and thought it may either be from abruptly stopping caffeine and ibuprofin or from some other cause. If it continues he wants to do a sleep study.


I was told that it reduces the sensitivity of “oversensitive brains.” Therefore, a flash of light, for instance, would no longer send the brain into uncontrolled throes of pain when it really has no need to. Thus it’s effectiveness as both a seizure and migraine med.

The usual IANAD, etc. etc.

Yeesh. I just read the title of this thread as:

Migraine Dopers – any luck with Tampax?

And I thought…shoving tampons in your ears probably won’t help…

To expand on what liirouge said, my neurologist said it works on the electrical impulses in the brain, slows them down or calms them down or something. And there was something about the synapses. I don’t remember all of it, but it seemed to make sense at the time.
Someone doing epilepsy research decided (for whatever reason?) it might work on migraines.

Thanks, everyone. I think I’m going to give it a try. I have one friend IRL who has had success with Topamax, but most of the stuff I’ve read on-line has been negative (I did remember your experience, porcupine, but I didn’t know it was Topamax. Yeeeesh!)

So many familiar names here. Perhaps we should all get together for a MigraDope. How different would it be from the usual dope-fest? I’m picturing a dark room, jello molds, ginger ale and demerol drips.

Oh, and Kalhoun? I’d sell my only child to Cthulhu for 2 headaches a year. :slight_smile:

Just say when, I’m there. :wink: