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What Is Topamax & How Does It Treat Epilepsy?

Learn about the epilepsy medication Topamax from Steve Wolf, MD and Patty McGoldrick, NP in this Howcast video.

Transcript

Topamax or Topiramate is one of the medications used to control epilepsy. Its big side effect is that it can decrease appetite, some people think that it can cause some cognitive dulling or some word finding issues, but it hasn't been that much our experience. You know, nickname they give it is Dopamax, uh, and it's word finding difficulties, you can't find the word or such, so this has been certainly described, and it seems like older people are more sensitive to it than children are. There's a risk of kidney stones, um, a risk of glaucoma and blurry vision, so if you experience some blurry vision with it you need to get checked out and make sure that's okay, and also in some younger children, they don't sweat on it, which can be a problem in the summer. It's also used for migraines, to prevent migraines, so it's pretty commonly used. It also gives some side effects of tingling in your fingers and toes, which is dose related and goes away by itself. It's one of the new medications that we use in children and small children and in infants because it has some neuroprotective qualities, so it prevents seizures as well as stopping the seizures that are currently occurring. So it's important if you're on this medication to describe to the people taking care of you whether you are experiencing some difficulties finding words, if you find confusion, you're losing your car keys all the time, something like that, because that could be a side effect of the medication. That as well as the numbness and tingling and again, it's a good medication to use in neonates and newborn babies to prevent and control their seizures.

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