How to Taper Off of Topamax
Topamax is a medication that is commonly prescribed to patients suffering from migraines and seizures. This medication is believed to alleviate symptoms by blocking chemicals in the brain that cause inflammation in the blood vessels. Many individuals experience side effects such as numbness, memory issues and fatigue. These people may want to taper off the medication.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Talk with your doctor. Because each individual’s health circumstances are different, you should always talk with your doctor before discontinuing a medication. If you have additional medical issues, your doctor can provide insight into any difficulties you may experience when tapering off Topamax.
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Discuss why you are discontinuing the medication. Like many medications, Topamax has some serious side-effects including vision problems. If you are experiencing side effects, discuss these with your doctor immediately.
Reduce your dosage consumed over the span of several weeks. When tapering off Topamax, take several weeks to taper off the medication. Some doctors will advise to reduce your dose by 25 to 50 mg. each week until you are completely off the medication.
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Monitor your symptoms. If you are taking Topamax for migraine prevention, you may experience an increase in migraines when discontinuing the medication. Take note of your symptoms. Discuss alternative treatments with your medical provider.
Consider a replacement medication. If you are discontinuing Topamax because of side effects, ask about a medication with less side effects. Everyone responds differently to medication. It can take trying a few medications before finding the right one.
Keep a log of your migraines or seizures. Assist your doctor with finding the right medication by keeping a log of migraines or seizures. This will assist in tracking the increase or decrease when stopping Topamax and transitioning onto another medication.
Never abruptly stop taking Topamax. Stopping the medication abruptly can cause severe side effects in some individuals. Always consult your doctor to discuss a titration plan to discontinue the medication.
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- Silberstein SD, Neto W, Schmitt J, Jacobs D & MIGR-001 Study Group. Topiramate in Migraine Prevention: Results of a Large Controlled Trial. Arch Neurol. 2004 Apr;61(4):490-495. doi: 10.1001/archneur.61.4.490
- Silberstein SD. Topiramate in Migraine Prevention. Headache. 2005 Apr;45 Suppl 1:S57-65. doi: 10.1111.j.1526-4610.2005.4501005.x
- U.S. Food and Drug Administrtion. Medication Guide: Topamax. https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2009/020505s038s039,020844s032s034lbl.pdf
- Keep a log of your migraines or seizures. Assist your doctor with finding the right medication by keeping a log of migraines or seizures. This will assist in tracking the increase or decrease when stopping Topamax and transitioning onto another medication.
- Never abruptly stop taking Topamax. Stopping the medication abruptly can cause severe side effects in some individuals. Always consult your doctor to discuss a titration plan to discontinue the medication.
Nicki Howell started her professional writing career in 2002, specializing in areas such as health, fitness and personal finance. She has been published at health care websites, such as HealthTree, and is a ghostwriter for a variety of small health care organizations. She earned a Bachelor of Science in business administration from Portland State University.