Topamax or generic Topiramate, is an anticonvulsant medication that may be prescribed to treat a number of medical conditions. Topamax is used to help control generalized tonic-clonic seizures and partial seizures in epilepsy. It is also used in the treatment of severe childhood epilepsy called Lennox-Gastaut syndrome in children as young as 2 years of age. The generic alternative is not manufactured by the company that makes the brand product.
The brain and nerves are made up of many nerve cells that communicate with each other through electrical signals. These signals must be carefully regulated for the brain and nerves to function properly. When abnormally rapid and repetitive electrical signals are released in the brain, the brain becomes over-stimulated and normal function is disturbed. This results in fits or seizures.
Topamax or Topiramate generic prevents seizures by stabilizing the electrical nerve activity in the brain 3 ways. First; Topamax improves the activity of Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter in your brain that plays the role of a calming agent. Second; Topamax acts as a sodium channel blocker in order to prevent excessive electrical activity that can trigger a seizure. Third; Topamax inhibits another neurotransmitter called glutamate that has the ability to excite nerve cells.
There are many conditions that can cause seizures, such as Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, a rare and severe form of childhood epilepsy. Most children with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) experience some degree of impaired intellectual functioning or information processing, along with developmental delays, and behavioral disturbances. Children with LGS have frequent seizures and they have several different kinds of seizures. Doctors may prescribe a variety of medications, including Topamax, to reduce the number of LGS seizures.
Topamax is used to treat adults and children at least 12 years old who have 4 or more migraine headaches a month and who have not responded to, or cannot take, medications to prevent an acute migraine attack.
Tell your doctor about other medical conditions or allergies you have and list any OTC and Rx drugs, herbal remedies, and dietary or vitamin supplements you currently take or use to be certain Topamax is safe to take.
You should inform your doctor at once if you begin having vision problems, unexplained weakness, a high fever, or irregular heartbeat. Topamax can also reduce the effectiveness of your birth control pills, so your doctor may recommend alternative contraceptive methods as a precaution. If you do become pregnant while taking Topamax, inform your physician right away.
Combining alcohol with Topamax can cause increased seizure activity and potentially dangerous side effects. Before you take use any narcotic pain relievers, muscle relaxants, or sleeping pills, talk to your doctor.