Topamax issue...weird predicament

Discussion in 'Healthful Living / Natural Treatments' started by Nomad, Mar 28, 2008.

  1. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    If you've been on these boards for awhile and know of me, you might recall that I take Topamax for migraine prevention. It is a well known/approved preventative treatment for this.

    When I first got on Topamax, I lost about 5 or six pounds. I was taking about 100 mgs., sometmes a little higher depending on how bad my migraines were. However, my memory was so awful, that I was constantly begging the doctor to try something else and lower the Topamax. Eventually, we lowered the Topa to 50 mgs. I immediately gained back those 5 problem. I've stayed at this dosage for a few years....weight seemed steady....depending on what I ate...all kinda normal.

    Now, I'm going through the "changes." This in combination with having some Topamax in my system is creating havoc. I can't remember anything and I'm not kidding around. If I get nervous ... it is the kiss of death. (This is not so much a rant abouit Topamax...cause I know it helps folks and after all I've taken it for years because it really helps to prevent my pain).

    Recenty, I discovered I could lower the Topa by 12. 5 mgs. and take Butterbur (from health food store) in its place and not wake up with a migraine. Guess what? I have gained 5 pounds in the last three weeks! I am so mad, I could 1) cry 2) scream 3) put my fist through a wall! I'm concerned that I will continue gaining...

    I eat small portions, eat mostly healthy food and exercise five days a week...yet I am gaining like CRAZY! My doctor hinted that my metabolism has been negatively altertered, but offers no hints on how to correct it or how long it will last.

    It reminds me in some way PERHAPS of someone who quits smoking....:biting: and then eats the very same food...does the very same things...and gains weight. The PROBLEM is that I eat normally and exercise regularly.

    1. Has anyone gotten off of Topamax and gained weight?
    2. Has anyone gotten off of cigarettes and started to gain weight, but did something to stop this? Have you heard of a way to stop this from happening?
    3. Is eating like a bird my only option at this point? I can NOT keep on gaining (especially for no reason! UGH!) like this!



    p.s. If you ever even consider taking Topamax for weight loss reasons...PLEASE please please please please think LONG and hard about it first.
  2. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    My dear friend,

    I gained over 40 lbs since I quit smoking last June. I am completely rotund.

    Then, about a month or so ago, the stress from my DEX (well, we'll just blame him since he's not here to defend himself) made me run out and pick up some smokes. Guess what? I've lost weight.

    It stinks. It stinks to high heaven. I have Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and should not be smoking. But I am at risk for all kinds of overwieght related health problems.

  3. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    As I went through the last years before menopause, I gained weight too, Nomad.

    Something like twenty pounds.

    Most of it was fluid.

    It could be that this is what is happening to you, too.

    Now that I am through it, the excess weight is just gone ~ no bloating, no swollen eyes, no cravings I just can't ignore.

    Moods have stabilized, too.

    Will your physician prescribe a diuretic?

  4. julieb

    julieb New Member

    I actually took Topamax as well and had the same issue, i stopped taking it and gained weight.

    I went to see a health doctor and i finally have my wieght under controll, I only eat 1000 calories a day and do a normal workout. I also drink 12-14 glasses of water each day to keep the fluid gain down.

    This really helped me, maybe it will help you. Good luck!!
  5. change

    change New Member

    Oh Nomad!!! I'm so sorry to hear about this and a little alarmed too because I take Topamax. I have gotten off it though for months in a row and not gained weight. I did lose weight when I first began it yeats ago though but that was at a higher dosage than I am on now. Then my neurologist became alarmed and reduced my dosage and I gained some back. I've been more or less the same weight since not counting times of stress. (I tend to lose weight when I'm in crisis.) I don't know what to tell you about the Topamax. I do work out quite a bit. (I don't know how much compared to you.) I run 2 miles a few times a week and I also sometimes attend 45 minute classes called things like "butts & gutts" and "chiseled" so you can imagine. They involve cardio plus weights. I also do a little light weights on my own on some days that I run, depends if I run at the gym or outside. Best advise I can give is to eat small meals throughout the day instead of any big ones and not to drink much cafffeine. I also eat pretty healthy. I love chocolate and candy and those are my weaknesses but I stay away from fast food. I also don't eat chips much. I satisfy that craving with nuts and things like healthy crackers. I admit, I do eat very light lunches but I never skip breakfast. I hope some of this helps you. Again, the best advise I can give is to exercise vigorously. When I run, I RUN (not really jogging).

    Good luck and I'm so sorry Topamax has done this to you. I'm worried helps my headaches so much too. I tried to get off it for several months and I was miserable. I wanted to get pregnant. Apparently, you shouldn't take it if you're pregnant. I'm back on it. 100mg. a day for me. I just can't stand the headaches. I get them daily as it is.

  6. Martie

    Martie Moderator

    Hi Nomad,

    I have never taken Topomax but I had problems with my weight fluctuating for "no reason" for years...I finally reached an age that I could not eat and not gain...

    I BELIEVE but cannot prove (although my overweight doctor is impressed) that only exercise will change metabolism back to what it was at a younger age..

    I currently eat "normally" exercise 5 day a week and LIFT WEIGHTS which I think is critical because increased muscle mass burns calories at rest 24/7 ....which is a very good thing. I have lost about 45 lbs in two years doing this. My BMI is currently 24.9 so I could "quit" losing....I would like to lose a bit more because I am currently between sizes and if I lose a little more, it will be easier to have clothing that fits reliably. I am definitely not into "thin" because I think it is very aging when some one is as old as I am....I have found that cannot go on a daily without food...the eating like a bird thing doesn't work for me. My current strategy is to put calories in and then burn them off...I think the "eat and burn" cycle changed my metabolism back to what it once was. Why I believe this is if I do not exercise for a few days, I do not gain...however, I have never skipped exercise for more than 5 or 6 days (on vacation) to see how long it would take for my metabolism to slow down...I don't want to find out.

    I don't know if any of this applies to you, and I hate to sound like an exercise fanatic, but it worked for me. Perhaps it would work fo ryou with or without considering the Topomax.

    Best to you,