Go back to Tremor Resources home

Topiramate Side Effects

Before you take any medication, it is important for you to be familiar with all possible complications and side effects. One commonly used anticonvulsant medication is called Topirmate, which usually goes by the name Topamax. What are the main side effects of Topiramate? In this article, we’ll discuss Topiramate side effects, uses, and alternatives for those seeking other treatment options.


What Is Topiramate?

Before discussing Topamax side effects, it is important to discuss how this medication works. Topiramate is an anticonvulsant medication designed to treat seizure disorders. It works by producing bursts of electrical activity in the brain. By stimulating electrical activity, this medication restores the normal balance of nerve activity within the brain.

In addition, this medication is believed to calm nerve signals that are typically associated with pain. Sometimes, pain results from abnormal electrical activity in the brain, and by targeting those specific nerves, this medication can be an effective treatment option.

Topiramate Uses

The main use of Topiramate is for seizures. It is categorized primarily as an anticonvulsant, which means it can help people who suffer from certain types of seizures, such as partial-onset seizures and tonic-clonic seizures. It can be prescribed alone or in conjunction with other medications to help people control seizure symptoms and disorders. Typically, this Topiramate is used to prevent seizures from happening and is not considered to be a first-line medication or treatment for seizures that are actively taking place.

Although this medication is typically used to treat seizures, there are several other applications as well. Additional uses for Topiramate include:

  • Migraine treatment
  • Alcohol dependence treatment
  • Essential Tremor treatment

Topiramate For Essential Tremor

Topiramate is also considered anessential tremor medication. Essential tremor is a common movement disorder that causes involuntary, rhythmic shaking. It can impact just about any part of the body, but it is commonly found in the hands and head. The exact cause ofessential tremor is still being actively researched, however,  it is widely believed that a specific part of the brain that controls the movement of muscles develops problems in people with this disorder.

Even though Topiramate can be prescribed to treat this issue, there are some potential side effects that people should know about as well. What are the side effects of Topiramate?

What Are The Side Effects Of Topiramate?

Topiramate can cause a variety of side effects ranging from temporary dizziness and nausea to less common cognitive effects, like apathy and loss of interest in daily activities. Before taking Topiramate, it’s important to discuss the medication’s side effects with your doctor.

Common Side Effects

There are several common Topamax side effects that people need to know. They include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Pins and needles sensation
  • Mild confusion
  • Double vision
  • Dizziness
  • Memory problems
  • Pressure changes behind the eyes
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty paying attention

Less Common Side Effects

A few of the less common Topiramate side effects to note include:

  • Chest pain
  • Body chills
  • Apathy, lack of emotion
  • Sore throat
  • Stomach pain
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Difficulty sleeping

Rare Side Effects

There are also several rare side effects to consider before taking this medication. They include:

  • Blood in the urine
  • Hearing loss
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Swelling in certain parts of the body
  • Trouble breathing

These side effects are rare, but they are possible. Anyone who has questions or concerns about side effects should reach out to a doctor for more information.

Do Topiramate Side Effects Go Away?

It is possible that these side effects could go away on their own, but this is something that is typically handled on a case-by-case basis. As your body gets used to the medication, the frequency and severity of side effects should get better. Many of the side effects of Topiramate are not permanent. For example, if you suffer from nausea and vomiting when you first take the medication, this is not something that generally continues throughout the entire treatment length.

On the other hand, you need to talk to your doctor about side effects that are generally considered to be more severe. For example, if you develop hearing loss as a result of this medication, you need to talk to your doctor to see if the form of hearing loss you have developed is reversible. Not all of the side effects of this medication will go away after you start taking it, which is why you need to reach out to your doctor for more information.

In general, you should expect the side effects to go away a few days or weeks after you start taking the medication. If you have any questions or concerns about the side effects at all, you need to reach out to your doctor. If the side effects persist for a few weeks, or if you believe they are having a negative impact on your overall quality of life, you need to reach out to your doctor for more information.

How To Take Topiramate

Topamax is a prescription medication and there are different doses of this medication available. The exact dose depends on your individual health and objective. Topiramate is typically prescribed as either tablets or sprinkle capsules, so you should talk to your doctor about the different options available. That way, you can find the form that is most convenient for you.

Like other anticonvulsant medications, you are typically started on a very low dose and move up gradually as needed. Generally, the doctor will start you on a dose of 25 mg or 50 mg per day. Then, if needed, the dose will be moved out over the course of several weeks.

This medication can also be prescribed for children. Typically, children take a lower dose, but the overall dose is dependent on your child’s weight and overall health. The doctor will let you know what dose your child requires, but you should ask questions if you have them.

Are There Alternatives To Topiramate?

Yes, there are plenty of alternatives to Topiramate. There are plenty of anticonvulsant medications available, and there are other medications available for migraines and Essential Tremor as well. Everyone responds to medications differently, so what works for one person might not necessarily work for you. If you are interested in learning more about alternative medications, you need to talk to your doctor. That way, they can find a medication that is right for you, your health, and your lifestyle.

With that said, all medications have side effects. Depending on your health and treatment objectives, medication may or may not be an effective course of treatment. Fortunately, there are pharmacological and non-pharmacological options available.

If you have been diagnosed with Essential Tremor, you may consider talking to your doctor aboutCala TAPS therapy delivered by Cala Trio–a non-invasive and effective treatment option for hand tremor due to Essential Tremor. Our revolutionary wrist-worn medical device stimulates the nerves that cause Essential Tremor symptoms, providing you with an alternative treatment option without the complications or side effects from medications.

Understand Medication Side Effects: Other Treatment Options Are Available

In the end, these are just a few of the most important points you need to keep in mind regarding potential medication side effects. Topamax can be an effective treatment option for seizure disorders, and other medical issues,  but some people may develop side effects. You always need to talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of all treatment options before deciding what is right for you.

If you suffer from Essential Tremor, you may want to learn more about Cala TAPS therapy, which could serve as a helpful alternative to prescription medications. Explore all potential treatment options before deciding what is right for you.