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Why is this medication prescribed?
Topiramate is used with other medications to treat certain types of seizures in patients with epilepsy or Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (a disorder that causes seizures and developmental delays). Topiramate is used to treat patients who continue to have seizures even when they take other anti-seizure medications. Topiramate is in a class of medications called anticonvulsants. It works by decreasing abnormal excitement in the brain.
How should this medicine be used?
Topiramate comes as a tablet and a sprinkle capsule to take by mouth. It is usually taken with or without food twice a day in the morning and evening. Take topiramate at around the same times every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take topiramate exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Topiramate tablets have a bitter taste and lose their effectiveness quickly when broken, so you should swallow them whole. Do not split, chew, or crush them.
Your doctor will probably start you on a low dose of topiramate and gradually increase your dose, not more than once every week.
Topiramate may control your seizures but will not cure your condition. Continue to take topiramate even if you feel well. Do not stop taking topiramate without talking to your doctor. If you suddenly stop taking topiramate, you may have severe seizures. Your doctor will probably decrease your dose gradually.
The sprinkle capsules may be swallowed whole or opened and poured over food. To take the sprinkle capsule with food, follow these steps:
Other uses for this medicine
Topiramate is also sometimes used to treat cluster headaches and infantile spasms (a condition that causes uncontrolled stiffening of the body in babies). Talk to your doctor about the risks of using this medication for your condition.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking topiramate,
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Talk to your doctor about increasing the amount of food you eat if you lose weight while you are taking topiramate.
Talk to your doctor before changing your diet or beginning any type of weight loss program. Do not follow a ketogenic diet (a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet used to control seizures) or any other high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet, such as the Atkin's diet, while taking this medication.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. You may have seizures if you miss doses of topiramate.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Topiramate can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), especially in children. If you have any of these symptoms, eat or drink a food or beverage with sugar in it, such as hard candy or fruit juice, and call your doctor immediately. Symptoms of low blood sugar include:
Topiramate may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
Some side effects can be serious. The following symptoms are uncommon, but if you experience any of them, call your doctor immediately:
Topiramate may cause osteoporosis (a condition in which bones can break more easily) in adults and rickets (abnormal, curved bone growth) in children. Topiramate may also slow the growth of children. These conditions can be caught early and prevented through regular laboratory tests. Talk to your doctor about the risks of taking topiramate.
Topiramate may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Tablets should be stored at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Sprinkle capsules should be stored at or below 77° F. Never store broken tablets or mixtures of sprinkles and soft food. These should be used right away or thrown away. Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
Symptoms of overdose may include:
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your body's response to topiramate.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT