Topamax and irritability

ERIKA1987 Community Member August 18, 2009
  • Well to start I just joined this site today...it's been very helpful to me actually. The reason I got on here was because I've had migraines for about 10 years now, pretty much ever since I can remember as a teenager. Now I have them all the time, sometimes everyday. They've done scans and everything else and can't find anything wrong so I've just been put on medicine now since that seems to help somewhat. Well they put me on Topamax and I have been on the highest dosage now for a couple weeks and

    I seem to flip at the littlest things. Ever since I've been on this medicine I seem to be very irritable. I talked to my doctor today and he said it probably won't go away but to try the medicine for a couple more weeks. I just wanted to know if anyone else has had those problems? I mean I was never that way before and now I feel very out of control. Almost like I am bipolar because one minute I will be fine and the next I'll be so mad at something and I will want to cry. I just don't know what to do. The other medication my doctor wants to try is verapamil....just wondering is anyone has tried it and if there are any horible side effects? I've read up on it and it seems like an OK medication. Well, thanks for reading :) This site has been a great help to me!

27 Comments
  • Anonymous
    Karen
    Aug. 23, 2009

    Hi Erika,

    I've been on Topamax for 3 years now.  My doctor recently increased it to 200mg a day (up from 150mg).  I never noticed any significant mood changes.  I'm still having the daily headaches so I'm not too sure how well it's really working...however, they ARE better than they were before so they must be doing some good.  I was recently...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    Hi Erika,

    I've been on Topamax for 3 years now.  My doctor recently increased it to 200mg a day (up from 150mg).  I never noticed any significant mood changes.  I'm still having the daily headaches so I'm not too sure how well it's really working...however, they ARE better than they were before so they must be doing some good.  I was recently put on Verapimil (Calan) 3 times a day.  So far I haven't noticed a big change.....I still have to watch my stress levels, being outside....etc.  All the stuff I've always had to pay attention to.  I'm hoping that within time, between the two of the, I will notice some improvment.  All we can do is hope, right?!!  I'm not sure I've been all that helpful.  I think the Topamax hits different people differently.  Keep talking to your doctor....and don't give up.  Just because he has the credentials YOU are the one having the headaches.....good luck!!

     

    Karen

    • ERIKA1987
      Aug. 24, 2009

      I definitely think you're right, it affects different people differently, as with pretty much any medication. I just didn't know if it was a dosage issue or what. So you take the Topamax and the Verapamil together? I haven't heard of doing that yet. All I know is I am not giving up...I will find something out there. I still have daily headaches too along with...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      I definitely think you're right, it affects different people differently, as with pretty much any medication. I just didn't know if it was a dosage issue or what. So you take the Topamax and the Verapamil together? I haven't heard of doing that yet. All I know is I am not giving up...I will find something out there. I still have daily headaches too along with the couple migraines a week that I still get. It sucks, but I am willing to try anything as long as the side effects don't outweigh the benefits which is where I was at with the Topamax. Well good luck with eveything and you did help, every bit of info always helps! thanks!!

  • LynnT
    Aug. 21, 2009

    I noticed a little irritability, but I also noticed that it is easier to become dehydrated on Topamax because it reduces your ability to perspire...so be careful working outside or in hot conditions because becoming dehydrated can add to more migraines.

    • ERIKA1987
      Aug. 22, 2009

      You know, I've noticed ever since being on Topamax I just can't stop drinking water! I feel like I am dehydrated ALL the time. I don't have the unable to perspire issue, I definitely do that enough! :) But I have noticed feeling dehydrated and I'm sure starting this medication in the summer didn't help matters either! Thanks for your help though, it's something...

      RHMLucky777

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      You know, I've noticed ever since being on Topamax I just can't stop drinking water! I feel like I am dehydrated ALL the time. I don't have the unable to perspire issue, I definitely do that enough! :) But I have noticed feeling dehydrated and I'm sure starting this medication in the summer didn't help matters either! Thanks for your help though, it's something I will have to keep an eye for the summer

    • LynnT
      Aug. 22, 2009

      I'm not on Topamax anymore, but I have developed a healthy habit of drinking water and staying hydrated as a result of being on the medication.  I suffer from the hot flashes of menopause and did notice a relief from them while on Topamax, and I experienced a slight weight loss as well.  Those are two benefits I now miss by not being on Topamax! Laughing

    • ERIKA1987
      Aug. 22, 2009

      yeah that has been one nice thing about being on it is being on top of staying hydrated and i unfortuantely haven't experienced the weight loss :( i have a thyroid issue too...I'm not really complaining, just trying to get all my issues under control so I can live again!!

    • LynnT
      Aug. 22, 2009

      I am looking into getting a referral from my Dr. to an Endocrinologist.  I read on this site that just getting my TSH checked for thyroid may not tell the total story about my thyroid health, and my mom had thyroid issues.  I've had other health issues in the past (infertility, hormone imbalances, etc.) that make me wonder if I'm not deficient in...

      RHMLucky777

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      I am looking into getting a referral from my Dr. to an Endocrinologist.  I read on this site that just getting my TSH checked for thyroid may not tell the total story about my thyroid health, and my mom had thyroid issues.  I've had other health issues in the past (infertility, hormone imbalances, etc.) that make me wonder if I'm not deficient in either my pituatary or thyroid glands.  The nurse at my husband's place of employment told him that seeing an endocrinologist might help me with my migraines.

    • ERIKA1987
      Aug. 22, 2009

      Hmm...that's interesting. Yeah I've heard of that too. But I've also read that if your hormones are out of whack that migraine meds may not be effective until your hormones are balanced. I actually found out at my yearly exam, my doc said my cholesterol was high which is strange because I am not overweight or anything and I eat healthy and there's really no...

      RHMLucky777

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      Hmm...that's interesting. Yeah I've heard of that too. But I've also read that if your hormones are out of whack that migraine meds may not be effective until your hormones are balanced. I actually found out at my yearly exam, my doc said my cholesterol was high which is strange because I am not overweight or anything and I eat healthy and there's really no reason for it to be high. So she did more blood tests because if you have thyroid issues, it'll make your cholesterol high! So I got the results back from that and my TSH was high and we did one more, more extensive blood test and found out my T3 levels are high and T4 is low or the other way around, I cant really remember and she diagnosed me with hashimotos thyroiditis which is a form of hypothyroidism. I've done so much research and from what I've gathered, it's not that the thyroid issued cause the migraines it's just the meds might have no effect when the hormones aren't being treated. My doctor said my migraines might actually go away once I start taking the thyroid hormone, maybe maybe not...but once I am taking the hormones, the migraine meds might effectively work! Oh yeah and it's true, TSH levels don't always tell you everything, sometime thryoid issues can stay dormant for years. Your hormones can be going crazy but your thyroid levels may be just between the "normal levels" so it goes undetected. So yeah if you feel something is going on with your hormones, definitely talk to your doctor or get a referral and see what you can do. I know this is a lot of info :) but hey if I can help someone else out I'll be happy. I'm 22 years old and having to deal with this on my own and finding everything out for myself because no one has any idea why this happened to me. Hopefully this helps you and I hope you figure something out!

    • LynnT
      Aug. 22, 2009

      Thanks for this info... I appreciate you sharing it with me!  I'm 53 and have experienced a lot of things that I can't believe are just age-related.  I thought by now my migraines would subside, but they've gotten worse.  I'll never stop looking for answers so every little bit of info never seems to be enough.  Smile

    • ERIKA1987
      Aug. 24, 2009

       

      LynnT, No problem! I'll never stop looking for answers either...there's just got to be something out there that'll help with the migraines :) Hope you have a good day!

    • Nancy Harris Bonk
      Aug. 22, 2009

      Hi again,

       

      Migraine, Headache, and Thyroid  is a great article that may answer some questions about thyroid and Migraine for you.

       

      If you happen to stop taking Topamax, please do stop taking it abruptly. Discuss it with your pharmacist and/or doctor.

       

      Nancy

    • ERIKA1987
      Aug. 24, 2009

      Nancy, Yeah Teri sent me a link to that article and I read it. It helped a lot. And even though my doctor didn't tell me to taper off on the Topamax, I've definitely done enough research to know that. Thank goodnessI did that and I have everyone on this site! I've started that already so I can try something else! Thanks!

       

       

    • Anonymous
      J
      Sep. 13, 2009

      Hi there -

       

      I wanted to thank everyone for posting your experiences - I have recently started topamax and while my migraines have disappeared (so far...) the side effects are very disruptive to my everyday routine.  I am ALWAYS thirsty - I didn't realize that this could cause dehydration.  Also, when I went to 75 mg I became extremely irritable...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      Hi there -

       

      I wanted to thank everyone for posting your experiences - I have recently started topamax and while my migraines have disappeared (so far...) the side effects are very disruptive to my everyday routine.  I am ALWAYS thirsty - I didn't realize that this could cause dehydration.  Also, when I went to 75 mg I became extremely irritable and didn't care about anything! I am back down to 50 mg and I am still having trouble concentrating at work - nothing seems to interest me.  My husband is worried that the topamax may be causing depression - does anyone else experience this?  I just don't want to stop taking it because it is wonderful not having headaches - this is the first thing that has worked in ten years!  People find it so easy to say "you need to stop taking this..."  but I feel like no one understands how terrible migraine pain is.

    • ERIKA1987
      Sep. 14, 2009

      Well it sounds like you may be experiencing what I have been going through while on Topamax. While I am no longer taking it anymore, the irritability was too much for me. I have a young one at home and I felt like it was affecting how I am with her so I couldnt take it anymore. I got mad at the littlest things and then I felt like crying. The concentration...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      Well it sounds like you may be experiencing what I have been going through while on Topamax. While I am no longer taking it anymore, the irritability was too much for me. I have a young one at home and I felt like it was affecting how I am with her so I couldnt take it anymore. I got mad at the littlest things and then I felt like crying. The concentration issues also were really bad for me, I didn't go to school this semester because I just didnt feel like I would perform very well. Yes, depression is a side effect of this medication so it may very well be caused by the Topamax. As my doctor put it when I asked him whether I should try something else, "Are the side effects worse than the migraines?" I tried the medication for a couple more week at a lower dosage, then I just decided that yes the side effects were worse than the migraines for me so now I am trying Verapamil. Its up to you though whether you want to try something else. There are too many different medications out there to not try something. Good luck though  I hope you find something that works for you!!

  • Anonymous
    redfreddie
    Aug. 20, 2009

    I have been using Verapamil for migrains for over 9 yrs.  I have had no side effects and it has seemed to help quite a bit.  Although I still get migraines it has been a lot less.

    • ERIKA1987
      Aug. 20, 2009

      Well thanks for the hope that it may work for me :) I'm praying that it works. Mine are really bad and they seem to be getting worse all the time. The topamax worked the first time around before I got pregnant and now it doesn't so hopefully the verapamil does! I've done some research and it seems like theres not that many side effects for it and if theres...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      Well thanks for the hope that it may work for me :) I'm praying that it works. Mine are really bad and they seem to be getting worse all the time. The topamax worked the first time around before I got pregnant and now it doesn't so hopefully the verapamil does! I've done some research and it seems like theres not that many side effects for it and if theres any at all they're not that bad....and again thanks!

  • Nancy Harris Bonk
    Aug. 18, 2009

    Hello, and welcome to MyMigraineConnection.com!

     

    I'm so glad you've found us! We have lots of information for you about Migraine disease and headaches. Let's get started, ok?

     

    Topamax may not be the best drug to treat Migraines for everyone, but it is one that we hear a great deal about. It may work great for some people, others have...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    Hello, and welcome to MyMigraineConnection.com!

     

    I'm so glad you've found us! We have lots of information for you about Migraine disease and headaches. Let's get started, ok?

     

    Topamax may not be the best drug to treat Migraines for everyone, but it is one that we hear a great deal about. It may work great for some people, others have problems with it. There are some potentially dangerous side effects to be aware of. Topamax can have the potential to produce mood changes and other things. You may find this article helpful:  Migraine Preventives - Some To Carry New Suicidality Warning.

     

    If your medications potential side effects outweigh its benefits, it is time to reconsider this drug. You doctor should understand that and not suggest to keep taking it. How long have you  been taking Topamax? One of the keys to starting this medication is a slow titration schedule, usually 25 mg once a day for a week. If too large a dose is started too soon and too fast that is when problems with potential side effects can happen. You can find that information in this article: Dosage and Tapering Topamax for Migraine Prevention.   

     

    Topamax is just one of many Migraine preventive medications, so don't lose hope. Migraine Preventive Medications - Too Many Options To Give Up! has over 100 different medications including verapamil which is commonly used for Migraine prevention. Please keep in mind that it can take up to three months to see a reduction in our Migraine frequency and severity as our body gets used to the new med.

     

    Thank you for creating a SharePost. SharePosts are a form of blogging, and there are many things you can do with them. You can share an experience, suggest something that's helped you, use SharePosts as a Migraine and headache journal, and many other things.

    We also have a discussion forum that you may want to check out. Especially if you have questions or are looking for information, you may find the interaction on the forum to be quite helpful. To get to the forum, just look for the orange box marked "Manage" and click on the Migraine Forums link. Because our forums are maintained by a third party, you'll need to register for the forum. You can use the same information you used to create your community log-in if you like. If you want to go directly to the forum, you can click HERE.

    Along with your personal "My Home" page and the discussion forum, you'll find links to a great deal of helpful information and a spot to sign up for our free newsletter on the main page of our site, http://www.MyMigraineConnection.com.

    If you have any questions, please feel free to post them to the forum or send me a message through my profile.

    Welcome again,

     

    Nancy Bonk
    MyMigraineConnection.com Expert

    • ERIKA1987
      Aug. 19, 2009

      Thanks for your help! Yeah I have been on theTopamax for about 2 months now. They started me on the 25 mg and went up each week and when I finally got up to the high dosage that's then my problems began. I was fine up until then. I am just to the point where I think the side effects are outweighing the benefits expecially when the side effects are ruining my...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      Thanks for your help! Yeah I have been on theTopamax for about 2 months now. They started me on the 25 mg and went up each week and when I finally got up to the high dosage that's then my problems began. I was fine up until then. I am just to the point where I think the side effects are outweighing the benefits expecially when the side effects are ruining my relationships with people in my family. Thank God they are understanding and they realize what I am going through but still I dont think it is worth putting myself through that and putting everyone else through that you know? So I think I am going to start the verapamil. It just looks like a better option to go with at this point in my life. But really, thanks for your help! I really appreciate it.

    • Anonymous
      Ordiefam
      Aug. 20, 2009

      I was on verapamil for years for my migraines and it worked fine.  My husband tried the Topamax for his migraines and went through the same thing that you are going through.

      Currently, now, I am not on any preventative medication, because they stopped working for me.  I have chronic daily headaches and take midrin on occassion when they get really...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      I was on verapamil for years for my migraines and it worked fine.  My husband tried the Topamax for his migraines and went through the same thing that you are going through.

      Currently, now, I am not on any preventative medication, because they stopped working for me.  I have chronic daily headaches and take midrin on occassion when they get really bad.  But mine are coming from the base of my neck and the only thing that really helps are nerve block shots.  But you should not do those too often either. So it is a catch 22.  I pray that they find the right treatment plan for you.  Migraines are no fun!

    • Anonymous
      ERIKA1987
      Aug. 20, 2009

      Thanks so much...yeah I am thinking that I am going to try the verapamil because I can't deal with the Topamax anymore. I feel crazy and out of control and that's just not me. I'm a very lad back person. So hopefully this works out for me! That really sucks that you aren't on anything right now. I don't know if I would be able to do that. But I also have like...

      RHMLucky777

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      Thanks so much...yeah I am thinking that I am going to try the verapamil because I can't deal with the Topamax anymore. I feel crazy and out of control and that's just not me. I'm a very lad back person. So hopefully this works out for me! That really sucks that you aren't on anything right now. I don't know if I would be able to do that. But I also have like 4 really bad migraines a week. Well I will also pray for you that yours aren't too bad either. I know how it is not having anything work out for you. Hopefully in time you can find something...I know its a hard process, but never give up!

    • Anonymous
      Ordiefam
      Aug. 20, 2009

      Thank you:)  We have tried pretty much everything and with my other health issues the medications were just not working.  So I just play it one day at a time and one migraine at a time.  When they get to bad, I go for a massage and that helps with the neck muscle spasims. So that is nice:)  I pray the verapamil works for you:)  Take...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      Thank you:)  We have tried pretty much everything and with my other health issues the medications were just not working.  So I just play it one day at a time and one migraine at a time.  When they get to bad, I go for a massage and that helps with the neck muscle spasims. So that is nice:)  I pray the verapamil works for you:)  Take care of yourself!

    • ERIKA1987
      Aug. 20, 2009

      No problem and thanks! Yeah I was thinking about going in for some massages. My mom works at a place and can get them at a discount so I figured hey it's worth a shot ya know? Well hopefully they get better for you, at least something helps you...take care of yourself too alright!

    • Anonymous
      Anna
      Aug. 23, 2009

      Hi Erika,

      Just came through your comment, I am also on Topamax. My neuro just increased me to 125 mg a day bc I get daily migraines that are not letting go. I am not getting better so far but he just increased my dose last week from 75 ...I feel teary but not sure if it is from the topomax or from the daily pain and not finding relief. He had me try Effexor...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      Hi Erika,

      Just came through your comment, I am also on Topamax. My neuro just increased me to 125 mg a day bc I get daily migraines that are not letting go. I am not getting better so far but he just increased my dose last week from 75 ...I feel teary but not sure if it is from the topomax or from the daily pain and not finding relief. He had me try Effexor too but I got into "serotonin syndrome" bc i take so much trexemet for pain and almost died....so this is how much I trust those drs anymore!!! I am at loss and desperate. I am hoping the Topomax is going to kick in, what are the side effects of Verapamil? I would try that too if it would work....I tried Neurontin and it made me too woozy, Noreptriptyline made me faint....Botox did not work...what else??? I feel like a lab rat....desperate with pain and drs just try one med after another and I am in agony waiting and wasting my life away....

      anna

    • Anonymous
      fiona
      Aug. 23, 2009

      Hi Anna,

      This site newish to me, but have 25 year history of severe chronic migraine, disability pension etc. Tried so many meds incl Topamax, neurontin, Sandomigran, Epilim. Sub occipital nerve block only solution when get a horror that won't go away and is severe pain. But recently gone gluten free (diet) and it is helping.

       

      Fiona

    • ERIKA1987
      Aug. 24, 2009

      Yeah I am on 100 mg a day of Topamax and I was fine on 75mg. Although I was still gettin frequent migraines, I didn't feel crazy. It was almost the day after I started the 100mg that I just felt out of control. So I backed down to 75mg and I am actually feeling better. I just decided I am going to try the Verapamil though. It seems to have WAY...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      Yeah I am on 100 mg a day of Topamax and I was fine on 75mg. Although I was still gettin frequent migraines, I didn't feel crazy. It was almost the day after I started the 100mg that I just felt out of control. So I backed down to 75mg and I am actually feeling better. I just decided I am going to try the Verapamil though. It seems to have WAY less side effects. The ones that I've read about so far is just constipation, drowsiness and fatigue and sometimes nausea. It just looks like a better route to go than the Topamax, I can't concentrate on anything when I'm on it either so I decided not to go to school this year. I can't put off my schooling and my career because of a medication. Especially when there are others out there to try! I feel your pain though, some days I wonder if I'm just going to have to live with these migraines for the rest of my life or what? Will they ever find an effective medication that I can live with? Hopefully they find something for you though!

    • Anonymous
      Jennifer
      Dec. 18, 2010

      Thank you!  I was prescribed Topamax two weeks ago.  It has been one of the worst experiences of my life.  I have been in a constant fog and extremely moody.  My prescription states that I should take 50 mg both in the morning and in the evening.  Perhaps if I start over with small doses and work my way up...this would be a more effective...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      Thank you!  I was prescribed Topamax two weeks ago.  It has been one of the worst experiences of my life.  I have been in a constant fog and extremely moody.  My prescription states that I should take 50 mg both in the morning and in the evening.  Perhaps if I start over with small doses and work my way up...this would be a more effective prescription.  Thank you for your help.

       

    • Teri Robert
      Health Guide
      Dec. 18, 2010

      Jennifer,

       

      Please call your doctor about this. Both the prescribing information for Topamax and the Migraine experts I've talked with say to start with 25mg at night and not to increase for a week. The taper for Topamax needs to be very slow. You can read more in Dosage and Tapering Topamax for Migraine Prevention.

       

      I don't know your doctor or what...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      Jennifer,

       

      Please call your doctor about this. Both the prescribing information for Topamax and the Migraine experts I've talked with say to start with 25mg at night and not to increase for a week. The taper for Topamax needs to be very slow. You can read more in Dosage and Tapering Topamax for Migraine Prevention.

       

      I don't know your doctor or what her or she may say. I can only tell you that if a doctor started me on four times the recommended starting dose, I'd be considering a second opinion.

       

      Please let us know what happens and how you're doing?

      Teri

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