On Topamax for 7 years; now slurred speech, blackouts?

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Full Question:

I have been having severe migraines my entire life.   My doctor put me on Topamax 7 years ago and it cut down on the frequency of the migraines, but I still have them.   Recently I have been have trouble with slurred speech, and blackouts when I am awake but am not aware of my surroundings.   My doctor wants to take me off of Topamax, but I don't want to go off because I know how severe the migraines were before I went on it.   It is normal for these types of symptoms to show up 7 years after I have been taking the medication?   I don't want to go back to the way things were before with the migraines because at least I get some relief with the Topamax. Teresa.


Dear Teresa;

This is tough. Yes, you can start experiencing side effects after taking a medication for a considerable period of time. It's also possible for a medication to stop working after taking it for a period of time.

That said, not all of what you're describing fits with Topamax side effects, particularly the blackouts. It's important that you and your doctor work to be certain of what's causing these new symptoms, whether it's medication side effects, new Migraine symptoms, or something else entirely.

Considering the new symptoms, particularly the blackouts, your doctor may want to order some testing including MRI and EEG.

Good luck,
John Claude Krusz and Teri Robert

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