Stopping tinnitus side effect of Topamax?

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Full Question:

I have suffered from migraines for years. I have tried many treatments. After having local nerve blocks seem to help, I had my right occipital nerve sectioned. To my disappointment, I had headaches within 3 days of surgery. After changing doctors a new round of Topamax was tried but at a higher dose rate than previously. I was having daily, or more, headaches. I take 200mg/day. I have been on Topamax for about a year and have taken treatment for a migraine only a handful of times since (usually Relpax). In the past few months, I have developed bilateral tinnitus. I have not experienced any other side effects from the drug that would cause me to consider not using it as it has done a wonderful job of relieving the migraines. What would your advice be to lessen the effect of the tinnitus short of change the dosing of Topamax? David


Dear David;

The first thing to do is to rule out other causes for the tinnitus to be sure that it truly is a side effect of the Topamax. If it is, it's most likely that the only way to relieve the tinnitus will be to discontinue Topamax. Side effects tend to be dosage-related, so you and your doctor might want to try lowering the dosage a bit before discontinuing it. Of course, if the decision is to discontinue Topamax, it should be discontinued slowly (dropping only 25mg per week), so discontinuing it even more slowly might allow you and your doctor to determine if a lower dosage will stop the tinnitus and still provide adequate Migraine prevention.

Good luck,
John Claude Krusz and Teri Robert

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