Topamax is sold as an anti-seizure medication for patients at least 2 years of age. This can be used to help reduce the number of seizure attacks and reduce or prevent migraines. This medication cannot be used to stop seizures or headaches that have already begun.
Topamax and Weight Loss
While it has not been approved for this purpose, Topamax has been shown to help weight loss. Why it it? Here are some possible theories:
- Change Taste Sensation: Topamax causes a reduction in the production of saliva. This can reduce taste sensation, depriving patients of some of the pleasure associated with eating. This can help patients avoid overeating that can lead to weight gain.
- Reduce Cortisol: Topamax may also cut down on the body's production of cortisol, a stress hormone that increases the production of insulin. This can reduce food cravings and appetite, which also helps patients prevent overeating or eating rich dense foods.
- Impact on Blood Glucose and Insulin Secretion: Topamax has been shown to reduce insulin secreting and help the body to manage the blood glucose level more effectively. This can allow patients to ingest stored fat as an energy source rather than focusing on taking in additional carbohydrates to maintain energy levels. This means patients will feel less hungry and burn weight more effectively.
- Act on Addition Centers of the Brain: Topamax may dull the function of addition centers in the brain. This can help patients limit their desire to partake in substances such as tobacco or alcohol. It can also limit the patient's desire to eat addicting foods such as junk food or desserts.
Warnings When Using Topamax for Weight Loss
Topamax can cause impaired thinking or blurred vision. Patients should avoid driving or performing any activities that demand their full attention until they are aware of how this medication will affect them. Patients should avoid drinking alcohol while using Topamax as this can increase your risk of developing these side effects.
Topamax may also increase your risk of developing kidney stones. Any diets that increase your intake of salt or other risk factors that could contribute to the development of kidney stones should be avoided while using this medication. This includes "ketosis" diets that are high in fat and promote a low intake of carbohydrates.