Topiramate Side Effects

Topiramate, manufactured by Mylan Pharmaceuticals (and first discovered in 1979), is a drug for the treatment of symptoms of epilepsy, specifically designed as an “anticonvulsive” medication.

It’s better-known brand name is Topamax, and it has a checkered history of litigations, bans and actions against its manufacturer; some of these actions are because Mylan did not make consumers aware of the more damaging Topiramate side effects.

Created for young patients for treatment of tonic-clonic seizures, the drug was originally recalled because the tablets had an unpleasant odor, a problem put down to unsanitary storing conditions (the planks of wooden pallets upon which the shipments rested were infected with trace chemicals causing the stench).   This instance, however, came on the heels of other discoveries, none of which have prompted bans as yet.

What are the Topiramate Side Effects?

Patients, it was discovered, experienced extensive Topiramate side effects, some of which were severe and possibly life-threatening.  They include:

  • paresthesia (numbness and tingling sensations)
  •  abdominal problems (such as diarrhea and nausea),
  • a pronounced loss of appetite (leading in some cases to symptoms of anorexia),
  • memory loss, psychomotor slowing, confusion and sleep disorders.

This lengthy list of Topiramate side effects has prompted numerous studies, according to Wikipedia, none of which have resulted in any sort of overt ban nationwide.

The FDA has for the moment contented itself with a mandated warning label on the drug, and full disclosure from all health professionals for their patients regarding the exact nature of the drug and the body’s responses to it.  The drug’s bad luck, however, was capped when it was discovered (Wiki) that its manufacturer, Ortho-McNeil, ran no safety tests upon it to determine possible risks.  The company, pleading guilty to fraudulent claims, paid over 6 million dollars in settlements.

Topiramate’s side effects do not preclude its use still with thousands of health care professionals, and the warning label, by the FDA’s own admission, is probably as far as the consumer will get toward a  settlement of any issues regarding the drug’s safety.

To date, it has also been used, not only as an “anti-seizure” medication, but also has been advertised as able to combat the effects of migraines, particularly those in women.  There are no scientific studies to prove this, however, and no solid research other than anecdotal evidence backs up the drug’s claim.

If you would like further information about Topiramate side effects, or those of Topamax Side Effects, or if you have experienced adverse effects from a Topiramate-based prescription, you are urged to consult your health professional as soon as possible, and to obtain a drug lawyer at the American Bar Association, online at