Topiramate (Topamax) is a medicine that is usually used to
seizures. But recent studies found that it may be
effective in controlling binging and reducing weight in people who have
binge eating disorder and obesity.1
This medicine lowers some people's appetites. It
is not clear how topiramate helps with weight loss, but experts believe that it
affects brain chemicals called
Side effects usually
are temporary but can include:
appetite and weight loss.
concentrating and paying attention.
Changes in sensation, such as touch, smell, or
Vision problems, such as blurred or double vision.
Topiramate can cause other rare side effects,
Changes in blood chemistry. If you take this
medicine, you may need periodic tests of the bicarbonate levels in your
Vision problems and glaucoma (a serious condition that
causes increased pressure inside the eye).
Decreased sweating and
increased body temperature, especially in hot weather. This may be especially
true for children.
An increased risk of becoming pregnant while
using birth control pills.
An increased possibility of kidney
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a
warning on seizure medicines and the risk of suicide and suicidal thoughts. The
FDA does not recommend that people stop using these medicines. Instead, people
who take seizure medicine should be watched closely for
warning signs of suicide. People who take seizure
medicine and who are worried about this side effect should talk to a
See Drug Reference for a complete list of side effects.
(Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)
What to think about
You should not use this medicine if you are
If you are taking this medicine, drink plenty of
If you are taking this medicine, call your doctor if you
have blurred vision or eye pain.
McElroy SL, et al. (2003). Topiramate in the treatment
of binge eating disorder associated with obesity: A randomized,
placebo-controlled trial. American Journal of Psychiatry, 160(2): 255–261.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.