I shared why I'm taking Topamax for migraines and my various symptoms in my previous post so today I am following up with Topamax Journal after taking it for a week. I begin week two on Wednesday so as of today I have been on Topamax for about twelve days.
The first week on Topamax was the hardest for me. I felt a little brain fog. I could not figure out when I should take it, and I was staying up until 1:30 am. I was dealing with insomnia, and my feet were on fire every night (which may or may not have had anything to do with the meds).
When To Take Topamax:
I had researched the best time to take Topamax to avoid brain fog the next day and everything I read said an hour or two before bed.
THEY WERE WRONG.
At least in my case.
For me, the best time to take Topamax is right before I go to bed. It is helpful to take Topamax at the same time every night, so I try to make sure I do that. I do still struggle to wake up, which used to never happen. I used to wake up and be wide awake (at around 5 am) now I hear the alarm at 6 am and just want to sleep until 7 am but summer is just around the corner so I should fine in a week or two.
Headaches and Migraines:
After about twelve days I have only had one migraine and three-morning headaches two of which went away on their own within an hour. I call that major winning. The biggest test will come in a few days when I'm due for my hormonal migraines that come once a month right before my period. I'll let you know how that goes.
Topamax Side Effects:
I still continue to experience hand numbness and tingling with the feeling of pins and needles (again not that bad).
Weight Loss / Food / Eating:
It's commonly said that Topamax can help with weight loss, and I think I may know why.
A new side effect that came after about three days was a complete loss of appetite. I was NEVER hungry. I didn't want anything to eat. Nothing looked good, I was never hungry, and even though my stomach was growling, I didn't feel the need to eat. I do live a very healthy lifestyle so I often woke up and immediately ate breakfast, forced myself to eat lunch, and then ditched dinner (which I would normally never do).
Now, if that symptom would have never gone away for me I imagine could over time begin to waste away. I didn't lose a pound during this period, though.
Something changed after a week, and I suddenly got my appetite back. It wasn't like I was really hungry. I didn't crave food, but my stomach started growling all the time, and I started to feel sick if I didn't eat. I live the keto lifestyle, and I have spent years researching weight loss and the human body. I believe my metabolism is being affected by Topamax. I started eating all three meals on the seventh day of Topamax and sometimes a snack, and the weight started falling off. As of today, I have lost five pounds.
I don't personally have a lot of room to lose weight. I could probably stand to lose about ten more pounds and remain in a healthy weight so my hope is that my body will regulate itself. I can't imagine that Topamax would push me into an unhealthy weight, but I guess anything is possible.
Food tastes different now. When I read that people who take Topamax hate soda I can understand why. I don't drink soda, so I can't attest to that, but some foods taste different.
Peaches, Strawberries, Blueberries - these fruits have more of a bitter than sweet taste. Salty foods taste saltier to me. Overall these things don't bother me. I do sometimes ask my family to taste something to see if it's "just me" because it's just a weird feeling. I do believe that Topamax affects the pleasure center of the brain as I have read in studies because that first bite of food when you're hungry that is always so satisfying is now just "uh, whatever."
I haven't noticed anything in regards to other areas of my life, though. My sex life, creative thinking, parenting, family relationships are all the same if not better. I have been more motivated, less stressed, less depressed. Most of this I would just attribute to being in less pain on a daily basis, but who knows maybe it's the Topamax.
I am scheduled to up my dose on Wednesday so I am curious to see how that will affect me. Hopefully, all will continue to go as well as it has and I will be on a road to optimum health!
I hope you have been having as good, if not better results on Topamax. As always, I would love to hear your stories so feel free to share them here.