Topiramate (Topamax is the brand name of this drug) is an anticonvulsant drug which is used to treat seizures and migraines. But sometimes it is prescribed off-label to treat obesity and control weight gain. In 2012, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved topiramate in combination with phentermine to treat weigh gain issues.
According to some researches, topiramate help to lose weight effectively, but till the time the patient can tolerate its side effects. It was found that the patients (suffering from epileptic seizures) when treated with topiramate started losing weight.
Let’s find out how the use of topiramate helps one to lose weight.
Reduces Appetite: It is not exactly known how the use of topiramate reduces appetite but some believes that it reduces the appetite by altering the reward process of the brain, thus makes people feel less hungry, which in turn controls the craving for food.
Affects the Addiction Centre of the Brain: According to some, the use of topiramate may affect the addiction centre of the brain. As a result, the person who uses this drug no longer takes interest in food, alcohol, etc. This process, in turn, makes the person lose weight.
Alters the Hormone: The use of this drug may alter the hormones, called cortisol and leptin, which help the body to store less fat and regulate appetite, respectively.
Disorientation: Its use makes the person so disorientated that he or she may forget to eat or may not eat more. As a result of this, the person loses weight.
Ketosis: The use of topiramate promotes ketosis, in which the body uses its own stored fat to give energy to the body. So this process ultimately makes the person lose weight significantly.
Alters the Taste: Many people, who are on topiramate, find the food less palatable, so they tend to eat less . This process helps the person to lose weight.
Increases Metabolism: Some believe that topiramate speeds up the metabolism process. And we know that higher metabolism rate promotes weight loss.
Reduces Saliva Production: The person who takes topiramate, experiences reduction in saliva production. The reduced saliva makes the food tasteless and as a result, the person eats less or sometimes loses the normal appetite.
Weight loss is one of the side effects of taking topiramate. It is an off -label drug for weight loss. So in this case, we need to follow certain things before using topiramate to avoid the harmful health concerns.
The people who want to lose weight can take topiramate twice a day and the dose starts from 25mg to 800 mg per day. The person can start by taking 25 mg topiramate at first and then can increase the dose slowly as recommended by the physician.
As per some researches, if a person takes between 100 to 200 mg topiramate daily can lose 15% to 20 % of the total body weight and per some speculations, more than 200 mg daily intake of topiramate can make the person lose weight drastically.
It should be kept in mind that the dose of this drug varies from person to person. Also, the doses of this drug also depend up on the strength of this medicine. For weight loss an adult can take 3.75 milligrams (mg) of phentermine and 23 mg of topiramate once a day for 14 days. After that your doctor may prescribe you to take 7.5 gms of hentermine and 46gms of topiramate daily once. Then your doctor may increase the dose upto 15 mg of phentermine and 92 mg of topiramate if needed.
Note: The above information only includes the average doses of this medicine. Consult your doctor before taking this medicine to know the exact doses of this drug for your weight loss goal. Overdose of this drug may cause dullness, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, fatigue and decreased awareness.
If you miss the dose, take the dose as soon as possible. But if it is already time for the next dose, then skip it. Remember not to double the doses.
Topiramate works differently for different people. While some people do not experience any side effects, some experience heavy to moderate adverse side effects.
1. Causes Numbness and Tingling Sensation: Few people reported that they felt tingling sensation on their arms and legs after using topiramate for weight loss.
2. Causes Tiredness: It may make you feel tired during the early stage of taking this medicine.
3. Decreases Appetite and Taste Change: The usage of this drug affects the appetite of the person and changes the taste.
4. Affects the Concentration Level: Its usage may make it hard for the person to remember the things.
5. Affects Muscle Coordination: You may experience dizziness due to loss of muscle coordination.
6. Nausea and Diarrhea: You may experience nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, fast breathing, restlessness and stomach pain after using topiramate.
Many people have experienced success in losing weight by using topiramate. You too can use it to lose weight. But ensure to consult a doctor before using this drug to avoid its harmful side effects.