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What does it do?

Topiramate is used to treat and prevent seizures. It is also sometimes used for other conditions, such as preventing migraine headaches.

How should you take it?

Take topiramate regularly as directed with a glass of water.
If you have trouble swallowing the capsules, you can open them and sprinkle the contents onto soft food. Swallow straight away without chewing.

What if you forget a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as possible and continue as directed.

Can you take other medicines?

Some medicines available without a prescription may react with topiramate including:

  • anti-nausea medicines (e.g. prochlorperazine, hyoscine (e.g. Scopoderm TTS®), meclozine (e.g. Sea-legs®)
  • some antihistamines (may be in anti-allergy, anti-nausea and cough/cold medicines)

Tell your pharmacist or doctor about all medicines or treatments that you may be taking, including vitamins, herbal products (e.g. ginkgo) or recreational drugs (e.g. ecstasy).

What side effects might you notice?

Side EffectsRecommended action

Suicidal thoughts

Blurred vision, eye pain

Symptoms of liver problems including: yellow skin or eyes, itching, dark urine, pale bowel motions, abdominal pain

Tell your doctor immediately

Short of breath

Confusion, loss of co-ordination/walking or handwriting problems, memory problems, mood changes, nervousness, trouble concentrating

Tingling or numbness, tremor

Lower back pain, pink/red/brown pee (may be a kidney stone)

Tell your doctor

Dizziness, drowsiness, headache

Hair loss or thinning, flushing

Joint, muscle or bone aches and pains, tiredness or weakness

Enlarged, tender or bleeding gums, dry mouth or throat, changes in taste, loss of appetite, weight loss

Stomach upset, constipation

Tell your doctor if troublesome

If you notice any other effects, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.

Other information:

  • Tell your doctor if you have liver or kidney problems, or glaucoma.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.
  • Some special diets (e.g. ketogenic) may react with topiramate – talk to your doctor.
  • Topiramate can impair your ability to do tasks such as driving or using machines. Alcohol makes this worse. Discuss your risk with your health professional. (search NZTA - Are you safe to drive?)
  • Topiramate may cause kidney stones. Drinking plenty of water can help to prevent this.
  • Do not stop taking topiramate without talking to your doctor first.

This leaflet contains important, but not all, information about this medicine.

Prepared by the PILs Committee at Christchurch Hospital, Canterbury District Health Board, New Zealand. January 2020

For more general information about this sheet annd its contents, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

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About My Medicines

My Medicines Patient Information Leaflets (PILs) contain important, but not all, information about the medicines they describe.

For more information about the sheets, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

My Medicines is developed by a team at the Canterbury District Health Board. Our team is made up of doctors, pharmacists, and a non-medical person to help us keep to plain language. We also discuss our information with specialist health professionals or groups when needed