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FDA Approves Generic Version of Migraine Preventive Drug Topamax (Topiramate)

The FDA has approved production of topiramate, the generic version of migraine preventive drug Topamax. It will be available in multiple strengths from 17 different manufacturers.

This is great news for the many people who have found relief from migraines or headaches with Topamax. Except for the side effects, which many find intolerable, Topamax is often called as a “miracle drug.” I don’t believe in miracle drugs, but one that can help so many people is pretty impressive.

Ortho-McNeil Neurologic’s patents on Topamax began expiring last year.

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[via Somebody Heal Me]

23 Responses to FDA Approves Generic Version of Migraine Preventive Drug Topamax (Topiramate)

  1. christina says:

    i was on this drug for only three months. that was enough for me to see that this was NOT a drug for me. first it started with loosing words, forgot what i was going to say. second, i found myself not being able to do simple math. and then i would loose thought in the middle of a conversation with someone. all this at only 31 years of age. NOT FOR ME.

  2. Sue says:

    I’ve been on topamax for two years. I’m 25 years old. The first few months are tough but the long-term benefits outweigh the costs. I, too, suffered from the those memory blocks, which is a definite side effect. You almost know what you want to say but can’t get the words out. It’s a strange feeling. But it passes. I also dropped 10 pounds. Not the best side effect either because it suppresses your appetite and you don’t really realize it. Also, another side effect is that it causes drowsiness.

    I take 200mg right now. I started at 50mg. My dose has increased to be sure I won’t get migraines and it’s helped a great deal. I wouldn’t call it a miracle drug by any means, but it certainly helps and it worth giving more of a shot.

  3. streetsmart says:

    Despite the side effects of Topamax, it really helps ease migraine pains. Some endure the side effects for long-term gain, while some just can’t stand the extra burden.

    It is a good news that there is now a generic for this drug, definitely a good news for those who are looking for cheaper alternative for branded pain medications.

  4. Heather says:

    I tried Topamax; my headaches did not improve, and the side effects were bad. I think I got too skinny from loss of appetite and started having some hair loss, if I remember correctly.

    On a different note, I know you experience a lot of nausea. I keep ginger snaps at work and home and they help. Have you tried wrist bands? I haven’t, but here’s an article to check out: http://healthorbit.ca/login1.asp?msg=1&neidws=080040709

    *******
    Thanks for the info. I’m pretty sure I even have some wristbands. I’ll look for them!

    Kerrie

  5. Layla says:

    I am so very glad I found this blog! I feel like I have just discovered “my people”!

    Anyway, I have had chronic daily headache since I was about 8. I’ve been seeing a neurologist for the past 7 years or so. I’m not sure how long I have been on Topomax but I definitely experience ALL the side effects you mention in another post. I’ve reached that point where I no longer want to be on the medication (I seriously feel like I have a learning disorder!), and in a few months (with another doctor’s help)I’m going to get off the medication. I know I have learned a lot more about my headaches since starting the Topomax, so I’m hoping I don’t need to even be on it anymore.

    Again, glad I found this- There is so much information here.
    Best of luck to everyone,
    Layla

  6. Whit says:

    I totally agree with Layla. What a great site. I’ve been getting headaches since I was 10. Going on 11 years of daily headaches and migraines once or twice a month.

    Honestly, Topomax didn’t help me at all. I took it for 6 months or so and never felt an improvement. I’m still trying to find a good preventative drug. *fingers crossed* Unfortunately I’ll have to wait until I get health insurance again. Good luck to everyone!

  7. LC says:

    Side effects awful: the worst abdominal (stomach) pain I’ve ever suffered (probably equivalent to a bleeding ulcer). Since none of the doctors thought to check the list of potential side-effects, even though I mentioned I had been using this drug for only a few weeks, I underwent multiple unpleasant tests and was in agony for over two weeks (nothing helped the pain).

    It didn’t help stop the daily migraines, either.

    So, if it works for you, that’s wonderful. But if you experience anything at all after starting it, don’t think the symptoms will go away once you get used to it. In my experience of trying just about every drug prescribed as a “preventative”, the side effects do not disappear with time.

  8. Laura says:

    I think this news is good and bad also. It is more likely now that neuro’s will be turning to topirimate immediately as a fixer, which is a serious thing to do when it is difficult thing for so many people. I gave it a go, and it didn’t work for me. Over about sixth months my doc increased my daily dose to 300mg, (that was combined with venlafaxine) convinced that if I persevered and went to a high enough dose it would work. He mentioned going to 600mg daily. The side effects were hellish for me, and in the end I came off the drug. It is the best thing I have done, and even though I don’t regret giving it a chance, I would say to anyone who is experiencing bad side effects and no good ones to come off it, under their doctors guidance.

  9. brecka says:

    just started with the Topiramate a couple of months ago (?)… possibly three now, i would have to check. So it is safe to say that i have some slight memory issues with it, and a host of other neuro side effects (tingling, proprioception issues, exhaustion, cognitive delay) that were a lot worse before the doc and I titrated my dose down from 100 to 75. thats the side effects. now for how it helped my every freaking day migraines. A Lot. The most was when i was drugged up to my eyeballs and staggering around in a drunken stupor ( just 1!!! in a month). and a bit more now that the dose is lower. so, now that i can think more clearly I am torn between holding out for that perfect balance of function v pain. or chucking this drug for the holy grail of The preventative for my migraine. … Oh and i’ve taken the fo real topamax and the generic and the price difference – not as great as my wallet had hoped for. sigh

  10. ModernMom says:

    Just found your site!
    I too am on Topomax. I fought the daily drug. Did not want to do it. But topomax took me from almost daily migraines to maybe 1 a week…as long as I keep away from my long list of triggers!
    Tingling fingers (occasionaly), maybe some word retrvial which makes me seem much blonder then I am, a little naseua. At this point it’s a step up.
    Now if I could only control the weather…

  11. Joseph says:

    Trigemin is in my opinion far more effective the topiramate with no side – effects. Worked well for me as I am finally gaining control over my migraine and have more energy. Topiramate generic has been less effective for some the name brand. Try telling that to the insurance companies now. Wishing everyone the best with their headaches. Trigemin is an all natural nuetraceutical with the clinical dosages used in published studies. Take Care

  12. Jean Mank says:

    They don’t call it “Dopamax” for nothing! It’s a miracle drug for me, or I’d have a migraine at least four times of month, instead of only one. However, it messes with the language center of my brain big-time. Worst of all, it cannot be used as an abortive.

    Yesterday I crawled to the ER with an intractable, week-old migraine. I told them up front that Toradol never works on me, but they treated me like the drug-seeking 54-year-old woman I am NOT. I got an extremely painful shot of Toradol anyway plus a very painful shot of Phenergan. When I protested, they threatened to call security on me if I did not call my husband for a ride home NOW.

    I blew up with painful edema within hours of getting home and STILL have a migraine! Now, I do realize that Toradol does work for a lot of migraneurs, but I was upset because of the way I was treated. I even offered to let me test my blood but they refused! Anybody else suffer my fate?

    If I’m not better by tomorrow (I have a doctor’s appointment), I’m not sure what I’ll do. I can’t take the Imitrex-class drugs because they make my heartbeat irregular.

  13. Grace says:

    I will start with my first Topiramate pill tonight and I’m scared to death! I HATE pills of any sort but I’m DESPERATE to stop my migraines headaches. My quality of life is really suffering and I need to do something!

    PLEASE someone tell me its not all that terrible!

  14. Bobbi says:

    After reading everyone else’s comments I almost feel alone.I was originally put on topamax for migraines which I’ve had for over 20 years.Then after running more tests the Dr., discovered I have seizure activity.So I am on Keppra for that.I have irritable bowel syndrome and the topamax makes it so much worse.The Dr., took me off the topamax for a month or so and I can barely function without it.We discovered that I need both the keppra and the topamax to control the seizure activity.The convusion and forgetfullness, I get all that when I am not on the topamax.I got a choice between being a functioning headache free person with severe IBS controling my life or being a convused, forgetful,migraine having mess, with fewer IBS attacks…For right now,I gotta stick with the topamax,I can’t even think well enough to drive my car without it.So I guess I am saying topamax works for the migraines and the seizure activity,but the stomach pain and diahrea is terrible.

  15. Lisa says:

    I have been taking topamax for several years and have been doing great! At first I had a slight tingling sensation in my fingers, but that went away. Nothing else! I just wanted to add some positive comments about the drug. Dont be afraid to try it. My step-sister also is taking it and doing great.

  16. Melissa says:

    I’ve been doing a lot of user review research on Topamax, decidint whether or not to try it, and I’ve read lots and lots of warnings about using the generic version of the drug. Apparently people who do well on Topamax have had horrible results with the generic. The scientific explanation for this is that drug companies can vary the active ingredient by a large percentage margin, and this can make it less effective. It’s not supposed to, but it does. So if you can, still to the real thing. Good luck!

  17. I used topamax for about two years, and will be getting back on it soon. I also noticed the aphasia for several weeks and general confusion, but it faded and the migraines cut back significantly. I still had them here or there, but not as many. However, the ones that slipped through the “filter” as I thought of Topamax were brutal.

  18. Mary says:

    After having severe Migraines for 30 years and trying many ineffectual meds, I’ve taken Topamax preventatively each night for about three years now with great results.
    I’m 61 and may be a bit distracted, but other than that don’t notice any ill effects. Still have a good sense of humor, travel all over the world, and live well.
    I have the beginnings of Migraine about once every two months and believe it or not, can stop it in its tracks with Alka Seltzer and about 15 minutes quiet rest.
    Truly amazing.

  19. Jessie says:

    Topamax made me cry. It worked so well at getting rid of my migraines, and I lost weight, which helped me to be more active and healthy. But I was terrible at my job (teacher) because I could never think of what to say, and my words would come out wring. For awhile I thought I had ADD, because I just couldn’t remember or focus on anything. At one point I went to sign a guest registry at a wedding, and forgot what my address was! So I went off of that, onto BC pills, and things are so so. I don’t even see my neurologist anymore, because she didn’t agree with my decision to go off of Topamax. So now my prescription is: Deal with It. Sigh.

  20. Sandra says:

    Be careful with Topamax. While I was able to take it successfully for my condition, my husband developed acute pancreatitis and ended up in the hospital. If you experience stomach upset and nausea, call your doctor right away.

    For me, Topamax gave me a metallic taste and I lost weight. I also felt ‘foggy’ and my ADD was enhanced so I couldn’t keep track of things.

  21. Allison says:

    I started Topamax 2 years ago, Topiramate around 4 months ago. The first 6 months are brutal. My migranes were low grade and pretty much daily with aura level migranes monthly. It got rid of those within the month but I did drop around 10 lbs and though I was going crazy! I would forget to eat until I would pretty much fall over, and being a college student it affected my studying. After toughing it out I got over it but didnt get the weight back. I ended up starting the BC Pill(low dose to control menstral breakthrough migranes) and the weight came up to almost normal. So to those who are having a rough time, start it when youre not too busy, and it will get better!!

  22. Ali Sultaneh says:

    FDA approved TRIPTANS for migraine:
    All Triptans, Ergotamine family drugs are dangerous drugs because they are vasoconstrictors factors.
    What does that mean?
    That mean they do the diameter of vessels too much smaller.
    What does that mean?
    That mean less blood go through this vessels.
    What does that mean?
    That means less blood to the irrigated area.
    What does that mean?
    That means less blood to the heart muscles.
    What does that mean?
    That mean the heart can’t work in full power.
    What does that mean?
    That mean he can work at the lowest power because the blood that supply heart muscles to work is in too low value.
    But I have to go to the stadium to play a football match!
    You can’t go to play, because when you do effort your heart muscle need more blood, but your heart can’t get it because you took triptans drugs.
    What can happen if I play?
    The heart response to the less blood when he need more is known, it’s an ischemic syndrome, that chest pain will be the first alarm.
    Yes I read in the enclosed instruction in the triptans box that when patients feel chest pain he must stop taken it!
    Yes they recognize that heart problems can occur due to these drugs.
    Why they do it when they know that it can be dangerous for heart?
    Always there are fools!!!!!
    Why doctors make me take it?
    Also there is much than fools!!!!!!
    When they meet tog ethers always disasters happen as Jim Cary movie.
    All medicaments that work as Vasoconstrictors are dangerous drugs, for some patients even in small quantity they are dangerous,,,,. Why??Migraine has 2 stages: 1- Aura stage.2- Headaches stage. What happen in Aura? In aura stage, a special alarm system for migraine will be started. This alarm system will work due to strong vasoconstrictors in small arteries into the brain in a certain zone. So if this zone is visual zone as most migraine patients then aura symptoms will be visual. In some migraine cases aura will be absent. What happen in headaches stage? In this stage, a strong vasodilatation of certain extra cranial artery will happen, that cause headache itself, while at the same time intra cranial arteries will have strong vasoconstrictions. Extra cranial vasodilatation will cause headaches, while intracranial vasoconstrictions will cause all accompanied symptoms related to the affected intracranial area. This intra cranial affected area explain the different form of migraine headaches.Intra cranial strong vasoconstriction in some migraine patients, can explain the small brain ischemic modification that we see in MRI of brain in some migraine patients. That explain why triptans and ergotamine can be as a poison for migraine patients. They can help to reduce headache itself by forced this vasodilatation to be smaller, but at the same time it forced the constricted vessels to be much smaller. You can imagine the real danger here, especially in BAM.

  23. Andee NEff says:

    I didn’t last too long on this drug either. It HELPED my migraines better than anything I have ever taken, but I started forgetting things and felt disorganized for the first time in my life. It was annoying! I am a happy person and suddenly I was suicidal…I looked up the side effects one day and realized it was the meds! Too bad it worked so well….

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