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Avatar universal

Hair loss and Topamax

I have been prescribed Wellbutrin for depression and Topamax as a mood stabilizer.  The combination worked very well for me and the bonus was that I lost weight.  However, I also lost hair.  I was wondering if anyone else experienced the same problem.
177 Responses
939446 tn?1245322988
Thank you for your comment.Never knew that one's liver enzymes can be elevated as well!All the more reason to stop taking Topamax!I skipped for 2 days and my eyesight was better but took one again this morning...too afraid of getting migraines!Will take one every 3rd day for a while and then see...
957923 tn?1246736153
I really wish someone would have told me about this hair loss in the begining.  I've been on topamax for a year and 8 months, and it has helped with my migraines AMAZINGLY!!  But the side affects in the begining were horrible, and I haven't lost any weight from it. But now i've started having hair loss, and I have REALLY thick hair.  and its just falling out everywhere.  my clothes stay covered in hair.  I'm didn't know that topamax would cause this until I came across this discussion.  I've also expericened premature greying and i'm only 20, does topamax cause that TOO??  I have to see my doctor soon and i'll talk to him about all of this because I really hate to go off of the topamax.  It really was a life saver, I was having severe every single day.  So hopefully there is a way to stop the hair loss.  
Avatar universal
Does anyone know if taking 5000 mg of Biotin and  5000 to 10000 mcg of B12 as suggested by some web sites help stop the hair loss?
Avatar universal
I have lost so much hair... :( I started taking Topomax 150 mg, Aug 2008 and just loved it.(headaches gone)  It worked great. I never dreamed my hair would fall out. I've been off  it 3 days. (colde turkey) I just want my hair back.  Kim
939446 tn?1245322988
Just hang in there.I stopped Topa cold turkey more than a month ago and the hair loss decreased.I was on it for 6 years and my migraines have not returned yet.
Avatar universal
Okay, I am following mutter2

Can't take hair loss anymore. Been on T-pills for 3 years. Did decrease migraines dramatically. Have tried to quit but migraines return. This is going to be difficult. But I swear this drug is making me sick in other ways  (just feel old). I am not even 30 yet. My hair is so thin that I can barely put it in a ponytail and my eyelashes are falling out too. This is BS. I am taking my life back.
939446 tn?1245322988
You go girl!!My hairloss has stopped, my memory is returning and the fussy feeling in my head is gone....so are the migraines.I have lots of re-growth but it will still be a while yet to have a thicker ponytail.LOL!
Avatar universal
im 22 yrs old and have been on topamax almost a yr.I just now noticed my hair on the crown of my head is getting so thin when i wear my hair dwn I can c my scalp a little! i am sooo scared that its not gonna grow bck? can ne one tell me how long it took to stop falling out and if it grew bck? ive only been off of it like 3 wks ago but is their ne 1 whos gone through this and went off let me know SOMTHING? ANYTHING PLEASE! im scared to even wash it! Im gonna put it in Gods hands but I need some kind of encouragement or comment.
Avatar universal
Hi All,  I was on Topamax for almost a year. I am a 27 yr old female with no other health problems.  It worked great and I went from a daily migraine to one migraine a month around my period.  In the last 4 months I have started to notice that I was loosing a TON TON TON of hair, in the shower, in my brush all over the place.  At first I didn't think anything of it, I just thought i was a change in the season.  I  normally have ALOT of hair its really thick and long and my hairdressers always say I have some of the thickest hair they have ever seen.  Well now I am down to almost bald spots.  You can see my scalp in several places and I am glad I found this site.  I immediately stopped the topamax ( I did a gradual tampering).  I have been completely off it for almost a week and I am happy to report that I have noticed that  the last few days in the shower and when brushing I have not had as much hair fall out.  I am also taking some hair growth vitamins called Great Hair.  I am greatly hoping that I start to get some regrowth soon.  This hair loss is AWFUL!  

On a side note, I am back to full energy and my mind is not that of an 80 yr old anymore.  I can get my words out!  I have not had a migraine( knock on wood) since tapering or stopping the topamax.

I will post an update in a few weeks, I pray everyone gets back to normal and thank you all for your help.
535581 tn?1233757224
What dosage were you on, if i may ask?  I think that has something to do with hair loss.  I have been on the lowest dosage (25mg 1x/day) and have not experienced hair loss.
I have noticed a major decline in my migraines also.  But I still get them 1-2 times a month on the average.

My hair is thick also, and I wish you the best with your new hair growth.

And the elevated liver enzymes were due to taking too many Tylenol pain pills, not the Topamax as I originally thought.
Avatar universal
I have been on Topomax for 2 and a half years. Just in the past 6 months have I really noticed a major amount of hair loss even though I know it has gradually been getting thinner. It is now so bad that I went to my neurologist today to wean off the drug. He doesn' think it is topomax and said that only 1% of users have reported this side effect. I guess not enough people are reporting it to make it a signficant side effect. However, I know that I have severe hair loss and I have to do something about it before I end up bald, so I am going off the drug. I am so fearful because I, like so many others, have finally found something that keeps my migriaines under control and has also given me the added bonus of weight loss which I have enjoyed. I just don't know what else to do.... I think it is the only solution for me right now.
I am almost 50 years old and have been taking 150 mg of topomax a day.
Avatar universal
Hey everyone I see that the last post was a month ago so I don’t know how often people go on here, but I do feel a HUGE need and responsibility to post my side effects with this drug. I am 27 and in recovery for alcoholism. My doc put me on Topamax for anxiety and depression after going through treatment. I knew about the drug by doing research but not enough I guess. Topamax is showing in multiple research studies (below I listed from Wikipedia*) as a  possible wonder drug for a wide spread of different medical problems. I watched a HBO documentary about Alcoholics taking Topamax and it greatly reducing cravings (much like camprel). But the side effect of extreme hair loss, numbness/tingling in my nose and feet, acne on my chest back (really bad forums of that too) and neck are way too much for me.

PEOPLE CONSIDERING TOPAMAX:
I think it is very important for people considering going on Topamax that for me at least my hair loss was not a huge amount.... right away at least. I had been on it for about 8 months working fast up to 200mg twice a day. During that time noticed but not thinking anything of it really how I was losing hair. I also noticed that my hair seemed more damaged, dry, breaking, and more wavy (having to use my blow dryer and straighter) over the passing months while on the drug. Looking back in my monthly color/trim trips to my hairdresser I bought a deep conditioner, and a straightening serum, the quality of my hair was changing for the worse. I say all this because my hair loss was very gradual (in the first months of taking it) and I didn’t pick up on it till it was TOO LATE! I also lost a good amount of weight; I'm 5'5'' and was down to about 106. Numerous people made comments about how grossly thin I was getting, I had very little appetite.

At about 9 months I REALLY started noticing dramatic hair loss, doctor said it could be stress (looking for a job) but after finding so much on the www about hair loss I am freaked out. Everything people have posted on here was/what is happening to me. The hair in the shower, brush, and coming out in your hands. Finding it in clothes, in my bed, my car, and all over the bath rm floor. The worst was when I moved and vacuumed the whole apt and I am NOT stretching the truth you could make a wig out of the hair that was stuck in the pick up rollers!!!!

I just recently went off Topamax cold turkey because the hair loss was so noticeable and rapid and I am really scared!!! I am on minoxidil 2.5mg to promote growth and stop loss but I am aware that if I stop taking it hair will fallout. Not really able to say if it’s helping thou it’s only been two weeks. Overall I think that there needs to better awareness of this side effect and how much it can affect your life! Now im scared to take any meds because of this experience. I'm coming up on a year of sobriety and it’s been really hard having to deal with extra stress/depression to be a young woman with major hair loss. Doctors need to know how extreme this hair loss can be and how much stress it can cause. The side effects of this drug for me greatly out weigh the benefits, but I did have really good results with my anxiety and depression so its really unfortunate ;-(  It’s been a week since I went cold turkey and my hair is still falling out at the same rate pretty much... maybe a little less (minoxidil ?). Be an advocate for yourself as with any drug and make sure that you are paying attention to any side effects. If you are going on this med I would highly advise you to keep a close eye of the condition and amount of your hair.

SUPPLEMENTS I'm currently taking:

Women’s daily vitamin with nail, hair health (Trader Joes)
Omega 3 fatty acid supplement (Trader Joes)
B1
Folic Acid
minoxidil 2.5mg (RX only)
Ovation cell therapy shampoo, conditioner, leave in treatment
Eating lots of protein (eggs), veggies dark leafy greens, fish (salmon/chicken), flaxseeds, carrots

GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!!! I hope to see my hair coming back with all the stuff I'm doing and off the meds now. I need a little faith and prayer this is really hard to go through but good to have this to see I’m not the only one.


WIKIPEDIA*
Topiramate treats epilepsy in children and adults. It is sometimes used as an antidepressant. In children it is indicated for the treatment of Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, a disorder that causes seizures and developmental delay. It is also Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved for, and most frequently prescribed for, the prevention of migraines. Psychiatrists have used topiramate to treat bipolar disorder,[6] but it is not FDA approved for this purpose. This drug has been investigated for use in treating alcoholism[7][8] and obesity,[9][10] especially to reduce binge eating.[11][12]

The drug is also used in clinical trials to treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.[13] A pilot study suggested that topiramate is effective against infantile spasms.[14] Another study recommends topiramate as an effective treatment in the prevention of periventricular leukomalacia in preterm infants after an hypoxic-ischemic injury.[15] Other off-label and investigational uses of topiramate include the treatment of essential tremor, bulimia nervosa,[16] obsessive-compulsive disorder, alcoholism,[8] smoking cessation,[17] idiopathic intracranial hypertension, neuropathic pain,[18] cluster headache,[19] and cocaine dependence.[20]
Avatar universal
I am a TOPAMAX hair loss sufferer too! OMG! What a night mare! I took it about 3 years ago ( the real thing not the generic that I was recently on ) and did not have any side effects or hair loss. Took the generic for 3 months and the hair loss was UNREAL! I immedialty went off it cold turky and have not had any problems. ( only problem is still the hair loss ) How long does the hair loss continue? I will tell anyone and everyone to stay away from TOPAMAX!!!
Avatar universal
I have been on topamax for 1 & 1/2 years and now realize that it is the reason that my hair & eyelashes are falling out/breaking off. I also have been having depression and anxiety-which I have never had previously. I went on topamax for my migraines. All of these side-effects have snuck up on me and overwhelmed me. I am currently tapering myself off the drug and am down to 25 mg a day for the next 5 days.(You shouldn't quit the drug cold-turkey b/c it could cause seizures.) I will then quit it completely. I now realize that topamax was a horrible foggy drug that caused me too many problems...I often didn't even realize what was really wrong with me. I felt like I was going crazy. I am also thankful for finding this post. Don't take this drug to lose weight.....you will end up with more problems!
Avatar universal
I have been on Topamax 50 MG twice a day for about 6 months for seizures and just started to notice patches serious patches of hair falling out on the side of my head the front and the back I am only 26 years old and do not wanna loose my hair just yet is there any way to get it to stop falling out even my mother has noticed it and Im so depressed I have at least a seizure every 2 months and honestly if this medication is gonna cause my hair to fall out I would rather risk having them...
Avatar universal
   MIGRAINES, MIGRAINES, MIGRAINES

I have suffered with Severe Migraines since I came down with Encephalitis in 2006. However, I have been on Topamax 200mg for Migraines and lost alot of my hair. My hair got so thin and fell out, I was so embarresed and ashamed, I didn't know what was happening. But not only that, the pain was not stopping, I had to go back to my neuologist and have him put me on something else, he put me on Depakote 1000mg.And he prescibed me Naproxine for when pain  stikes...... Depakote is absolutly AMAZING for migraines , I recommend that to everyone. But that does however increase appetite , thats the only bad thing, but I would much rather be pain FREE,
Good luck to all of you......please talk with your doctor about Depakote.

God Bless
Avatar universal
Hi All, I just wanted to give you an update. I guess its been about 3 months and I am happy to report my hair is all growing back and I could not be happier.  I have been taking Biotin and other mineral which I also think are helping.  The blad spots now have "baby" hairs in them and I dyed my hair to watch the growth rate and its back to normal.  I actually have roots LOL.  I have also noticed that my eyelashes are growing in too.  I am glad to be off topamax ( I was taking 100mg a day).  I have only had a 1 or two migraines but I have been working with a new Chiropractor and it seems that he is helping.
Avatar universal
I found some interesting websites check them out they explain alot about what is happening to us it made me feel better knowing that this will stop after the meds are stops although it will take time.

http://www.baldingblog.com/2008/02/27/female-hair-loss-after-stopping-topamax/

http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1071566-overview

http://www.aocd.org/skin/dermatologic_diseases/telogen_effluvium.html
Avatar universal
I started taking topamax since June of 2009 for my migraines. I am writing this for those who are afraid about the hair loss and other side effects. When I first started taking Topamax, within weeks I lost 10 lbs, then after that about 2 months into it I lost another 15 lbs. A total of 25 lbs within 2 months. I beleive it's because of the fact that I stopped drinking sodas ( all of the tasted flat to me) and ate a lot less, and sweets just didn't do it for me anymore. Then I started losing large amounts of hair 3 months after I began taking topamax. Since I already have thin hair, I became very afraid that it I would go bald! So I stopped taking it cold turkey! The hair loss did continue to be the same for the next month, but in the beginning of month 2, it started tapering off and by the end of month 2, the massive amount of hair loss stopped! My hair has also started to grow back :) As for gaining my weight back, I have not gained 1 lb of it back! I just keep eating the same way as I did when I started taking Topamax, ie. no sodas, smaller amounts, and hardly any sweets! So, in conclusion, whoever tells you that you gain all the weight back gained it back because they started eating the same way as they did when they were heavier (pre topamax), and whoever says you don't grow your hair back and the hair loss doesn't stop, is exaggerating and just not being patient enough for the side effects to go away. I just want you to feel good and know everything will go back to normal. I was really afraid when I was going through my ordeal and reading all the negative posts. I am here to tell you EVERYTHING WILL BE OK AND GO BACK TO NORMAL within 2 to 3 months after you stop taking Topamax. God bless you all :)
535581 tn?1233757224
what dosage were you on?  I am only on 25mg once a day for migraines (he said to take it twice a day but I was hesitant),

I have no migraines anymore, no hair loss, and in a year I lost a few lbs.
Since I am reluctant to increase my dosage, if I care to lose more weight, it will have to be very slowly.  

I am just happy that my migraines are not so severe any more.  I was not in it to lose weight.

Good Luck!
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