Aa
A
A
A
Close
Depression Community
10.5k Members
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
Avatar universal
Hi Janie, I started at 25mg then increased it to 50mg then when I went up to 75mg the hair loss began and when I went up to 100mg, that is when it got worse. I will say that my migraines are nowhere near as bad as before even after I stopped taking Topamax. If I had to do it all over again, I would. As I said, I did lose hair, but you don't become bald and the hair does grow back. I hope this helps! Warmest Wishes! :)
572196 tn?1231253661
Has anyone tried supplementing with essential fatty acids, such as flax seed oil? When people on our hcg program start noticing hair loss, the doctor usually recommends supplementing with flax seed oil.
Avatar universal
I have been on topamax for several months at a dosage of 75mgs and am experiencing hair loss as well as the tingling, skin senisitivity,word loss, moodiness. My migraines are better. Not liking the hair loss or the other side effects. I am also taking wellbutrin and synthriod. You would think I would be uber skinyy, right? nope. Haven't lost a pound. Didn't even know it made you anorexic until I got on here to read about the baldness!! I am still 30 lbs overweight and I eat  a veggie/fruit/no red meat/no processed sugar diet. I have perfect cholesterol, great b.p., good blood sugar. except for the migraines and hashimoto's, I should feel tip top.No doubt tho, the hair loss and other side effects make you question whether relief from headaches are worth it.The headaches are better, not gone-but I know it was awful living with them everyday. It really wears on you.
Avatar universal
I 've been on topomax for 2 years now.  At the beginning I dropped weight from 113 to 101. I started taking a lot of vitamins to deal with the tiredness, after about 3 month I gained my appetite back.  As for the hair loss, nothing that I noticed or could attribute to Topomax. I go thru cycles where my hair doesn't shed, and some cycles where it just sheds.  By the way, topomax is great for the migraines, and now I am so used to it, it has no effect on my appetite or my energy level. Good Luck!
Avatar universal
what is the cure for my hair loss....please someone tell me....i have been off topamax for 4 months for my migraines. I was taking up to 400mg per day. I was on the drug for 4yrs. I went to 3 different hair specialist over this period of 4yrs and had holes drilled in my head and they would say it was stress, I had no stress other then hair loss. My hair has always looked like a breck girl commercial with hair down to my belt, thick, shiny it was my signature.. Then I realized about 2 plus years ago my hair is a mess, dry, very thin, barely exists below my shoulders. I am so in need of answers, I've went to a health food store today and the vitamin specialist is in unchartered territory also, I take these vitamins: biotin, prenatal, omega, b-complex, etc.. I also wash my hair with a shampoo that will take out medications in your hair.... I NEED HELP WITH MY CONT. HAIR LOSS... IT HAS NOT STOPPED SINCE I STOPPED THE DRUG.... PLEASE HELP AND LET ME KNOW IF ANYONE HAS THE CURE....
Avatar universal
I have to comment on the Hair Loss and Topamax.  I am also taking Topamax for headaches (75mg). It has been a wonder drug in respect to no more migraines!  I am losing hair by the handfuls as well.  It has been scaring me.  The weight lose I have lost about 35 lbs and have been on the medication since February.  So it didn't take long to lose the weight or the hair.  I am fortunate I have weight to lose and a lot of hair : )  It has concerned me, so I googled hair loss and the medication.  I am happy I found this site, but a bit concerned at the same time.  
1299065 tn?1272743441
Glad I found this site. After reading all the posts, it is settled. Topomax is causing my hair loss. Twice I've gone on it for migranes and nerve pain, and twice I've watched my hair slowly wither away.

I only took about 100mg a day. I'm down to 50 and it does not help. I see here that it will take awhile for the damage to reverse itself even if I stop cold turkey. So be it. I will find another way to manage the pain. Being a bald woman is just too painful on a day to day basis for me. If your married and have man that loves you no matter what... that might be different but I'm single and still need to look my best!

I would like to report some other side effects that I experienced on Topomax. These were less severe and less often but still bothersome none the less. Tingling scalp and sometimes the scalp was so tender I couldn't brush my hair. Weird narcoleptic episodes. Bladder spasms. And strangely I was suppose to take it for nerve pain and yet at higher doses it would increase my arm pain, so I backed off. One more thing... not only was my hair becoming brittle and fine, so were my nails and my skin became very dry. I always had oily skin before. I never watched myself age any faster in my life!

Sadly, this drug at low doses did wonders for my migranes and nerve pain. I lost a few pounds but nothing much. But, the big noticeable thing on this drug was the hair loss.

Nothing, I mean nothing like vitamins, shampoos or good diet, and drinking tons of water changed the hair loss and fragile nails or severe dry skin. Nothing except getting the drug out of my system.

I guess I will have to find holistic ways to manage the pain.
Avatar universal
I am so glad I found this site and all of you that are feeling what I am feeling. I thought I was the only one going through all of this drama! I feel like I am having a nervous breakdown over this hair loss. I have been on Topomax 150mg daily for 1 1/2 years. My hair has always been one the features I like most and loved  to keep up with the latest trends, well not anymore because I hardly have any hair left to do anything with. I can't even pull it up anymore and it is seriously stressing me out so much that I cannot take it. I am so embarrassed, I don't know how much longer I will be able to come to work if it continues to fall out. I look ridiculous! And now that I know there are all of you that are going through this too, I have got to get off of this medication. I am having panic attacks that I am going to lose all of my hair and it's not going to grow back and I'll have to get it cut super short and wear wigs. I'm only 34 and I feel like my social life is over...  All of the information that I've read on this site is helpful and I'm going to try some of the vitamins and such, I'm already using the rogaine.
Good Luck to all of you. And make sure to call into the 800 # and report
Avatar universal
This is just unbelievable that I find this site now. I been on topomax for a year 100 mg/2x daily for migraines. I've lost 35 lbs, but RN at Doc office is treating me like an anorexic since my hair loss started 2 months ago. She has villainized me and was very antagonistic about what I'm eating and drilling me, etc.
I did see a Dietitian who wants me on a 3000/day calorie diet, which is crazy. I'm 5'4", 125 lbs.  I did find out that I need to double my protein intake because I follow the low tyramine diet for migranes I wasn't getting enough protein.
This hair loss is horrible. Doc said to take 'MEN' 5% Rogain and it'll come back.
I'm printing this entire comment section and calling the Pharmaceutical Co.
Avatar universal
Hi all,

I took Topamax for about a year, 100 mg a day for migraines... Lost about 8 lbs, which was great, but noticed my beautiful, shiny hair had turned into dry, dull, brittle hair and there was none of it left!! I went to GP, dermatologist, OBGYN to find out the source-- nothing. It was causing me so much stress and tears-- I thought I was going bald at 26. Finally I took things into my own hands, starting researching and found forums like this one last fall... called my neuro and he said "Ohhh yeaaahhhh! That IS a side effect!" Thanks, buddy, for letting me know I would lose my hair.

In any case, great news is that I stopped taking Topamax and my hair has grown back, including its shine and softness! The results started coming almost immediately. So do not lose hope!! Your hair should grow back.

Unfortunately, I gained the weight back-- and then some-- and it's been hard to take off. UGH!

Also, FYI: http://www.freep.com/article/20100522/NEWS06/5220426/1319/Women-get-3M-each-for-unveiling-drug-firms-shady-sales-practices

Story came out today about the drug company trying to get people to use Topamax for other reasons besides epilepsy and migraines...
Avatar universal
I started taking topomax about one month ago and already noticed my hair falling out, I wasn't losing weight and dr. told me to take 2!  After reading the posts here, I'm throwing it out!  I too had beautiful long thick hair, I am now left with half of it, I'm so sad about it.  Thanks all for relating, I really appreciate all of your help, cause your not going to get it from doctors.
Avatar universal
The thing with the evening primrose - it is primarily omega-6 and there is more than enough of that in the average American diet. It is omega-3 that most people need more of, so I am afraid to take the E.P.!! *sigh* but if it works...what do other people think. Is there something else in it that helps with hair?
Avatar universal
Ive been on 50mg of Topomax daily as a mood stabilizer.  I lost weight when i first started taking it. I went from 120 to 107 in 10 days. Im not a big person and didnt need the weight loss. However I suffer from eating disorders and loved the size 0 I had become. However after 2 years my mood swings are still uncontrollable and my hair has fallen out to the point Im scared to touch it. Im going to take myself off Topomax being thin is not worth losing your hair and its not really helping with anything else. Truthfully Im really embarrassed with myself because a lot of you are dealing with more serious medical issues. Good luck!! And F@ck Topomax
Avatar universal
I was on 50mg 2x day for 6 months but noticed I was losing significant amounts of hair. I found out on the internet that hair loss is a side effect( I was taking for migraines) so I stopped taking it about 2 weeks ago. Now I use 500mgs vicodin when needed for pain.

I found this GREAT product on QVC called Hair Fill-in powder by Joan Rivers Beauty. It covers thin spots on your scalp and looks completely natural and is waterproof. It comes with a brush and goes on in seconds, after I put it on it my hair instantly looks twice as thick! I use Blonde even though I have medium brown because she recommends Blonde for everyone ironically unless you have actually have blonde hair, but anyway it works fabulously to cover a thinning scalp. Good luck to all of you on the weight loss battle- I am right there with you!
Avatar universal
For about a month I started suffering from real bad headaches. I thought it was due to a large goiter on my thyroid, well had a total thyroidectomy post 2 weeks and the headaches started a couple of days after surgery.  My neurologist today prescribed topomax which I will take before I go to bed.  Now I am on Levyothoraxine 137mcg and Topomax 25mg and I just don't know what to expect?  Nervous about all these pills.
Avatar universal
I thank each and every one of you and God that I came across this site. I have been on Topomax for a little over a year and same as everyone- so much hair loss. Everyday someone says "OMG I can't believe you cut your hair" or girl what happened to all your hair? For several months now I have been feeling crazy, some memory loss and my hair coming out everywhere. But never even thought of this wonderful medication I have been on all this time. I have had Cluster Migraines for about 6 years and about 2 years ago finally found out what they were, then started medications for them when I got on the Topomax daily, I felt so blessed. When I do (and not often anymore) have an occasional flair up the Dr. has me on Max Alt which dissolves under my tongue and works very well. I WILL NO LONGER TAKE TOPOMAX AND NOW I KNOW THAT I AM NOT CRAZY. I AM GOING TO REFER MY DR. TO THIS PAGE SO HE CAN SEE THAT HE IS CRAZY FOR NOT TAKING THE TIME TO LISTEN TO HIS PATIENTS OR CARE FOR THEIR LONG TERM WELL BEING! If anyone know of any other preventive medications for Cluster Migraines, please post them as I am to prepare myself. The Max Alt is very very expensive and not a daily preventive.
Avatar universal
Hey everyone.
I see everyone is freaking out about the side effects etc. But the truth is before you start these pills you have to ask yourself a question, IS IT WORTH IT!
For all of you out there who are trying to take it to lose weight, are in my opinion just dumb. Weight loss can be achieved by other things, the healthier way. Topamax will have you lose hair like crazy, you won;t be able to concentrate, think, finish your sentences, and only God knows what it does to your innear organs, for e.g your kidneys and liver. Now as a person who has been suffering from migranes my whole life, I am on Topamax for only that reason, because 5 advils wouldn't help me. Because it took over my life. Because I don;'t know what it feels like to not have a migrane! It Would hurt so much that I would honestly no lie bang my head of the wall, and pull my hair, and cry, and even tried taking my life once. That is the kind of case you would take topamax in, not just for some stupid idiotic reason, and I don’t mean to offend anyone, but this drug is not something you can play with. My doctor told me this is my last option, before giving me Topamax, Ive tried everything else and it didn’t work. These pills are usually, and normally treated for epilepsy patients, I think this is the hint of just how strong these pills are.
And I also want to point out that pills prescribed by a doctor and the ones you buy ONLINE, thinking it is topamax, ARE NOT THE SAME, so don’t be surprised if you are not getting the results you are expecting. Also this drug is not something you start off with 100 mg a day, you start on the smallest dose (25 mg), my doctors started me on half of tablet before bed time for 2 weeks, and then the whole pill for two weeks, and then and a half etc etc. You get the point.
Your immune system has to get used to it, has to adapt, so take it slowly, because that is also the only way the side effects wont be as bad. Now also when it comes to the hair loss, TAKE VITAMINS! Drink soya milk, eat veggies and fruit!
Would hurt so much that I would honestly no lie bang my head of the wall, and pull my hair, and cry, and even tried taking my life once. That is the kind of case you would take topamax in, not just for some stupid idiotic reason, and I don’t mean to offend anyone, but this drug is not something you can play with. My doctor told me this is my last option, before giving me Topamax, Ive tried everything else and it didn’t work. These pills are usually, and normally treated for epilepsy patients, I think this is the hint of just how strong these pills are.
And I also want to point out that pills prescribed by a doctor and the ones you buy ONLINE, thinking it is topamax, ARE NOT THE SAME, so don’t be surprised if you are not getting the results you are expecting. Also this drug is not something you start off with 100 mg a day, you start on the smallest dose (25 mg), my doctors started me on half of tablet before bed time for 2 weeks, and then the whole pill for two weeks, and then and a half etc etc. You get the point.
Your immune system has to get used to it, has to adapt, so take it slowly, because that is also the only way the side effects wont be as bad. Now also when it comes to the hair loss, TAKE VITAMINS! Drink soya milk, eat veggies and fruit!

Good luck everyone!
1456948 tn?1285467972
I had the same problem several years.  So much of my hair was coming out that my hairdresser asked me if I was going through chemotherapy.  I got off of the Topamox and took multivitamins.  Eventually I stopped losing hair.
Avatar universal
Hey Everyone,

I am currently on Topomax and have been since November of last year for migraines.  I am 48 and this was a last resort.  I was having 4-5 migraines a month.  Now I have one about every 5-6 weeks.  It's a big improvement.  However, the side affects are HUGE.  Did not read about them before starting the Topomax because I was desperate for the pain to end.  Now after almost a year I've lost 25 pounds and my hair is so thin there's almost nothing left to pull into a ponytail.  And I use to have A LOT of hair.  I do take lots of vitamins and try to eat which is hard considering Topomax makes you not want to eat.  It comes down to what's important.....less pain or looks.  Both are very important and we women are very vain with our hair.  Because it's been a year (almost) and my headaches are better, I am going to try to wean off of Topomax to see what happens.  I'll try to keep everyone informed.  Do what's best for you, and most importantly, please don't take this as a weight loss pill.  There are way too many side affects and way too many other options for that.
Avatar universal
I took topamax from feb-sept for migraine prevention.  It was a wonder drug.  But i started feeling sick and lossing hair a lot.  My doctor first thought it was gluten allergy but a week later i couldn't even eat food and my hair loss was out of control.  i even lost 4lbs in one week. Once he took me off of topamax i was able to eat. After 2 months and a prescription shampoo to control my itchy scalp my hair loss has slowed down A LOT! I lost around 1/4 of my hair. I actually can see lots of new hair growth on the top of my head, its great.  I've read way too many post on this topic where people explain the hair loss but only found a few post that actually says their hair loss stopped.  I hope this helps out anyone who is freaking out that their hair is never growing back cause it does and it will stop eventually.  
Have an Answer?
Top Mood Disorders Answerers
Avatar universal
Arlington, VA
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
15 signs that it’s more than just the blues
Discover the common symptoms of and treatment options for depression.
We've got five strategies to foster happiness in your everyday life.
Don’t let the winter chill send your smile into deep hibernation. Try these 10 mood-boosting tips to get your happy back
Smoking substitute may not provide such a healthy swap, after all.
How to lower your heart attack risk.