Obesity continues to be the preeminent health issue of our time. In this article, we will bring to light important information in regards to the medication known as Topamax. Topamax is used mainly as an anticonvulsant drug to prevent seizures by blocking neuronal voltage-dependent sodium channels, enhancing GABA(A) activity, antagonizing AMPA/kainite glutamate receptors, and weakly inhibiting carbonic anhydrase.
Off-label uses of this medication includes alcohol dependence, anti-psychotic-induced weight gain, binge eating disorder, bulimia nervosa, cluster headache (prophylaxis), and essential tremor.
Topamax is used off label for weight loss by some practitioners. The drug was originally approved by the FDA in the treatment of epilepsy. During the clinical trial, it was noted that it has side effect of weight loss in the patient taking it. Topamax has never received FDA approval for the treatment of weight loss in it is being used off label.
Topamax effect on weight loss is very modest. It causes average of weight loss of only 8 pounds.1 The exact mechanism by which Topamax causes weight loss is not known but the most common theory is that Topamax causes loss of the taste sensation which leads to the loss of pleasure associated with food making the patient eat less.
Another theory is that Topamax reduces cortisone production. It also may cause decrease in the glucose and insulin level which put the body in a ketosis causing weight loss.
Topamax has many serious side effects which include:
- Paresthesia (abnormal sensation such as tingling, tickling, pricking, numbness or burning of a person’s skin with no apparent physical cause)
- Memory impairment
- Chest pain
- Loss of hair
- Decreased libido
- Kidney stones
The Metabolism Clinic advises against the use of Topamax for weight loss. Its effect on weight loss is modest, it has a list of unfavorable side effects, and it does not address the metabolic dysregulation.
Topamax was not designed for weight loss and the weight loss that is a result of Topamax use is only an unintended side effect.
The Metabolism Clinic is established as the destination for weight loss and reversal of diabetes. Based in Charlotte, North Carolina. www.themetabolismclinic.com