A lot of people take topiramate hoping to lose weight. Can you really lose weight on this medication? Let’s find out together.
What is Topiramate?
Topiramate is a medication that is commonly used to treat epilepsy and obesity. It blocks the action of sodium channels, which means it prevents neuronal firing. This medication has been proven to be more effective when used in combination with a ketogenic diet or exercise. However, it has not been clearly established whether or not topiramate causes weight loss in humans. Studies have shown that it may have some effect on rats and dogs (especially in combination with a low-carbohydrate diet).
This medication is classified as a “neuromodulator” because it helps modulate (or change) the activity of neurons in the brain. There is some evidence that it has this effect on people with epilepsy, which is why it is a commonly used drug to treat the condition. However, the effect on people with epilepsy is unknown.
Can You Lose Weight on Topiramate?
While topiramate has not been established as a clear cut weight loss medication, it has been proven to be effective at helping people with obesity. In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved it for the treatment of obesity in adults. The recommended dose is between 50 mg and 100 mg per day. However, you should not exceed this dose, as high doses can cause serious side effects. These include nerve damage and impeded kidney function.
The question is: Can you lose weight on topiramate? The short answer is: maybe. It depends on how you take it. The FDA-approved dosing for this medication is between 50 mg and 100 mg per day. To determine how much weight you can lose on this medication, you have to consider your body mass index (BMI). BMI is a measure of weight that takes into account your height. It is used to classify obesity and underweight levels. If your BMI is 30 or greater, you are considered obese. You may have heard of the obesity epidemic in America. It is attributed to several factors, including genetics and poor diets. However, there is some speculation that the increase in medication use may also play a role.
People with epilepsy who are also overweight or obese typically experience improvement in their condition with the use of topiramate. It can also help them lose weight, though the effect is not clearly established. If you are a person with epilepsy who is overweight or obese, it is definitely a safe bet to try and take topiramate. However, it is not a given that you will lose all of your weight once you start taking this medication. There is some evidence that it can have an adverse effect on renal function, so you should not take it if you have kidney disease. You should also not take it if you are allergic to it, as its side effects can include hives and anaphylaxis (which is a severe allergic reaction). Lastly, you should not take it if you are pregnant or nursing babies. Topiramate can pass through the human milk and may cause serious adverse effects in the fetus.
Dosing Your Body Weight
To determine the right dose of topiramate for you to lose weight, you have to consider your body weight. To lose 1 kilo (about 2.2 pounds), you will need to take around 15 mg per day. To lose 2 kilos (about 4.4 pounds), you will need to take around 30 mg per day. To lose 3 kilos (about 6.6 pounds), you will need to take around 45 mg per day. If you are already on the low end of the scale and want to lose a little more weight, you can try taking 50 mg per day for a few days, then increasing the dose by 10 mg per day each week until you reach the maximum tolerated dose. Alternatively, you can try a high dose for the first week, then reducing it to the normal dose over a period of several weeks.
It is a good idea to talk to your doctor or pharmacist about the right dose for you. They can help you avoid taking too much or too little of the medication. They can also help you determine the right time for you to start taking it and how long it should be continued for.
How Does Topiramate Work?
As mentioned, topiramate is used to treat epilepsy and obesity. It is not a cure for either condition, but it can help to improve the symptoms. For people with epilepsy, it can be especially useful in controlling seizures. This may be due to its effect on sodium channels. These are protein channels that allow for the entry of sodium ions into neurons and muscle cells. The sodium ions contribute to the electrical activity of these cells. Thus, blocking these channels can prevent the flow of sodium ions into the cell, which in turn, will decrease its electrical activity. This may help to prevent seizures in people with epilepsy.
For people with obesity, the mode of action of topiramate is not clearly established, but it may have an effect on the appetite center in the brain. It is known to block the action of sodium channels in the nerve endings, which may prevent them from communicating with the central nervous system. As a result, the brain does not receive the signal to eat and subsequently loses weight.
Topiramate is not meant to be a first line medication for weight loss. It is usually prescribed along with a diet and exercise program. The effect of this medicine in combination with a ketogenic diet has not been established in people with epilepsy. However, the effect in combination with a low carbohydrate diet has been proven in studies. The combination of these two elements may prove to be more effective than either one used alone in treating obesity in people with epilepsy.
The Effects of Topiramate on Animals
While topiramate has not been clearly established as a weight loss medication, it has been proven to be effective at helping people with obesity. In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved it for the treatment of obesity in adults. The recommended dose is between 50 mg and 100 mg per day. However, you should not exceed this dose, as high doses can cause serious side effects. These include nerve damage and impeded kidney function.
There is already some evidence that topiramate can have an effect on animals. Studies have shown that it can decrease food intake in dogs and rats. It has also been shown to increase the activity of a chemical in the brain called cholecystokinin (CCK). CCK is a hormone that contributes to appetite regulation. In rats, it has been shown to increase the expression of genes that are involved in metabolism, as well as to decrease the expression of genes that are involved in inflammation. This may indicate that topiramate has an effect on the metabolism of both nerve and immune cells. These effects have yet to be fully elucidated.
Is Topiramate Safe?
While topiramate has not been proven to be toxic, it can cause several side effects. These are similar to those that are associated with epilepsy. However, these side effects are usually mild and transient. They include dry mouth, muscle pain, a tingling sensation, and drowsiness. The major concern is that it can cause nerve damage. This is why it is not recommended for use in people with diabetes or heart disease. It can also aggravate these conditions.
In people who are prone to developing epilepsy, there is some evidence that high doses (over 30 mg per day) may increase the risk of developing the condition. However, it is usually a matter of concern only in people who are already on the medication. If you develop symptoms of nerve damage while on topiramate, discontinue use of the medication and consult your doctor right away. This is especially important if you are also taking other medications or supplements that can interact with this medication. Some examples of such medications or supplements are:
- SSRIs (Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors)
- TCAs (Tricyclic antidepressants)
- St John’s Wort
If you are hesitant to try topiramate to treat your obesity, it is best to proceed with caution. It is a good idea to try and take low doses, if you are taking other medications or supplements. Speak to your doctor about the right dose for you. As always, he or she will be able to advise you on the best course of treatment for your specific situation.