Topamax: Substitute For Klonopin?!

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Plantscaper, Feb 6, 2003.

  1. Plantscaper

    Plantscaper New Member

    I am inquiring as to whether anyone with some medical knowledge would know whether Topamax could be a good substitute for Klonopin, both of which I think have been used as anti-convulsants. I know that Topamax is suppose to block the pain response in the brain, so that is why it is effective for migraine prevention, but does it also have a calming effect on the brain similar to Klonopin but without the associated potential addictiveness? AMELIA
  2. sheelanagigs

    sheelanagigs New Member

    dear amelia

    i have taken klonopin for years.

    yes some physicians DO harp the addiction qualities of klonopin; i fire them!

    certainly klonopin is nowhere near the addictivness of xanax or valium. more addictive than valium but was designed to replace valium and certainly nowhere near athe addictiveness and abuse of hydrocodone.

    heroin is a schedule I drug;
    morphine (the opioids) and amphetamines (like ritalin) are schedule II meds;
    hydrocodone is schedule III (like lortab);
    bezodiazepines, schedule IV--xanax and valium are schedule IV meds.

    xanax IS very addictive. it was designed to replace valium but is more addictive than valium.

    the addictive effects of klonopin, schedule IV, are low in comparison to xanax or valium, but because IS benzodiazepine IS considerd addictive.

    the klonopin dosage most of us take is very low. i was on .5 to 1.0 mgm of klonopin for four and a half years and never had to increase my dosage.....and it was rare that i took 1.0 mgm's.

    my rule of thumb for addiction is an increased amount of medication over time. i'd be concerned if i'd taken klonopin for all those years and had needed more and more. {for myself, i am careful about xanax. i once tried it for sleep and needed more in a short period of time. valium, on the other hand, does nothing for me; i think i could take a bathtub full of valium and it would do nothing for me.}

    a concern IS abrupt cessation of klonopin; you can feel terrible, so a gradual withdrawal is recommended...however, if you are regularly taking xanax, please do NOT abruptly stop taking it; can cause seizures and other untoward side effects}

    of course, the use of klonopin for CFS is "off label"--that is, used other than the originally intended usage (like anxiety or seizures)

    TOPAMAX:
    precise effect not known

    warnings: cognitive neuropsychiatric effects like psychomotor slowing, difficulty in speech, language, and word finding--some of the very things of CFS/ME/FM.

    can also cause sleepineess or fatigue

    as an add-on therapy for seizures, side effects are dizziness, memory problems, irritability, mild to modernate depression

    I DO NOT KNOW OF ANY OFF-LABEL USE OF TOPAMAX; however, not knowing, does not mean it does not work.

    just FYI the stated side effects. topamax is not a primary drug for control of seizures; it is for "in addition to..."


    good luck
    oonie

    oonagh Ryan-King
    Oakland CA
  3. Dara

    Dara New Member

    for seizures and she hasn't had even one seizure since she started taking it almost a year ago. It is the only "anti-seizure" medication she takes and it has worked very well for her. Also, she used to get Migraines all the time, she hasn't had even one Migraine since starting the Topomax. The neurologist told her that one of the side affects was loss of weight, well she has lost over 70 pounds in about eight or nine months. So, if your looking to lose some weight it's probably a plus!!

    Dara
  4. Plantscaper

    Plantscaper New Member

    Was she able to prevent migraines at the 50mg level of Topamax? I have just increased to that level and seem to not be able go further due to the extreme fatigue I have on Topamax.. I do think it helps except for that particular side effect, but I don't have any energy to move at all..AMELIA
  5. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Needing to take an increased dose of a medication for a medical condition is NOT addiction. It is tolerance. There is a HUGE difference. There is a lot of misinformation regarding this.

    A person who is addicted displays addictive behavior taking more and more of a drug to get high or experience a certain emotional/psychological state. This person will do whatever it takes to get drugs, including commiting crimes.

    A person who has a medical condition does not get high from taking meds designed to help with the condition. Over time, some meds lose their effectiveness, and higher doses must be prescribed to effectively deal with the condition. This IS NOT addiction. Less than one percent of people suffering from chronic pain become addicted to opiods.

    Drugs, by themselves, are not addictive. There are addictive personalities who can become addicted to any of a number of things, including drugs. Some drugs are more attractive to addicts and produce highs more easily than others, depending on the person and the method of delivery of the drug.

    Unfortunately, misinformation abounds, not only in the general population, but in the medical arena as well. It often keeps people from receiving the tratment they need.

    I have taken the same dose of Klonopin for more than a year (some here have been on the same dose for many years) and it has allowed me to sleep, eliminated my anxiety/panic attacks, and greatly reduced my tinnitus and sensory overload.

    Dr. Cheney has written an excellent article which is in our library on Klonopin. It does a very good job of explaining the slight seizure state of our brains and how Klonopin can help.

    Love, Mikie
  6. Plantscaper

    Plantscaper New Member

    I am not saying anyone is addicted, here.. I am just trying to find a good replacement for the drug that some people think is addictive, and I prefer not to change docs, because as you probably know there are few that are that good in relationship to this disease..it took me 12 years to find a doc that seemed to comprehend and care at all...
  7. cowlady

    cowlady Member

    I take 400 mg of topomax a day. I take 2mg of Klonopin at night. The klonopin is to stop the restles leg syndrome and topomax to stop the pain. I have never felt Klonopin was addictive and I have taken it for about a year. NOW if you stop it cold turkey you feel bad so your are better to wean yourself off it but other than that it helps your rest a little better. My father takes it to help w/ his Parkinson's disease.
  8. Dara

    Dara New Member

    I think my daughters dosage of Topomax is 150mg twice a day now. At first she also had the fatigue but as soon as her system got used to it that went away. She's doing great on it.

    Dara
  9. Plantscaper

    Plantscaper New Member

    Dear Dara, I just need a little more info..do you remember how long it took for the side effect of fatigue to disappear? I know it is due to this med because soon as it wears off, I start having more pep...Thanks for your help... LOVE, AMELIA