New Brunswick, (PressExposure) June 02, 2009 -- Topiramate is an anticonvulsant drug produced by Ortho-McNeil Neurologics and Noramco, Inc., both being divisions of Johnson & Johnson. This drug is used for a variety of purposes. One of them is for treating epilepsy in both children and adults. It has been used by psychiatrists for treatingAlso, one of its most popular uses is as a teen drug treatment for alcoholism.
bipolar disorder, although it is not FDA approved for this purpose. This drug has been investigated for use in treatment of obesity, especially to aid in the reduction of binge eating.
Topiramate As Alcoholism Treatment
Topiramate, a derivative of the naturally occurring sugar monosaccharide D-fructose, has been found effective in helping alcoholics quit or cut back on the amount they drink. In one study heavy drinkers were six times more likely to remain abstinent for a month if they took the medication, even in small doses.
In another study, those who received topiramate had fewer heavy drinking days, fewer drinks per day and more days of continuous abstinence than those who received the placebo. Topiramate as a teen drug treatment works by reducing dopamine so that drinkers no longer get any pleasure from consuming alcohol.
Side Effects of Topiramate
Side effects of using topiramate varies from the type of illness it was used for. When used as treatment for repeated migraines, side effects may include: tiredness, pins and needles in the fingers and toes, dizziness, lowered sense of feeling in the skin, difficulty with language, nausea, diarrhea, indigestion, dry mouth, weight loss, decrease in appetite, drowsiness, forgetfulness, difficulty with concentration or attention, difficulty in sleeping (insomnia), anxiety, mood swings, depression, changes in taste and vision disorders.
Other known side effects, including side effects when used as a teen drug treatment, may include:
* paresthesia (numbness & tingling)
* upper respiratory tract infection
* anorexia (loss of appetite)
* memory problems
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a notification alerting physicians who prescribe topiramate, and their patients, to the risk of vision loss (blindness). Acute myopia and secondary angle closure glaucoma, in a small subset of patients who take topiramate regularly, may cause transient (reversible), or permanent, loss of vision.
Another serious side-effect is the development of osteoporosis in adults and children (bones affected break more easily) and rickets (abnormal, deformed growth of bones) in children. Topiramate may also slow the growth of children.