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CONSUMER AFFAIRS: Patients Report Issues with New Version of Topamax

topamax_mediumTopiramate is a drug, also marketed under the brand name Topamax, that is used to treat certain types of seizures in people who have epilepsy. Topiramate is also used with other medications to control seizures in people who have Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, a disorder that causes seizures and developmental problems.

It can also be used to prevent migraine headaches. It’s in a class of medications called anticonvulsants. It works by decreasing abnormal excitement in the brain and is a widely and successfully used drug.

The drug is now generic and is produced by different pharmaceutical companies. Carol, of Lafayette, La., reports taking 100 mg twice daily for sciatic nerve pain.

“I was getting Topiramate by Teva Pharmaceuticals and I was having very little discomfort once I went from once a day to twice a day dosing,” she writes in a ConsumerAffairs post. “The last few times I have received my prescription, however, I got a prescription filled by Zydus Pharmaceuticals with a round white pill.”

Trouble sleeping

Carol says she began to notice changes. It started with her sleep pattern.

“For somebody that doesn’t sleep all that well to begin with I started being up at two and three in the morning with aching legs and my back really hurting,” she writes. “I didn’t think of it being the medicine at that time. Then this month when my legs and my back have hurt to the point that I am in tears I knew something was wrong. I was taking my medicine and nothing was different with my life style so the only thing that is different since I began hurting is this white pill.”

She says the previous prescription she had for topiramate, which was a yellow oblong pill, worked well. She would like to have it back. Sage, of Anaheim, Calif., said he took tramadol before switching to Teva’s topiramate. He’s now taking it from the new manufacturer.

“Since they switched my meds to Zydus I have headaches, immediate weight gain, I’m super irritable, and the meds are ineffective in general,” he writes. “I hope they don’t make me stay with Zydus!”

More headaches

Katie, of Taylorsville, Utah, says she takes the Zydus 100mg topiramate tablets for her headaches. She says they are no longer as well-controlled as they once were.

“Whether this is due to the concentration of active ingredient in the medication is uncertain to me, but that is what I suspect,” Katie posted. “I have found some 50mg tabs from a different manufacturer in my travel bag and for about one week have taken one of these with one 100Mg Zydus topiramate tab and this has helped better than the other combinations mentioned above.

Cheryl, of Louisville, Ky., recently switched over to the topiramate 100mg tablets from Zydus. She and her husband began noticing changes.

“My emotions are out of control,” she writes. “Anger and depression off the charts. Finally I decided to get to the bottom of the situation, the change in my topiramate is the only new thing, it has to be the problem. I called Walgreens, they told me they have not received any complaints about this manufacturer. After reading all this online, I find that hard to believe.”

Side effects

What could be behind these reports? Drugs are known to have side effects and topiramate is no different. In fact, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the list of potential side effects for this drug is extensive. They include:

  • numbness, burning, or tingling in the hands or feet
  • slowed reactions
  • difficulty concentrating
  • speech problems, especially difficulty thinking of specific words
  • memory problems
  • lack of coordination
  • confusion
  • nervousness
  • aggressive behavior
  • irritability
  • mood swings
  • depression
  • headache
  • drowsiness
  • weakness
  • weight loss
  • increased saliva
  • back, muscle, or bone pain
  • difficulty falling or staying asleep

Some of these side effects were mentioned by the patients posting at ConsumerAffairs. It may be possible that a change in dosage could result in new sensitivity. Anyone who notices new side effects when their medication is altered in any way should inform their doctor immediately.

SOURCE: http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news/new-version-of-epilepsy-drug-triggers-negative-reactions-in-some-patients-071213.html


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  1. Great information!

  2. I’ve had these EXACT same issues with the Zydus version of Topimax. My migraines are back to out of control. I don’t have epilepsy but I do have a vertebral artery dissection, which is the injury which causes strokes. The Teva version helped my symptoms, the Zydus brand, made me feel awful again. I have sent complaints in to consumer affairs. Walgreens is now refusing to carry the Teva version. I’m forced to find a new pharmacy or pay the out of pocket costs for the real Topimax.

  3. i refuse to keep taking the topimax version from Zydus.. i kept more headaches with them.. i am now suffering with headaches everyday.. because my job use mail order and Express scripts are funny with getting your medicine at pharmacy.. i woud rather pay full price for the medicine then to be sick the way i am now.

  4. The Zydus brand is horrible, I don’t know if there is any of the active ingredient in it at all. Twice in the past 3-4 years I have been given the Zydus brand instead of Teva and both times I’ve gotten withdrawal symptoms as if withdrawing from Topiramate. If it isn’t the drug why are they permitted to sell it as the drug?

  5. I understand that Teva has now stopped making the topirimate. I have tried the Glenmark brand at the suggestion of the pharmacist. What is anyone else doing that is working?

    • No they haven’t. I have had issues with multiple pharmacies telling me the same thing, and saying they only have the Zydus generic brand . Not true, I just had some ordered by Teva from my pharmacy today, the pharmacist informed me, that they just have to order it for me by Teva if that is my preference . Sorry you are having problems with this matter, hope it works out for you!

    • Which pharmacy? I’m having the same problem. Nobody has Teva or they say they don’t have it anymore.

  6. On the Teva website it only lists 15mg and 25mg sprinkle capsules. I would have to take 8 25mg capsules a day to get to my 200mg dosage. Perhaps you are on a lower dose, Jaleda? If not please let me know so I can try asking around at pharmacies again. I guess I’ll ask for Glenmark.

  7. There are more patients and the pharmaceutical companies are adding more fillers. I have seen this happening. I can’t get the right med anymore!

  8. I realize this is an older post and an epilepsy forum, but I feel I must share my experience with this manufacturer, Zydus. I, too, jsut discovered that my Topamax is coming from them, which I will hopefully be able to ask my pharmasist for another brand. I spent 3 miserab;e months this summer learning that Zydus, a manufacturer from India, has a real successful campaign with the “big box” chain pharmacies of America, and from the above, that sounds like the mail orders, too (which are CVS based, I believe.) Zydus must really pay them ALOT to be the brand that they provide, and them alone. Once Walgreen’s switched my Morphine from Endo brand to Zydus, I actually thought I had influenza, I felt so poorly. It took me 3 months of research to run down the reason. But since Walgreens chose to carry only THAT brand in the extended release form, I changed pharmacies. BONUS: It saved me over $50 a month! I began to feel better within days, and documented it all with my doctor. But, alas, I just now see that my Topamax is Zydus, and now I have the explaination for why my migraines are back. Hopefully my smaller pharmacy carries more than one brand of Topamax. Thank you and bless you all.

  9. After not having to go through mail order pharmacy I recently changed insurance and got the Zydus brand of this medicine previously I was not having migraine headaches but after receiving this generic I started having horrible recurring migraine headaches and on top of that constant diarrhea for days on end immediately upon stopping this medicine within 24 hours my diarrhea went away and I’m able to control my headaches by taking Excedrin but this generic brand Zydus is completely worthless. Pity they have companies selling it just because of pricing when it’s a product that fails to help people.

  10. I have cronick migraine headaches and I used to take topamax until my insurance force me to changed to the generic brand , for almost one year now I notice the headaches have increased and I was thinking that was because I can’t sleep, which I also didn’t know why, after went to my cardiologist and done a sleep apnea test , I find out I was stressed and depressed no reason for, I wake up w bloury vision every day and terrible headaches , I have been very agessive and I think something was wrong w me until two days ago I went to my neurologist and he ask me is I had switch to the generic ?
    I told him yes because of the insurance, and I told him I never have this problems w topamax, can u please put me back ? He said my insurance wouldn’t pay for!
    And is thru , I am fighting right now w my insurance so I don’t have to take a medication that make me sick, or take the one that make me better but have to pay 300 a month for
    How our government let this happen and why no one does nothing about it?
    Topiramate is making ppl sick
    Wen this going to stop?

  11. I used glenmark brand with no problems and was recently switched to zydus also. I started to have withdrawal symptoms as well and frequent headaches. I filed a complaint with my insurance company and switched back to glenmark but also filed a complaint on the FDA website. I urge each and every one of you to do the same. There must be something wrong with this manufacturer but unless enough people formally complain the FDA it won’t get looked into. The website to file a complaint is https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/medwatch/index.cfm?action=reporting.home

    • Wow! Thank you all for these comments. I thought I was losing it. I used to take the Teva brand and had marvelous results for my headaches. Lately my headaches have been coming back, and I have had the symptoms of the leg aches and back aches at night but had no idea what was causing them. I have not been happy with this Zydus brand for a long time but did not link those symptoms with the pills. What an eye opener. I am going to do some research and see if I can change brands. I will also file the complaint on the FDA website. Thanks for the information!

  12. OMG!!! I know this is old, but I am new to this medication (migraines) and the EXACT same thing happened to me!!! First month I must have had a different manufacturer, second month within 10 days I had insomnia, nausea, tingly feet, face…. my insurance company made me switch pharmacies (thank GOD) maintenance meds 90 day scripts on my 3rd fill ….. within 10 days back to normal …. that’s when I suspected the meds…. sure enough when I did a search….. Zydus ( my second fill) which caused me sooooo many problems led me here. I called Walgreens…. also told no one else has mentioned any problems with this pharmaceutical company?!?! Hmmmm I find this hard to believe!
    I hope more people speak out.

  13. I am taking name brand topamax by Jansen been on it for a long while recently I filled my script (same maker) and since I have been on a rollercoaster of anger and depression and can’t figure out why… such crap

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