Has anyone been prescribed Topamax purely as a sleep aid?
February 11, 2013 9:13 AM Subscribe
My pdoc prescribed me Topamax as a sleep aid. I do not have epilepsy or migraines, which Topamax is usually prescribed for. I have searched Crazymeds and a couple other drugs forums and no-one has ever mentioned it being prescribed purely
as a sleep aid. Oh, and it doesn't even work.
posted by Rosie M. Banks to Health & Fitness (24 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Long story: I have bipolar and take Lamictal and Wellbutrin. The latter doesn't spin me into mania, luckily, but it works wonders in keeping depression at bay. I was taking Ambien for sleep for quite some time, but it stopped working, so my pdoc switched me to Seroquel. That made me gain weight and gave me horrible hunger pangs - I could eat and eat and EAT until my stomach burst and still feel hungry.
Obviously the Seroquel was not sustainable, so I weaned off. I asked my pdoc what would help me sleep but not make me gain weight, and he prescribed Topamax. I did some research and found out that 1) it's not normally a sleep med, 2) it doesn't even make you feel sleepy half the time, and 3) is known as "Dopamax" for good reason. I did try taking it at the lowest dose (25 mg) and got nothing but sore feet. No sleepy-byes.
Right now I am working very hard on sleeping without any drugs at all. So far an air purifier, Breathe Right nasal strips, avoiding caffeine after 10 AM, taking my Wellbutrin before 10 AM, and listening to soothing music have all helped. I do so much better at staying asleep. It's falling asleep that's still tricky. I've stayed awake tossing and turning for two hours. Not fun. And I refuse to sleep in (that's a terrible habit, AFAIC, that I do not wish to start. Besides, I love being up with the sun).
When I asked my pdoc if I could resume Ambien just as needed (since I'm really trying hard to train myself to sleep) he said no, it "disturbs sleep patterns." And Lunesta is a no-go because Kaiser doesn't cover it and pdoc says "it doesn't work." I wonder if he is thinking that I am a drug seeker (oh horrors!), but if that is so why wouldn't he say something?
So - tl;dr: Anyone find that Topamax works purely as a sleep aid (since I don't have migraines or epilepsy which it is usually prescribed for)? Any chronic insomniacs - I've been one since childhood - successfully sleep without pills? Is it time for a new pdoc and maybe a neurologist or sleep lab test? (I did take a sleep test, one of those take-home kind, and it didn't detect sleep apnea). Or can I just take heart that we need less sleep as we age? (I am a post-menopausal woman.)