Epilepsy Home > Topamax for Obesity

A healthcare provider may prescribe Topamax® (topiramate) to treat several conditions that affect the nervous system. Specifically, this prescription medication is approved to treat epileptic seizures and prevent migraines. However, on occasion, a healthcare provider may decide to prescribe this drug for other, unapproved uses ("off-label" uses).
Although it is not approved for treating obesity, Topamax may be prescribed off-label for this use. Weight loss is one of the most common side effects of this medication. In clinical studies, weight loss was reported in up to 16 percent of adults and up to 21 percent of children. However, weight loss may not be a desirable effect for some people.
In general, using Topamax for obesity treatment is not considered a good choice due to other potential side effects, such as memory loss or difficulty concentrating. These problems can make it difficult to tolerate this medication.
A few studies have shown that Topamax is effective for treating obesity (especially in people with type 2 diabetes), but these studies generally concluded that the side effects were not necessarily worth the benefits.
(Click Topamax Weight Loss for more information on using Topamax for obesity. This article also explains why some healthcare providers may prescribe the drug off-label for obesity and describes the potential risks.)
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Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
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