Monday, June 06, 2005

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Playing with your brain

A New Hope for Addicts in Newsweek discusses yet another use for the drug more commonly known as Topamax. In this case it is used to help alcoholics quit drinking. Topamax is an anti-seizure medication that has been approved for use in treating headaches as well as seizures. I have taken Topamax since August of last year for daily headaches; it gave me back my quality of life. It is expensive, one month's worth costs more than the rent on my first Apartment; thank goodness for health insurance. It has major side effects, some of which go away and some of which don't. At first I walked into walls, I couldn't think and I felt drugged. Those side effects went away, others have not. I can't spell anymore. I forget words and my grammar has suffered. I have to monitor what other medications I take because of this drug. I can't just go off of Topamax because I could have seizures. I have never in my life had a seizure disorder, but I may have given myself one, for the rest of my life, by taking this medication. In my case it was worth it because my headaches had become debilitating. I would work and go to bed and that was all I was able to manage in a day. I am grateful to have this medicine. But I would not take it to quit smoking, and I smoked while taking it, nor would I take it to quit drinking. Messing with your brain's wiring is a serious matter, my wiring is already off a bit hence the headaches, and others would say my obsession with Politics. I have to wonder about the wisdom taking a medication like Topamax, to cure an addiction, like smoking or alcoholism, which I have my doubts about considering I smoked for 8 months while taking it.