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Topiramate (Epitomax / Topamax) and diving

Discussion in 'Diving Medicine' started by JMBL, Oct 1, 2019.

  1. JMBL

    JMBL Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: France
    422
    160
    43
    Here's my problem :

    I'm 48, been diving for almost 30 years, and been living since I was 3 with essential tremor, a genetic condition which make my hands shake and twitch whenever I do something. It has nothing to do with Parkinson disease, it's not lethal, so I'm used to living with it and not to make a fuss. However, it's becoming more and more of an impairment, especially while working, so my neuro has prescribed me Topiramate (usually prescribed as anti-epileptic).

    I'm not very enthusiastic about it, because of the possible side effects, and I can't get any information about the implication of this medicine while diving. My neuro couldn't give me any info, nor could DAN.

    Is there anyone around here in the same fix as I ?
     
  2. MrVegas

    MrVegas Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Ohio
    116
    62
    28
    My kid was on Topamax for migraine prevention and was diving while taking it. He didn't have any issues with diving. (He was not going deeper than about 70 feet, and most dives were shallower, if that's relevant.) He's not on it anymore.

    Obviously, this is not medical advice, it's just one story, and you might be different, consult your doctor, etc.

    This DAN article has a discussion of Topamax (scroll down): Psychological Issues in Diving — DAN | Divers Alert Network — Medical Dive Article

    Past discussions on ScubaBoard: Topiramate and diving

    and here: Topamax
     
    JMBL likes this.
  3. JMBL

    JMBL Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: France
    422
    160
    43
    Thanks for the info and your experience.
     
  4. Sh0rtBus

    Sh0rtBus BUBBLLLLLLES! My Bubbles ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Denton, TX
    746
    461
    63
    I'm 42 and take Topiramate myself. Initially it was prescribed by my doctor to curb sugar cravings as part of a weight loss program, one of its good side effects, but I also suffer from migraines on occasion so two birds, one stone. To date I've never experienced any ill effects from it while diving but as previously stated this is not to be considered professional medical advice by any means. Everyone's body chemistry is different so YMMV. Next time I'm in to see my doctor though I can ask and see what he says, although I don't believe he's very well versed in scuba diving.
     
  5. JMBL

    JMBL Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: France
    422
    160
    43
    Thanks mate !
     
  6. Outbound

    Outbound Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Michigan
    162
    153
    43
    I'm neither a physician nor a pharmacist, but the drug interaction to be aware of for divers on topiramate is that you cannot take scopolamine with it. Topiramate can cause an increase in body temperature, which may be worsened with scopolamine. Many divers take the latter to alleviate seasickness while diving from boats. You risk heat stroke if you take them both.

    I know this because we looked it up for my wife, who takes Topamax for migraines and also gets massively seasick.
     
    Sh0rtBus likes this.
  7. JMBL

    JMBL Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: France
    422
    160
    43
    Thanks for the info, but being sea sick isn't something I experience very often so I've no use for scopolamine. Cross my fingers, hope it'll stay that way.
     
  8. Sh0rtBus

    Sh0rtBus BUBBLLLLLLES! My Bubbles ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Denton, TX
    746
    461
    63
    I, on the other hand, do get seasick from time to time. I was actually forced to scrub a dive in Cozumel back in August because of it. It was more the headache I had after the first dive, but that coupled with the pitching and rolling of the boat just didn't bode well with my equilibrium so I was done diving for morning. No Topiramate that morning, either.
     

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