Topamax & Seizures After Alcohol
[Home] [Bipolar News] [Bipolar Disorder] [Medications] [Treatments] [Bipolar Disorder/Job/School] [Disabilities] [Ask the Doctor] [Ask David] [Self-Injury] [Personal Stories] [Graham's Column] [Steven's Column] [Storm's Column] [Columnist Archives] [Suicide] [Community Support] [Family Members] [Expressions] [Greeting Cards] [Books] [Awards] [Links & Rings] [About Us] [Contact Us]


Q:  Topamax & Seizures After Alcohol

My daughter recently had two seizures on the day following a night of drinking alcohol, and I am wondering if the fact that she has been on Topamax for the past two-and-a-half years has any influence on these two withdrawal seizures (both occurred 10-12 hours after drinking).  I have read that both alcohol and topiramate act on the GABAA receptor and both through the chloride ion influx mechanism.  Could adding alcohol to the chronic inhibitory action of topiramate lead to hyperexcitation as the alcohol wears off? In other words, I am wondering if topamax, instead of protecting her from having a seizure after alcohol, might actually exacerbate a withdrawal seizure. 

She has not had a seizure in four years, so I am curious about the etiology of these recent seizures and what they might reveal about her seizure disorder in general.  I am aware that alcohol lowers one’s seizure threshold, and I don’t think she will ever take the risk of drinking alcohol again.  However, if topiramate does contribute to withdrawal seizures after alcohol, I would like to know, since it might influence her neurologist’s treatment plan – and it might explain something – anything - about precipitating factors in her seizures.

Thank you

Dear Ms. H' -- 
Fair question. I don't know the answer.  Seems plausible to me, e.g. if there were some peak/trough effects with twice daily topiramate dosing and those coincided somehow with the alcohol "trough"; otherwise, as you point out, you'd think there would be some protective effect.  I wonder if some neurology website has an ask-a-doc you could query?

Dr. Phelps


Published May, 2002 

Bipolar World   © 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Allie Bloom, David Schafer, M.Ed. (Blackdog)
Partners:  John Haeckel, Judith (Duff) 
Founder:  Colleen Sullivan

Email Us at Bipolar World


About Us  Add a Link  Advance Directives  Alternative Treatments  Ask the Doctor   Ask Dr. Plyler about Bipolar Disorder   Ask The Doctor/ Topic Archives  Awards  Benny the Bipolar Puppy  Bipolar Chat  Bipolar Children  Bipolar Disorder News  Bipolar Help Contract  Bipolar World Forums  Book Reviews  Bookstore  BP & Other mental Illness   Clinical Research Trials & FDA Drug Approval   Community Support   Contact Us  The Continuum of Mania and Depression   Coping   Criteria    Criteria and Diagnosis  Criteria-World Health Disabilities,  DSMV-IV   Dual Diagnosis  eGroups  Expressions (Poetry, Inspiration, Humor, Art Gallery, Memorials  Family Members   Getting Help for a Loved One who Refuses Treatment  Greeting Cards  History of Mental Illness  Indigo  Job and School  Links  Manage Your Medications  Medications   Medication and Weight Gain    News of the Day  Parent Chat  Pay for Meds  Personal Stories  Self Help  Self Injury  Significant Others  Stigma and Mental Health Law  Storm's Column  Suicide!!!  The Suicide Wall  Table of Contents   Treatments  Treatment Compliance  US Disability  Veteran's Chat  What's New?