Hair Loss from Topamax? Recommendations for Battling Topirimate Side-Effects

September 7th, 2014

hair loss

Topamax and Hair Loss

Topical Treatments and Nutritional Options
Discover What’s Working for Others

If you search online for “Topamax and Hair Loss” you will find many posts from people struggling with this problem and seeking advice. Just why and how Topamax causes hair loss for some users is not known, but more and more users are reporting this side-effect.

Is “Hair Loss” Even Listed as a Side Effect?!

It’s always good to read the warnings regarding side-effects before starting a new drug. However, many people have stated that hair-loss is not listed as a side-effect of Topamax.  It doesn’t appear that hair loss is mentioned anywhere, confirming the frustration of so many migraine sufferers – they didn’t expect it, making it all the more aggravating.  But if you take a closer look – the hair loss information may be there, but in disguise, referred to as Alopecia.

According to the official Topamax website, the common side-effects are numbness and tingling in the arms and legs, fatigue, taste change (food and drink tastes different), difficulty with concentration and difficulty with memory.  Hair loss is not mentioned.  Serious Topamax side-effects are described in the manufacturers Important Safety Information section.

MedlinePlus, an informative drug database and service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health provides a lot of information, but does not seem to mention anything about hair loss.

Nutritional Options: Many people experience improvement (with hair loss AND migraines) when they address nutritional deficiencies


Topamax and Hair Loss – What Can You Do?

Visit online forums to find out what works for others.
Visiting online forums is a good way to read the stories of others who are experiencing the same dilemma and discover what is or isn’t working.  Nutritional options and remedies are also shared. You’ll see that users share their frustration about their hair loss from Topamax, and about being uninformed of this side-effect. The Women’s Hair Loss Project is another resource.


Two Tactics for Combating Hair Loss:

from the inside (nutritionally) and from the outside (topical treatments)

Topical Treatments:
Some people have had success with the following products when applied to hair and scalp

Nioxin shampoo and products for thinning hair – Often recommended for cancer patients who lose their hair due to chemotherapy, Nioxin can be found in many retail stores, beauty supply stores and online.

Rosemary Oil (herb) – Although it’s not clear how rosemary works for hair loss, applying it to the scalp irritates the skin and increases blood circulation.  Using rosemary oil for hair loss is one of the most effective, natural solutions. Rosemary essential oil stimulates circulation to the scalp and destroys any bacteria that could clog hair follicles.

Rosemary for Daily Use – You may also use rosemary oil for hair loss on a daily basis through scalp massage and with daily shampooing. For a daily massage to stimulate new growth, add two drops of rosemary oil to one ounce of jojoba oil. Rub into the scalp for three minutes in the morning before showering. Another tip for nourishing your hair on a daily basis is to add rosemary to your shampoo or conditioner. Use one drop of oil for every four ounces of shampoo or conditioner. For hair loss, rosemary essential oil blends well with lavender, sage or peppermint. If blending, use half rosemary essential oil and half of your choice of another oil.

Hot Oil Hair Treatment – Once a week use a hot oil treatment for your hair and scalp. Combine 5 drops of rosemary essential oil with 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a small jar with a lid.  Warm the oil-rosemary solution by placing the jar in a bowl of  hot water (recently boiled) the oil is warm.  Comb through damp hair. Wrap a bath towel around your head to keep in the heat and let stand for 20 minutes or more.  The rosemary treatment and heat will increase circulation to the scalp and you should see an improvement with hair growth

Lavender & Other Essential Oils for Hair Growth –  This is a treatment that has been recommended for people with Alopecia areata (a type of hair loss that occurs when your immune system mistakenly attacks hair follicles, which is where hair growth begins).  This essential oil blend includes lavender, thyme, rosemary, cedarwood, plus the carrier oils jojoba and grape-seed (a carrier oil dilutes the essential oils and aids in the delivery of their healing properties without irritation).
To make an essential oil blend, mix the following:
3 drops of lavender oil
3 drops of rosemary oil
2 drops of thyme oil
2 drops of cedarwood oil
4 tsp. of grapeseed oil
1/2 tsp of jojoba oil
Mix the oils well before massaging the oil into your scalp. Apply to a small patch of your scalp before putting it on your entire scalp, to see how your skin reacts. If you do not have a negative reaction, massage the mixture into your scalp five minutes, being sure to cover bald or thinning spots. If the lavender oil becomes overwhelming to your senses, add a little more of one of the carrier oils (grapeseed, jojoba or even olive oil) to further dilute the mixture. Try not to dilute the oil too much, though, because you may lose the benefit. After you’re done, cover your hair with a towel. It’s suggested, that to see the best results, one should do this routinely for at least seven months. Apply before bed, and wash your hair in the morning.


Nutritional Options: Many people experience improvement (with hair loss AND migraines) when they address nutritional deficiencies

Biotin – is a member of the B-vitamin family known as Vitamin B7 and helps with cell growth and blood sugar maintenance. It has been proven to help hair grow stronger and longer and it also helps strengthen your nails.h It has even been shown to reverse premature graying.  It is especially important to the skin cells as they are frequently replaced due to their exposure to the outside environment. Biotin also protects the nervous system, preventing seizures, ataxia and loss of muscle tone.

Biotin is also great for stress because it’s an important component of the nerves. Stress can cause hair loss so adding biotin to the diet gives protection both to the hair follicles and to the nerves that support their proper function.Check the supplement bottle for recommended dosage.  Many people start with 1,000 mcg. for hair loss  with a possibility of increasing up to 5,000 if they are not experiencing success at a lower dose.

Topamax and MigreLief  MigreLief 4 formulas

We often receive emails from patients informing us that MigreLief was recommended to them in combination with Topamax.  Although we have no knowledge of MigreLief helping with hair loss specifically, MigreLief has been reported to work well with Topamax in the reduction of side-effects in some users.

MigreLief contains Magnesium, high dose Riboflavin and the herb Feverfew (a proprietary form of whole leaf and extract.)  MigreLief was formulated to address the underlying nutritional deficiencies and imbalances, as well as dysfunctional brain processes, that lead to migraines in the first place.

MigreLief works by helping a migraine sufferer to maintain the normal cerebrovascular tone and function he or she enjoys on migraine-free days.  If you add MigreLief to your migraine prevention regimen, be sure to take it for the full 90 days for maximum results and benefits.  Although many migraine sufferers have reported success in less time, the 90 days is sufficient time to build up nutritional levels for maximum effectiveness.

MigreLief – 4 Formulas to Meet Everyone’s Needs

Available in 3 daily maintenance formulas:  Original, Menstrual Migraine and Children’s (age 2-11).
MigreLief-NOW is a nutritional rescue formula – for when you need fast-acting help.
MigreLief may be taken by itself or safely combined with other migraine medications.


In addition to medications, the following can also lead to hair loss:

  • Hormonal changes, including menopause
  • Increased production of DHT, a form of testosterone
  • Stress
  • Alopecia, or pattern baldness
  • Nutrient deficiencies
  • Thyroid issues, especially in regards to an iodine deficiency
  • Illness and medication

For hair loss in general, maintaining a healthy lifestyle will promote hair growth.  Eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of sleep to regenerate cells and promote overall health is very important.  Foods rich in iron, vitamin A & D are known for supporting healthy hair;  spinach, bok-choy, carrots, sweet-potatoes, nuts, fish, chicken, and blueberries, to name a few, all will contribute to healthier hair. Taking MigreLief, drinking plenty of water, eating a healthy diet rich in vitamins and minerals  while avoiding stress and other well known migraine triggers when possible, will all contribute to a migraine preventive regimen better quality of life.

Follow the links below to additional online  forums discussing hair loss and Topamax.  Visit for more information.


Topamax and hair loss suggestions? – MDJunction

  •… I have been on 75mg of topamax for the past 8 months. I lost around 12 lbs. but I’ ve noticed that my hair has been falling out.  I take many 
  • So sad to stop Topamax, but can’t deal with hair loss – Topix – Similar to So sad to stop Topamax, but can’t deal with hair loss – Topix I’ve had every test there is and still have no diagnosis (possible MS? freak migraines?), but my neuro put me on Topamax. It was awesome.

  • Hair loss and Topamax – Weight Loss Alternatives – MedHelp… – Similar to Hair loss and Topamax – Weight Loss Alternatives – MedHelp Sep 4, 2006  I have been prescribed Wellbutrin for depression and Topamax as a mood stabilizer. The combination worked very well for me and the bonus 


A few people stated it could take a year for hair to grow back once stopping Topamax.