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Phentermine/topiramate, sold under the brand name Qsymia, is a combination of phentermine and topiramate used to treat obesity. It is used together with dietary changes and exercise. If less than 3% weight loss is seen after 3 months it is recommended the medication be stopped. The weight loss is modest.
Common side effects include tingling, dizziness, trouble sleeping, and constipation. Serious side effects may include suicide, abuse. Use is not recommended during pregnancy. Phentermine is a stimulant and appetite suppressant. Topiramate is an anticonvulsant that has weight loss side effects. The exact mechanism of action for both drugs is unknown.
This medication is used with a doctor-approved exercise, behavior change, and reduced-calorie diet program to help you lose weight. It is used by certain overweight people, such as those who are obese or have weight-related medical problems. Losing weight and keeping it off can lessen the many health risks that come with obesity, including heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and a shorter life.
It is not known how this medication helps people to lose weight. It may work by decreasing your appetite, by increasing the amount of energy used by your body, or by affecting certain parts of the brain. This medication is a combination of phentermine and topiramate. Phentermine is an appetite suppressant and belongs to a class of drugs called sympathomimetic amines. Topiramate is known as an anticonvulsant or antiepileptic drug.
How to use Qsymia
- Because of the risk to an unborn baby, only doctors and pharmacies trained in a special distribution program (Qsymia REMS) should prescribe or dispense this medication. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for details.
- Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start taking this medication and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
- Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually once daily in the morning. Taking this medication late in the day may cause trouble sleeping (insomnia). Swallow the capsules whole. Do not crush or chew the capsules. Doing so can release all of the drug at once, increasing the risk of side effects.
- The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. To reduce your risk of side effects, your doctor may direct you to start this medication at a low dose and gradually increase your dose. Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully.
- To prevent kidney stones from forming, drink plenty of liquids while taking this medication unless your doctor instructs you otherwise.
- This medication should not be taken with other appetite suppressants (see also Drug Interactions section). The possibility of serious side effects increases with longer use of this medication and use of this drug along with certain other diet drugs.
- If you suddenly stop using this medication, you may have withdrawal symptoms (such as seizures). To help prevent withdrawal, your doctor may lower your dose slowly. Withdrawal is more likely if you have used this medication for a long time or in high doses. Tell your doctor or pharmacist right away if you have withdrawal.
- Though it helps many people, this medication may sometimes cause addiction. This risk may be higher if you have a substance use disorder (such as overuse of or addiction to drugs/alcohol). Do not increase your dose, take it more often, or use it for a longer time than prescribed. Your condition will not improve any faster, and your risk of side effects will increase. Take this medication exactly as prescribed to lower the risk of addiction.
- Since this drug can be absorbed through the skin and lungs and may harm an unborn baby, women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant should not handle this medication.
- When this medication is used for several weeks, it may not work as well. Talk with your doctor if this medication stops working well. Your doctor may direct you to stop taking this medication.