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Why is phentermine prescribed with topiramate?

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Answer

Topiramate is sometimes prescribed alongside phentermine to strengthen the desired effects of phentermine. The combination of topiramate and phentermine was previously prescribed off-label, meaning the combination was prescribed for weight loss without it being approved specifically for this use by the FDA, but in 2012 the FDA approved the weight loss medication Qsymia as the brand name for this combination.

Some doctors choose to continue prescribing the two medications separately as opposed to prescribing Qsymia although this is essentially the same thing. It is possible that prescribing the combination of two medications may be cheaper for the patient than prescribing the phentermine brand Qsymia.