Qsymia™: The Phentermine-Topiramate Combination Pill

In July 2012, the FDA approved a new phentermine-based pill called Qsymia (cue-SIM-ee-uh). It’s unique because this single capsule contains two different drugs, phentermine and topiramate. Phentermine is a well-known weight loss medication, while its counterpart – topiramate extended-release – is typically prescribed as an anti-seizure/anti-migraine medication. The combination makes a potent weight loss aid, but due to the risk of serious side effects, it is only available under doctor’s prescription.

During clinical trials Qsymia was known as Qnexa, but FDA officials eventually asked the manufacturers (VIVUS, Inc.) to change the medication’s name to avoid confusion.

If you’re in a hurry, check out this infographic for a quick summary of Qsymia! Or if you have a little more time and want the full story on Qsymia, keep reading to learn more!

qsymia infographic thumb

What is Qsymia?

Qsymia is a combination of the appetite suppressant phentermine and the anti-seizure/migraine medication, topiramate extended-release. It is a prescription medication that can only be obtained through doctor’s prescription after ensuring you are a good candidate for this pill.

Qsymia is intended for the short-term treatment of exogenous obesity in adults with a BMI >30. It is also indicated for overweight adults (with a BMI >27) that have an additional complication such as type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure. Clinical trials did not include pediatric subjects, so this medication is not recommended for patients under 18 years of age. It is also not appropriate for pregnant or lactating women, or for patients with contraindicated medical conditions (e.g. heart disease, thyroid problems etc.). Finally, Qsymia can react negatively with other medications (including MAOIs), so it is extremely important that you tell your doctor about all current or recent medications and supplements before starting Qsymia.

How Does Qsymia work?

As we’ve mentioned, Qsymia is the combination of two independent prescription medications: phentermine and topiramate. These ingredients have different effects on the body, but work together in Qsymia to produce a uniquely effective weight loss medication.

phentermine vs topiramate

Phentermine is a central nervous system stimulant that activates your “fight or flight” response. Like amphetamines, phentermine sends signals to your brain to suppress huger and boost energy. These biological changes help us evade danger in stressful situations, but they can also aid your weight loss. With less appetite, it’s easier to eat reasonable portions, and with more energy it’s easier to exercise regularly. So, phentermine is a highly-effective weight loss medication.

Topiramate, also known under the trademark Topamax, bolsters phentermine’s effectiveness with weight loss. It was originally prescribed as an anti-seizure and migraine medication, but doctors eventually noticed it also helped boost phentermine. Topiramate aids in weight loss by increasing the feeling of being full, making foods taste less appealing and increasing caloric expenditure.

Like all weight loss medications, Qsymia should be combined with healthy diet and regular exercise to achieve the best weight loss results. The pill is designed to give you a head start by suppressing appetite and boosting energy, but lifestyle is important too. For more information and tips on building healthy habits while taking weight loss medication, visit our phentermine.com blog.

Qsymia Side Effects

Qsymia is a highly effective weight loss medication, but like all medications it also carries the risk of side effects. These possible side effects range from relatively minor to very severe. For this reason, it’s important to speak with your doctor about potential reactions before starting Qsymia, and stay in-touch so he or she can work with you to manage any problems that arise while taking the medication.

Serious Qsymia side effects include:

  • Increase in heart rate
  • Suicidal thoughts and/or actions
  • Serious eye problems leading to vision loss
  • Increased risk of birth defects (cleft lip/cleft palate) if a woman becomes pregnant while taking Qsymia

Possible (and potentially severe) Qsymia side effects include:

  • Changes in mood, including increased anger/violence, anxiety or depression and panic attacks
  • Difficulties with concentration, memory or speech (confusion)
  • Metabolic acidosis, which can cause serious problems if left untreated
  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) in people with type 2 diabetes
  • Changes in blood pressure
  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Kidney stones
  • Decreased sweating and fever
  • Seizures, if Qsymia is stopped abruptly

Common Qsymia side effects include:

  • Numbness/tingling in hands, feet or face
  • Changes in taste
  • Constipation
  • Trouble sleeping (insomnia)
  • Dry mouth

If you experience any of these side effects either acutely or persistently, seek medical attention immediately. A physician or other medical professional is the best person to diagnose and treat any adverse reaction to Qsymia.

Buying Qsymia

Qsymia is only available with a doctor’s prescription. To buy Qsymia (or any form of phentermine), you will first need to visit a doctor so that he or she can determine whether this medication is appropriate and safe for you.

If you are given a prescription, you can typically fill it at your local pharmacy. Depending on your insurance plan, the cost of Qsymia may be covered (or at least subsidized) by insurance. If not, you can pay out-of-pocket. Price varies with strength/dosage and stronger pills are more expensive, but average cost is about $200 for a 30-day supply of this medication. Vivus does, however, offer manufacturer’s coupons at www.qsymia.com that will reduce that cost.

There is no generic version of Qsymia. However, your doctor may prescribe phentermine and topiramate separately but concurrently if you’re interested in a more economic option.

If you are looking for something to suppress your appetite and boost energy, but prefer to buy online and without a prescription, consider Phen Caps. These capsules are an all-natural dietary supplement designed to mimic phentermine’s effects and assist you in achieving your weight loss goals, without the serious side effects often associated with prescription medication!

Qsymia Dosage

Qsymia is currently available in 4 different doses. They are all capsules and all contain a combination of phentermine hydrochloride (HCl) and topiramate extended-release.

qsymia dosage

This medication is taken once per day in the morning. It is not advisable to take Qsymia later in the day because the phentermine is more likely to keep you up at night if you take it closer to bedtime. Doctors typically start patients on the lowest strength possible, and then gradually increase dosage as needed. If the medication is proving ineffective, you should discontinue use as opposed to exceeding the maximum recommended dose (Qsymia 15mg/92mg).

When your prescription comes to an end, it’s important to gradually decrease your Qsymia instead of stopping suddenly. Abrupt cessation increases your risk of seizures.

For more specifics about taking and doing this medication, please view VIVUS’ medication guide here.

Qsymia Reviews

Now you have the factual information you need about Qsymia, but will it really help you reach your weight loss goals? If you visit our Qsymia reviews page, you can read dozens of reviews submitted by real Qsymia users. They rate the medication, comment on its effectiveness and sometimes speak about side effects they experienced.

As an example of what you’ll find on this page, Karlee submitted the following review:

Qsymia - Worked really well but expensive

  • Effectiveness: 4/5
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Satisfaction: 5/5

The Qsymia brand worked well for me but because of the price my insurance decided it wouldn't cover it after the first month. That month I lost 14 lbs taking the yellow capsules (11.25 phen/69 topiramate) then my doctor switched me to phentermine 37.5mg. That didn't agree with me and seemed to wear off quickly so I'm hoping to go back in a month and try the combo of phentermine and topamax as I have another 35 to lose.

To see more comments like this one, please visit our Qsymia reviews page.

Qsymia REMS (Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy)

A Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) is a strategy for healthcare professionals to ensure that a prescribed drug’s benefits outweigh that same medication’s risks for a specific patient. The FDA has required a REMS for Qsymia given the prescription’s potential for serious side effects.

The Qsymia REMS is targeted at informing physicians and women of a reproductive age about the risks associated with taking Qsymia. More specifically, Qsymia REMS emphasizes the importance of not becoming pregnant while using this medication because of Qsymia’s potential to cause birth defects. Women should take measures to ensure they do not become pregnant, and discontinue the medication immediately if pregnancy occurs.

To read the Qsymia REMS, please visit http://qsymiarems.com.

Who makes Qsymia?

Qsymia is manufactured by VIVUS, Inc. You can find their contact information below:

VIVUS, Inc.
1172 Castro Street
Mountain View, CA 94040
USA
Phone: 650-934-5200

Medical Information Phone
Phone: 1-888-998-4887

Corporate website
www.vivus.com

Medication website
www.qsymia.com

Information from this article sourced from www.qsymia.com.