How Do Qsymia Diet Pills Work?
Qsymia is a combination of two medications: phentermine and topiramate. Phentermine was part of the popular phen-fen drug combination that was used years ago before it was removed from the market over concerns about the safety of fenfluramine. Topiramate is a drug that is used for the treatment of epilepsy and migraines. The two drugs work together to suppress appetite and reduce your food intake.
Qsymia can be prescribed for adults who have a body mass index (BMI) over 30 or who have a BMI of 27 and higher, but who also have a weight-related condition such as type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure. Patients who take this diet medication should also follow a healthy eating and exercise program.
Qsymia Side Effects
Patients who get pregnant while taking Qsymia have a “small yet increased risk of cleft lip and/or palate,” according to Craig Primack, MD, FAAP. Primack, the medical director of Scottsdale Weight Loss Center, explained the FDA recommendation that women of childbearing age take a monthly pregnancy test while on Qsymia.
He says that, since the lip and cleft form at weeks 6-8 of pregnancy, women need to know immediately if they become pregnant. This allows them to stop taking the drug before a birth defect occurs.
Other possible side effects of the weight loss medication include depression, mood problems, trouble sleeping, and concentration and speech difficulties. The drug maker also recommends that patients receive regular heart-rate monitoring, and does not recommend the use of Qsymia in patients with recent or unstable cardiac issues or cerebrovascular disease, since its use in these patients has not been studied. If you decide to take Qsymia, your pharmacist or physician will provide you with complete drug information including side effects.
Should I take Qsymia to Lose Weight?
Qsymia should not be taken by people who only have a few pounds to lose. But if you're significantly overweight and have tried other methods of weight loss without success, Qsymia may be able to help you slim down to improve your health. According to The New England Journal of Medicine, some patients who took the diet pill were able to improve their blood pressure and cholesterol levels in addition to losing weight.
But there are significant side effects and costs to consider as well, especially if you're a woman who's still planning to have children. You could choose to go off the medication in order to have a family, but without the medication, it's likely that your appetite will increase without the suppressant medication, and it's possible to regain the weight.
As with any medical decision, talk to your health care provider before making a decision. Talk to your doctor about the potential health benefits of losing weight and about which side effects may impact you based on your specific medical history.