All About Qsymia
Obesity is a huge modern-day problem, that is a result of a variety of factors including sedentary lifestyle and excessive consumption of junk food. One of the solutions of losing extra fat could be Qsymia, which is a drug that containing a combination of topiramate and phentermine. The drug was approved as an extended-release form by the US FDA in 2012. It can be consumed by adults who have a BMI of 30 or more, who are considered obese, and those with a BMI above 27 (considered overweight). According to the FDA, the drug should not be used by those who have any one of weight-related issues such as high BP, type 2 diabetes or high levels of cholesterol.
While phentermine is a stimulant and a drug that suppresses appetite, topiramate has side-effects of weight loss, and is an anticonvulsant drug. However, topiramate, which is one of the ingredients of Qsymia, can harm the development of the fetus and is not advisable for pregnant women.
Also, you should not take the drug if you have a thyroid problem or glaucoma. Make sure not to use Qsymia if you have taken drugs such as furazolidone, isocarboxazid, phenelzine or selegiline, among others over past fifteen days. These drugs are monomanine oxidase inhibitors, which are used for treatment of depression. When such drugs are used in combination with Qsymia, it could have dangerous side-effects. It is safe to keep your doctor posted about any drug you might be taking before you start on your Qsymia dosage. Even over-the-counter medication that you might be taking should be brought to the notice of your physician.
How to take Qsymia
You should follow the exact dosage quantity prescribed by your doctor while taking Qsymia. Never increase the dosage on your own, even if you cannot see any perceptible results of the drug initially. It is up to your doctor to change the dosage to ensure that you see results. Make sure that you drink lots of water and liquids when you take Qsymia, as it will reduce your risk of getting stones in your kidneys. One of the side-effects of Qsymia is dehydration, so it helps to take a lot of fluids.
You should inform your doctor immediately if you have any seizures, breathlessness or a heightened sense of hunger. It is not advisable to stop taking Qsymia abruptly, because it can lead to convulsions. You would need to taper off taking the medication and your doctor will advise you on how to slowly stop taking the drug.
Qsymia is an appetite suppressant pill that helps you to lose weight. It is a prescription pill, along with which the doctor will also recommend dietary changes and regular physical exercise. Qsymia contains the common appetite suppressant drug, phentermine, along with topiramate, which is an anticonvulsant. Both of these compounds work together to help patients regulate their diets and keep them refreshed throughout the day. They are enclosed in a Resin capsule that releases them slowly throughout the day.
When is it prescribed?
Qsymia is prescribed to overweight people who have a body mass index (BMI) of over 30 or over 27, but with related health conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, and other chronic diseases. It is not an over-the-counter medication and requires a doctor's prescription to purchase. This is because it is supposed to be used only for a certain period of time, as advised by a physician. It is important to note that Qsymia does not treat any of the underlying conditions, so you must keep taking the specific medication intended for those conditions.
How it works
The FDA approved drug contains phentermine, which interacts with your central nervous system to change the signal sent to your brain. These signals reduce hunger and thus, you do not feel the need to constantly eat or overeat during meals. Phentermine also acts as a stimulant such that you do not feel a lack of energy and elevates blood pressure. This will keep you active throughout the day.
Losing weight will have also a positive impact on other conditions that the patient might be suffering from. These include type II diabetes, blood pressure, and cholesterol.
How to use
Qsymia is taken orally, before or after breakfast in the morning. The medication can be taken 1-2 hours after breakfast. Taking it later on the day may cause restlessness and patients will have trouble sleeping. Ideally, doctors recommend that you start off with a low dosage to test your reaction to the drug. Gradually, the dosage is increased to make it more effective.
Make sure to swallow the pill whole and not to bite or chew on it. The resin in the pill is present to ensure that the compounds are released gradually throughout the day. Biting or chewing on it will make all the compounds release at once and increases the risk of side effects.
Always stick to the prescription and timeline suggested by your doctor. Never increase or decrease dosage without consulting your doctor. Doing so will increase the chances of serious side effects and overdose. Stopping the drug all of a sudden could lead to seizures. This is why it is recommended to gradually reduce dosages before completely stopping the drug. It is better that you let your doctor handle all decisions regarding the medication.
Using the drug for a period longer than prescribed could lead to addiction as phentermine is quite similar to amphetamines. Generally, Qsymia must be taken for a maximum time period of 3-4 weeks constantly. However, depending on your condition, your doctor might recommend different timelines. If the medication has been consumed for a long period, stopping it will result in symptoms that are similar to those experienced while on street drugs.
The side effects for Qsymia could be major and thus, several precautions have to be taken to maintain health.
- Always read and follow the medication timeline and guide that is provided by your doctor. It will reduce the chances of side effects.
- It is critical to inform your doctor about any medical conditions that you are suffering from and the medications that you take for them. This includes mental illnesses and the medications you take for it.
- If you have consumed MAO inhibitors in the past 14 days, do not use Qsymia or any other drugs based on phentermine. MAO inhibitors include phenelzine , rasagiline, selegiline, furazolidone, isocarboxazid, and more.
- If you are allergic to phentermine, topiramate or sympathomimetic amines, inform your doctor about it. Other allergies are also taken into consideration as inactive ingredients within the pills could lead to harmful consequences.
- In the initial stages of consuming this drug, you may experience some minor side effects like dizziness. Make sure you are comfortable with the drug before performing activities that may harm you or others around you. This includes driving, operating machinery, excessive physical activity, and more.
- The drug stops you from sweating and increases the chance of a heat stroke. Do not workout in hot weather and make sure to stay hydrated.
- Drink lots of fluids when you take Qsymia unless advised otherwise by a doctor.
- Qsymia and other diet pills are not recommended to be used during pregnancy or if you are planning to get pregnant in the near future, as they can pass to the unborn baby through the blood stream and cause harm to the baby.
- People over the age of 65 are more vulnerable to side effects as their kidneys are not as effective in passing out the drug.
- Children are also more prone to react negatively to the drug. Weaker bones, abnormal growth rates, and decreased sweating are all seen in children who have consumed the drug.
- If you are a diabetic, it is important to check your blood sugar levels regularly while using the drug. Immediately consult your doctor if you notice drastic changes.
- Mothers who breastfeed their children should not take this medication as topiramate could pass through breast milk.
- Let your doctors know that you are on this pill before undergoing any kind of surgery including dental procedures.
- If the drug is taken in high doses for long periods of time, then it may lead to addictive behaviors seen in alcoholics and drug abusers.
- If you miss a dose of the medication, take one shortly after you remember unless the time for the next dose in close. Do not take a double dose at any cost.
- Sharing or reselling of Qsymia and other prescription drugs is illegal.
- Always keep the medication away from the reach of pets and children to avoid tragic consequences.
- Store your diet pills at room temperature and away from light and moisture. When the pills have expired, contact your local waste company to find out the proper methods of disposal.
MAO inhibitors and other drugs need to be avoided at all costs while on this pill. Consuming these drugs will lead to serious interactions and could be fatal. Stimulants like other pills and street drugs (MDMA, cocaine) also need to be avoided. Alcohol is also not recommended as it interferes with the functioning of the phentermine and could make the pill less effective. Moreover, it could lead to cravings and individuals are more likely to indulge in unhealthy eating habits while drinking.
Any medication that contains ingredients that increase heart rate or blood pressure need to be avoided. If you have taken any other diet pills or appetite suppressants in the past year, let your doctor know beforehand. The same applies to any form of hormonal birth control medications.
Coffee, chocolate, and other eatables that are high in caffeine could increase interactions and thus, the probability of side effects. Avoiding consuming large amounts of this kind of foods. While on Qsymia, proteins and simple carbohydrates are the most recommended as they help the weight loss process. Complex carbohydrates that are in sodas, cakes, and other eatables hinder your weight loss efforts.
In rare cases, there is a possibility of the drug affecting medical test results in the form of showing false positives. Always inform your doctor, lab technician that you are on the drug so that they may act accordingly.
Minor side effects for this drug include a dry mouth, restlessness, dizziness, constipation, and tiredness. While these side effects are quite common, consult your doctor if they are present for a long period of time and if they cause pain.
While serious side effects are rare in properly assessed patients, they may be fatal. Rapid breathing, irregular heartbeats, kidney stones, changes in sex drive, and unusual breathing have been noticed in patients. In these cases, please contact your doctor immediately. For topiramate, rare cases have shown symptoms of eye problems. These symptoms get worse and will lead to blindness if untreated. Other serious side effects worth noting are changes in metabolism, depression, suicidal thoughts, and severe allergic reactions. All of these are relatively rare but patients should be aware nonetheless.
The worst side effects could be fatal if immediate assistance is not sought, lung problems, heart problems, difficulty in breathing, and swelling of arms, ankles, and feet. If any of these symptoms are noticed, stop the medication at once and go to an emergency room as soon as possible.
To get the full list of possible side effects, please visit your doctor.
Overdoses are very rare. Symptoms include rapid breathing, loss of consciousness, seizures, severe drowsiness and more. If any of these are experienced, contact your nearest emergency centre or go to poison control centre.