Generic Name: phentermine and topiramate
Brand Name(s): Qsymia
Medically reviewed by Ahmed Zayed, MD on June 19, 2018

The use of pharmaceuticals as an option to treat obesity in patients who are considerably affected by their excess weight is becoming more popular. Many prescription drugs have been announced and even approved by the FDA to assist the population in treating their obesity1. Since obesity is linked to numerous diseases and health ailments2, the use of prescription drugs may become an essential part of reducing a patient’s risk of these diseases and providing them a way of possibly increasing their lifespan.

Qsymia is one of the more recent prescription drugs that have been developed to provide a pharmaceutical approach to the treatment of obesity. The drug has, however, been used by a significant number of people and have been proven effective in reducing body weight in patients who are obese.

What Is Qsymia?

Qsymia is a prescription drug that has been developed specifically to address common issues faced by obese people. The drug has been developed by VIVUS, Inc. Numerous scientific studies have been conducted on the use of Qsymia, including a number of clinical trials, to provide accurate data on both the effectiveness and safety profile of this drug.

According to the brand behind this weight loss drug, the majority of patients who use this drug tend to lose anything between 15 and 19 pounds within the first 12 weeks. This equates to around two to three inches being dropped from their waist. At week 28, patients tend to weight around 22 to 29 pounds less than they did at the start of their weight management plan. Some patients lose up to 32 pounds by the 56th week of using this prescription drug, which equates to a drop of four to five inches from their waist3.

The Ingredients Of Qsymia

Since Qsymia is a prescription drug, it is vital for patients to consider the chemical ingredients that are included in this drug to help them understand whether the product could be effective and appropriate for them. Education on the ingredients found in the drug can also help patients identify potential health risks that they will be placed under when they do opt for the use of the weight loss drug.

This drug consists of two different ingredients:

  • Phentermine4 – The most popular type of prescription drug used to treat obesity through a pharmaceutical approach.
  • Topiramate5 – An anticonvulsant drug that was originally used to treat epilepsy, but later it was discovered that patients started to experience weight loss as a side-effect. The FDA approved the ingredient as a chemical that may be combined with phentermine to assist with a medical approach to obesity.

How Qsymia Works

The main of Qsymia prescription drugs is to act as a potent appetite suppressant in the patient. The main ingredient of the drug, which is phentermine, has been scientifically proven to be a highly effective agent for suppressing a patient’s appetite6 for a longer period of time as compared to a lot of other options that are currently promoted as appetite suppressants on the market. This means the patient who is taking the drug will be able to better control their hunger throughout the day, which will lead to the consumption of fewer calories during their meals, as well as improvements in their ability to kick cravings throughout the day and avoid opting for doughnuts, chocolates, and other unhealthy snacks to fill those cravings.

Qualification Criteria For The Prescription Of Qsymia

Not all patients who are overweight will automatically qualify for a prescription of Qsymia. There are certain criteria that a patient needs to meet before they can be provided a prescription for this drug to assist with weight loss.

Patients with a BMI of 30 or higher, which classifies the patient as obese, usually qualify for this drug. When a patient has a BMI between 27 and 30, as well as one or more complications caused by their excess weight, such as diabetes or hypertension, then they may also qualify for a prescription of this weight loss drug.

Possible Side-Effects And Safety Concerns

A relatively extensive number of potential side-effects have been associated with the use of Qsymia. The product causes an increase in the patient’s heart rate, including at rest, which can be harmful to patients with existing cardiovascular disease. Additionally, Topiramate has been linked to a higher risk of suicidal thoughts. Panic attacks, anxiety, depression, restlessness, irritability, and insomnia are also common side-effects in patients who take this supplement.

Some patients have also reported experiencing speech difficulties, memory-related issues, and difficulty concentration while taking this drug. Other possible side-effects may include a higher risk of osteoporosis, metabolic acidosis, kidney stones, and possible complications with pregnancy among female patients.

Current Limitations Of Qsymia

Several limitations associated with the use of this drug is making it difficult for physicians to decide when it may be appropriate to prescribe the drug for their obese patients. While a general set of criteria has been shared by the manufacturer of this prescription drug, some concerns have been raised with the prescription of the drug.

In particular, scientists have not yet been able to produce accurate data on whether or not the use of this drug may cause a patient to be at a higher risk of a heart attack or suffering a stroke.

Qsymia has also been linked to potential interference when combined with certain pharmaceutical drugs, including Iproniazid, Methylene Blue, Nialamide, Phenelzine, Rasagiline, Sibutramine, Linezolid, Furazolidone, and more7.


Qsymia is a powerful prescription weight loss drug that has been proven to provide impressive results in as little as 12 weeks. The drug is only prescribed to qualifying patients who meet certain criteria. Due to the phentermine chemical content in this drug, patients are advised to be aware of the possibility that they are at risk of addiction, as well as other potential side-effects.

The possible side-effects that patients may experience while taking Qsymia is unpleasant and can even be harmful to their health. Fortunately, alternative options do exist. PhenterPro is an excellent alternative to Qsymia that offers similar physiological effects but without the risk of developing the dreadful adverse reactions associated with the Qsymia prescription drug.


1 Medications Target Long-Term Weight Control. U.S. Food & Drug Administration. 17 July 2012. https://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm312380.htm

2 A.M. Ogunbode, A.A. Fatiregun, and O.O. Ogunbode. Health Risks of Obesity. Annals of Ibadan Postgraduate Medicine. December 2009. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4111009/

3 Proven Results with Qsymia. Official Qsymia Homepage. https://qsymia.com/

4 Phentermine. PubChem Open Chemistry Database. https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/phentermine

5 Topiramate. PubChem Open Chemistry Database. https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/5284627

6 Multiple Authors. Effects on Weight Reduction and Safety of Short-Term Phentermine Administration in Korean Obese People. Yonsei Medical Journal. 31 October 2006. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2687747/

7 Phentermine and Topiramate (Oral route). PubMed Health. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0049763/


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