Qsymia is a combination drug used in appetite suppression and weight loss. The two components of this prescription medication are phentermine and topiramate. Phentermine acts as a stimulant and appetite suppressant, while topiramate is an anticonvulsant that causes weight loss as a side effect.
This combination drug was developed as an alternative to the very controversial and dangerous fen-phen. The phentermine was not the controversial ingredient in fen-phen, however. It was the fenfluramine that seemed to be causing dangerous effects to valves of the heart in many patients taking the drug. But Qsymia has shown to be a relatively safe and effective alternative that has had United States Food and Drug Administration approval in 2012.
Qsymia, used in conjunction with a reduced calorie diet and increased physical activity, can significantly effect weight loss results in those who are obese. In clinical trials, individuals who were given Qsymia lost 10% to 11% of of their body weight. Those who took placebo in the trial only lost 1% to 2%. Also, 62% to 70% of subjects saw significant weight loss results compared to only 17% to 21% of those who were given placebo. With such great results, it is easy to see why this combination medication is so helpful to those who are obese and suffering from complications due to inability to lose weight. But as with any medication, there can be many side effects, and any individual taking any prescription drug should be made aware of the side effects and speak with their doctor about the potential risks.
Some of the side effects that were found in clinical trials with Qsymia are as follows:
- Paraesthesia, which is a tingling sensation in the fingers and toes
- Dysgeusia, which is an alteration in the perception of taste
- Dry mouth
These side effects were found in less than or equal to five percent of participants and less than or equal to one and a half times the levels of those taking the placebo. These are small numbers, but the potential is there, and one will not know their own personal side effects until taking the drug. This is why it is so important to speak with your physician and get checkups to ensure that you are not experiencing any side effects that could be a hazard to your health. At the same time, a majority of users do not experience adverse side effects. Obesity can be a killer and sometimes some adverse side effects are worth it to the individual to save their health and save their life.
There are some other side effects listed on the packaging of Qsymia, but it is thought that these affect those who have epilepsy, but it is still important to take not of any potential side effects. These other side effects include:
- Increased heart rate
- Suicidal ideation and suicidal behavior
- Sleep disorders
- Mood disorders
- Creatine elevation
- Metabolic acidosis
There are clinical trials to examine the increased heart rate in some users. It is believed to be due to the topiramate, but scientific research will have to be conducted to determine the cause. It is also not recommended for pregnant or nursing women to use this drug, as it may cause birth defects or developmental defects in babies.
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