Qsymia and Breastfeeding

Due to the potentially serious side effects that may occur in a nursing child, Qsymia (phentermine and topiramate) is not usually recommended for use in women who are breastfeeding. Also, nursing is a time of increased caloric need for women, so it is not usually recommended for women to be concerned with losing weight at this time.

Can Breastfeeding Women Take Qsymia?

Qsymia® (phentermine and topiramate) passes through human breast milk. Because of the potential for serious side effects in a nursing child, the manufacturer recommends that the medication not be used while breastfeeding. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or planning to start, talk with your healthcare provider before taking Qsymia.

More Information on Qsymia and Breastfeeding

Qsymia contains a combination of two medications: phentermine, a weight loss medicine, and topiramate (Topamax®), a seizure medicine that has been shown to reduce appetite.
Phentermine, one of the active ingredients in Qsymia, has not been studied in nursing women, and it is not entirely known whether the drug passes through breast milk. However, it is chemically similar to amphetamines, which are known to pass through breast milk. If passed through breast milk, phentermine could cause hyperactivity, restlessness, and other potentially serious side effects in a nursing child.
Topiramate, the other active ingredient in Qsymia, has been studied in nursing women, and has been shown to pass through breast milk. No harmful effects were seen in the nursing infants in these studies. However, topiramate has been shown to cause a variety of potential side effects in children as young as two years old, including:
  • Drowsiness
  • Difficulty with attention and concentration
  • Confusion
  • Aggression
  • Memory problems
  • Muscle incoordination
  • Nosebleeds
  • Infections
  • Appetite loss
  • Weight loss.
It is also important to keep in mind that women who are breastfeeding should generally not try to lose weight. Breastfeeding is a time of increased caloric need, and it is important to eat a well-balanced diet during this time. If you are concerned about your weight while you are breastfeeding, talk to your healthcare provider about a safe weight-management plan.
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