Available by prescription only, Qsymia is used in combination with exercise and a reduced-calorie diet to help people lose weight. It is approved for use in people who are obese or those who are overweight and have a weight-related health problem. The medication comes as a capsule that is usually taken once daily in the morning. Side effects are possible and may include dizziness, insomnia, and constipation.
Qsymia® (phentermine and topiramate) is a prescription medication approved to help certain adults who are overweight or obese lose weight and maintain a healthy weight. It should be used in combination with exercise and a reduced-calorie diet.
Your healthcare provider will consider your body mass index (BMI) before prescribing Qsymia. This medication is specifically approved for use in adults who have a BMI of:
- 30 kg/m2 or greater (considered obese)
- 27 to 30 kg/m2 (overweight) if they also have at least one weight-related health condition, such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, or high cholesterol.
(Click BMI Calculator to estimate your BMI.)
Qsymia contains phentermine, which is a potential drug of abuse. Because of this, Qsymia is considered a Schedule IV "controlled substance" and, like other controlled substances, has strict laws and regulations controlling its use. Topiramate, the other active component in Qsymia, is not thought to have abuse potential.
Qsymia is made by Catalent Pharma Solutions, LLC, for Vivus, Inc.
As mentioned, Qsymia contains two medications, phentermine and topiramate. Phentermine is a weight loss medicine that is chemically related to amphetamines. It is thought to work primarily by increasing the release of certain naturally occurring substances in the hypothalamus, a part of the brain that helps control appetite. This action helps to suppress appetite, decreasing the amount of food a person eats.
It is not entirely clear how topiramate, the other active ingredient in Qsymia, helps with weight loss. It is thought that the medication primarily works in the brain to suppress appetite and enhance feelings of fullness.