Qsymia: The Newest FDA Approved Weight Loss Medication

Qsymia for Weight Loss from Dr Lipman

For the first time in 15 years, the FDA has released a new weight loss medication to help all of the individuals struggling to lose weight. The drug is called Qsymia. Qsymia, has been approved by the FDA It is a combination of two known medications already on the market, Phentermine, an appetite suppressor and Topamax, a headache and seizure treatment medication. It promises a 10% or more weight loss with only a single capsule a day and it’s only once a day!

The FDA and the pharmaceutical company Vivus have been working on this combination of medication for more than 10 years. What they have arrived at is a 4 doses strategy of increasing dose levels that minimize side effects by titrating the increasing dose levels over several months.

There are many questions my patients have about this drug, they include:

  1. Who qualifies for Qsymia?
  2. What does Qsymia do to help me lose weight?
  3. What are Qsymia's side effects?
  4. Why did the FDA use two different drugs?
  5. How much weight can I lose with Qsymia?
  6. How can I get Qsymia?
  7. How much does it cost? Will insurance pay for it?
  8. Will I keep the weight off with Qsymia?
  9. How long can I take Qsymia?
  10. How have Dr Lipman's patients reacted to Qsymia?
  11. What diet do I need to follow with Qsymia?
  12. Do I need to exercise with Qsymia?

What is Qsymia?

​Qsymia is a new weight loss drug that is made by Vivus Pharmaceuticals by combining together two older drugs-phentermine and topamax. Phentermine has been used for more than 25 years as an appetite suppressor. Topamax has been used for a long time as treatment for headaches and seizures.

Each drug has a different effect in the brain. It is believed that catecholamines in the hypothalmus of the brain resulting in aTopamax works by decreasing appetite and increasing satiety.

Indications and Usage of Qsymia

Qsymia is indicated as an adjutant to a reduced calorie diet in weight management. Look at the BMI table below. Find your height on the left and match it up with your weight. The key BMI's are the 27 and 30 values.You can qualify for Qsymia therapy with the following BMI's:

  1. 30 kg/m2 without medical problems, or
  2. 27 kg/m2 with medical problems

Medical problems have been described as hypertension, diabetes mellitus and hyperlipemia syndromes.

Limitations of Use:

The effect of Qsymia on cardiovascular morbidity and mortality is unknown. The safety of Qsymia with other weight loss products is also unknown. Qsymia is contraindicated in pregnancy, breast feeding, children under 18 years of Age, hyperthyroidism, patients taking MAO’s, patients hypersensitive to sympathomimetric amines, patients with glaucoma, and people with renal or hepatic Impairment.

​How to Obtain Qsymia

Qsymia is a Class IV controlled drug and can only be obtained by prescription from a licensed physician. Each physician has to take a on –line course so he is familiar with the drug and its side effects. Your physician will then fax the prescription and a form you complete either to Walgreens or CVS on-line. The will call you and obtain credit Information and your address. The medication is then shipped to you directly. This takes about 5 business days. The first order includes the starter dose and the first months dose, but this can very from doctor to doctor. I had older patients continue on the lower does for a month before raising the dose. Qsymia cannot be purchased at your local drug store nor from an on line pharmacy directly.

Dosing of Qsymia and Preliminary Experience

Qsymia comes in 4 strengths( the first number is the phentermine dose and the second is the Topamax dose): 3.75/23, 7.5/46, 11.25/69 and 15/92. There are two starter doses and two treatment doses suggested. However, the doses can be individualized according to patient responses. I have had several patient do very well on the starter dose of 3.75/23 and elect to remain on this dose, at least for a while. There appears to be a considerable difference in response to the medication.

bmi table
BMI Table for Adults
How Supplied/Storage and Handling

Qsymia is available as phentermine hydrochloride (as the free base)/topiramate extended-release gelatin capsules in the following strengths and colors:

  *3.75 mg/23 mg [Purple cap imprinted with VIVUS, Purple body imprinted with 3.75/23]
  * 7.5 mg/46 mg [Purple cap imprinted with VIVUS, Yellow body imprinted with 7.5/46]
 * 11.25 mg/69 mg [Yellow cap imprinted with VIVUS, Yellow body imprinted with 11.25/69]
  *15 mg/92 mg [Yellow cap imprinted with VIVUS, White body imprinted with 15/92]

The contents of QsymiaMD  such as text, graphics, images, and other material contained are for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this site.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. QsymiaMD does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that QsymiaMD is solely at your own risk. 

qsymia doses
Book Review of Dr Lipman's Qsymia Plan for Weight Loss from  Amazon.com  

The Qsymia Weight Loss Plan:  "The Top Dog in Weight Loss"
by Peggy Morin

"While Qsymia is the new top dog in weight loss medication there is so much more to it. Anyone who takes any kind of supplement for the purpose of losing weight will maximize their potential weight loss and health gain by simply understanding the full dynamics of the ‘drug’. In the case of Qsymia, there’s no better source to give you all the information you need than Dr. Lipman’s book the Qsymia Weight Loss Plan. It is all in this book. Naturally he is going to give you the information you need to determine if this drug is right for you in the first place, but he’s also going to tell you the how’s and why’s of individualizing your plan of action, in other words how to take Qsymia in a way that actually works for you because, quite simply, we don’t all have the same metabolism. 

This book provides a total food plan to go with it, including color glossy pictures. No, he doesn’t plan your menu but rather he gives you the information you need to plan your own menu, one that works for you. He talks a lot about portion control, again with very helpful color glossies for easy reference. While science is taking the extreme agony of dieting out of the picture with wonder drugs such as Qysmia, a common sense approach is still necessary to gain the most bang for your buck. I love that this drug is all about reducing cravings and taming hunger but we are also creatures of habitual-type eating and Dr. Lipman addresses this with beautiful insight into human realities. 

If you are considering taking Qysmia for weight loss secondary to Metabolic Syndrome (fat around the middle), take this book with you and you will have the best offense and defense one could have on your own private team. Good luck, and thank you Dr. Lipman!

by  Richard Lipman M.D.
7241 SW 63 ave
South Miami, Fl 33143 USA
(305) -670-3259

richard lipman md