How can I minimize the side effects of Qsymia?

You can minimize the side effects of Qsymia (phentermine and topiramate), a prescription weight-loss drug, by taking it exactly as your doctor prescribes.

Qsymia may interact with certain other medications. Before you start taking it, tell your doctor about all your other medicines (prescription and over-the-counter), as well as any supplements that you take. Once you're on Qsymia, talk with your doctor before taking any new medicines or supplements.

Certain medical conditions may increase the risk for side effects from Qsymia, so before you start taking it, you should give your doctor a complete medical history. Pay attention to how you feel, and let your doctor know of any symptoms that bother you or don't go away.

Avoid alcohol while taking Qsymia, because drinking alcohol may increase side effects such as dizziness or confusion. Also, be sure to drink plenty of fluids while taking Qsymia. This drug can cause kidney stones, particularly if you get dehydrated.
Craig B. Primack, MD
General Practice

When looking at the list of potential side effects of Qsymia, it is important to know that in the studies on Qsymia, the dose was increased much faster than is typically done in your doctor's office. 

Many of the side effects are transient, meaning that they go away with time.  If the dose is increased more slowly, the side effects seem to be less. 

To help with dosing there are 4 fixed dose strengths of the drug and typically your physician may start you on the starting dose for 2 weeks, then you will be switched to the standard dose.  Over the next few months, if your weight loss is slow, your doctor will put you on the next dose (titration dose) for 2 weeks and then up to the top dose after that. 

In any case, for any of the side effects you experience, please contact your doctor. 

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