The Food and Drug Administration (F.D.A.) has approved a range of medications that contain both topiramate (the active drug in Topamax) and the prescription drug Phentermine for obese and overweight patients, including those with an increased risk of health problems, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes.
Also, if you have epilepsy or are prone to migraine headaches and need to lose weight, your physician might recommend Topamax and/or Phentermine for the added health benefit from weight loss. In other words, if a patient is obese and is already at a greater risk for health problems due to extremely high B.M.I., Topamax and/or Phentermine could lead to beneficial and desirable weight loss.
If you are interested in taking Topamax or Phentermine for weight loss, it’s important to discuss the possible risks and benefits of taking this medication with your doctor.
Common Side Effects of Topamax
Most side effects of Topamax are mild to moderate in severity and often go away once the person taking the medication acclimates to the prescription drug.
Some common side effects include diarrhea, dizziness, nausea, double vision, loss of appetite, weight loss, and mood swings. As with any medication, please report persistent, concerning, or severe symptoms to the prescribing doctor immediately.
Important: Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction to Topamax can include swelling in the eyelids, lips, feet, and hands. Call 911 if you experience trouble breathing or swelling in the throat or mouth.
Common Side Effects of Phentermine
Similar to Topamax, Phentermine generally does not result in serious side effects once patients become more familiar with Phentermine’s effect.
Some common side effects include dizziness, sleep disturbances, nausea, irritability, vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation. This medication may also result in increased blood pressure. As with any medication, please report persistent, concerning, or severe symptoms to the prescribing doctor immediately.
Important: Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction to Phentermine can include severe headache, speech challenges, seizures, weakness in one side of the body, and vision challenges. Call 911 if you experience any of these symptoms as these could suggest serious lung or heart complications.
Topamax & Phentermine Dosage
The Topamax and Phentermine dosage your doctor prescribes will depend on several factors, including:
- your age
- your body weight
- your kidney function
- other medical conditions that may impact/prohibit the use of this medication
A doctor should start by prescribing the least needed amount as an initial dose and adjust the medication over time for optimal health results.
The following dosages are those most commonly used or recommended. However, only your doctor can gauge the appropriate dose for you by determining your specific medical needs.
Topamax tablets are available in strengths of 25, 50, 100, and 200 milligrams. For patients averse to swallowing a tablet, sprinkling a capsule of Topamax over a spoonful of soft food can ease ingestion. Sprinkle capsules are available in two strengths of 15 and 25 milligrams.
Phentermine is generally recommended to take three times daily with meals, as determined by your doctors, at a dose of 15 to 37.5 milligrams.
Safe Storage and Disposal of Topamax and Phentermine
Both Topamax and Phentermine should be stored in the container they came in and away from excessive heat and moisture. Therefore, storing this medication is best kept in rooms other than the bathroom. Also, given the risk of accidental poisoning, store both Topamax and Phentermine in tightly closed containers out of the reach of children.
If you need to dispose of unneeded medication, please consult with a pharmacist on best practices – there are widely available medicine take-back programs throughout the nation. To keep children and pets safe, do not leave medications openly available in pill cases. Locked containers placed in a designated safe place in the home is the responsible way to alleviate the misuse of prescription drugs.
If you have expired medication or decide to stop taking a prescription, please dispose of the unneeded drugs in ways that safeguard children, pets, and people who have no reason to take the medicine.
As a rule, never flush pharmaceutical medication down a sink or toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of prescribed medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community.
If you would like to discuss how Topamax and Phentermine could help with weight loss, please call Apollo Medical Associates to explore the comprehensive medical weight loss options available to you.