If you’re overweight or obese, your doctor may recommend that you take topiramate, also known as Qsymia, to help you lose weight. This prescription medication, an anti-convulsant and anticonvulsant that’s sometimes used to treat epilepsy, can help curb your appetite while also stimulating your body to burn more calories than it would on its own. But how exactly does it work? Here’s what you need to know about taking topiramate for weight loss including the side effects and precautions you should consider before using this drug.
How to take topiramate
Using topiramate (Topamax) to lose weight is a little different than taking it for other conditions. Although doctors sometimes prescribe topiramate as a weight-loss aid, it is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for that purpose. That means that there are no specific directions on how to take topiramate for weight loss. However, you can get some guidance from people who have used it successfully to lose weight along with information from research studies about its safety and efficacy when used in combination with exercise and other medications commonly prescribed by doctors. You can also talk with your doctor about any questions you have or if you want advice on how much weight you should be trying to lose while taking topiramate.
It’s also important to take topiramate exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Many people who try using topiramate alone or in conjunction with other medications lose weight. lose weight in 2 weeks However, some find that their blood sugar levels plummet, leading to a condition called hypoglycemia, which can cause dizziness and fainting. If you have diabetes or high blood sugar levels, it’s important that you talk with your doctor about any potential risks before starting a regimen of topiramate or other weight-loss medications.
Maintaining weight loss with topiramate
It is thought that topiramate, by slowing down your metabolism, may prevent your body from effectively burning off excess fat. This could lead to weight gain in some people taking topiramate for weight loss, especially if they have a history of obesity or metabolic disorders. So you should expect to weigh less on topiramate but try not to get discouraged if it doesn’t continue. Your doctor can help you make diet and exercise changes if necessary. She can also monitor your condition regularly with lab tests and blood work.
It’s important to get your body back on track by eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly after stopping topiramate. This may help you maintain your weight loss, but again you shouldn’t expect it to happen immediately. You may need up to three months of exercise and healthy eating before you can shed more weight than usual. Your doctor will be able to advise you on diet and exercise goals that work best with topiramate for maximum weight loss success in you.
Can I drink alcohol on this medication?
Alcohol can slow down your body’s ability to absorb topiramate. If you’re prescribed topiramate and want to drink, it’s best if you limit yourself to one drink every two hours on a maximum of three drinks per day. And always avoid taking alcohol with grapefruit juice or food that contains grapefruit—this drug increases topiramate levels in your body, which could lead to dangerous side effects (like drowsiness, dizziness and difficulty concentrating). It is important that you discuss alcohol consumption with your doctor before taking topamax.
While taking topamax, it’s important that you do not drink excessive amounts of alcohol or consume large amounts of grapefruit juice. Drinking too much alcohol may increase your risk of certain side effects, and consuming too much grapefruit juice with topamax may lead to dizziness, fatigue, and drowsiness. Alcohol should be avoided when taking topiramate because it can slow down your body’s ability to absorb topamax meaning it will take longer for you to feel its effects. And when taken in combination with high doses of alcohol, your risk of negative side effects like drowsiness, dizziness and trouble concentrating increases.
How fast does topiramate work for weight loss?
Whether you’re taking topiramate for weight loss, it takes about 3–4 weeks for you to start seeing its effects. After that time, you should notice a significant decrease in your appetite, making it easier to eat less without feeling deprived. Meanwhile, you may notice minor side effects such as mild headache and fatigue at first especially if you take 200 mg of topiramate per day but these often go away after a few weeks. If they don’t or if they become intolerable, talk with your doctor about adjusting your dosage or switching medications altogether.
How effective is topiramate for weight loss?
That’s hard to say. The drug company has several studies available on its website, which it uses to demonstrate that topiramate can indeed cause weight loss in about 20% of patients, but these studies were funded by them and all were done before any potential patents were submitted, meaning they aren’t considered all that credible. However, most doctors agree that when used as part of a comprehensive plan and combined with exercise and dietary changes (i.e., a healthy diet), topiramate can help with weight loss when taken over a long period of time. Don’t expect dramatic results right away though!