Although Qsymia is a doctor recommended weight loss pill it is not suitable for all and also not available to all. This article details what alternatives to Qsymia are available over the counter.
Qsymia Over the Counter Alternatives – Phentermine and Topiramate
Qsymia is an anti-obesity medication that’s only available to people who have a doctor’s prescription. Although Qsymia works well for a lot of people there is a demand for over-the-counter alternatives.
The reasons behind the demand for effective alternatives to Qsymia are partly due to availability issues, partly due to suitability issues, and partly due to the potential side effects.
Many people wishing to use Qsymia are not overweight enough to obtain a prescription. Others, who are otherwise suitable candidates for a prescription have health issues that make the medication a poor choice for them.
As with all the FDA-approved weight loss medications, Qsymia is associated with a lot of side effects. This puts some people off using it and, needless to say, people who do use it and have severe side effects, often consider the juice is not worth the squeeze and seek over-the-counter alternatives to use instead.
Regardless of your reasons for seeking information about Qsymia and the over-the-counter options you can use instead, this article will provide you with the answers you seek.
Qsymia is a respected anti obesity pill designed to help weight via appetite suppression. It is a combination of Phentermine and Topiramate.
What Is Qsymia and How Does It Work?
Qsymia is a weight loss medication that provides a combination of Phentermine and Topiramate.
Phentermine is an appetite suppressing drug that was approved by the FDA in 1959 as a short-term prescription-only obesity treatment. There are effective alternatives to Phentermine that are widely available.
Topiramate is an anti-epilepsy drug that’s occasionally prescribed as a mood stabilizer for people with bipolar disorder. It has a number of side effects and weight loss is one of them.
The California-based pharmaceutical company, Vivus decided to combine the two drugs and Qsymia is the result.
In 2009, Vivus applied to the FDA to try and get Qsymia approved as an anti-obesity medication. The FDA rejected the application the following year due to concerns about side effects including elevated heart rate, cardiovascular events, and birth defects.
Although these side effects remain an issue, the FDA relented and gave Qsymia its approval in 2011 when Vivus resubmitted its application. (http://web.archive.org/web/20160505050439/http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm312468.htm)
Regulatory bodies in Europe were not so accepting of the drug’s flaws and refused to approve its use in Europe. (https://www.ema.europa.eu/en/documents/smop-initial/questions-answers-refusal-marketing-authorisation-qsiva-phentermine/topiramate_en.pdf)
Qsymia appears to support weight loss by reducing appetite and increasing energy expenditure. Most of the over-the-counter products you can use as an alternative to Qsymia provide these benefits too. Some of them offer additional benefits on top.
It’s ability to suppress appetite is due to Phentermine. Topiramate is responsible for Qsymia’s ability to increases energy expenditure but the mechanisms by which it achieves this are unclear.
By controlling appetite, Qsymia makes it easier to eat smaller portions of food and/or eat less frequently without feeling hunger. When you are making sensible food choices, this helps create an energy deficit within the body. This forces it to begin burning fat.
By increasing energy expenditure (even at rest), the medication increases the energy deficit, causing a greater need to burn fat.
Correct Use & Limitations
Qsymia is an oral medication you take once per day. You have to use it alongside an energy-restricted diet and exercise. Prescriptions are issued with the understanding that this will be the case.
As with all diet pills, be they prescription medications supplements you buy over-the-counter, Qsymia assists the efforts you are already making with diet and exercise. It cannot replace them.
New users take one 23mg capsule taken each morning. The dose increases to 46mg from day 15 onward.
After 12 weeks of use, your doctor will assess your progress. If you have failed to lose at least 3 percent of your body weight, your doctor will cancel the prescription.
Qsymia Eligibility (Who Can Buy It on Prescription)
There are a lot of factors that come into play regarding Qsymia distribution. Some of them are geographical, others are related to your physical criteria.
Qsymia is not available in Canada, the UK, or throughout Europe.
Nor is it available in Australia. This is rather surprising because the relevant governing bodies allow doctors to prescribe Phentermine to patients who are obese and meet certain physical criteria, including a sufficiently high body mass index (BMI).
The only difference is the name. In Australia, Phentermine is distributed under the Duromine brand name.
Topiramate is also available on prescription. Australian doctors primarily use it as an anticonvulsant but also prescribe it off-label to treat obesity when other alternatives are contradicted or have proven ineffective.
However, it is a case of one or the other, the combination medication is not sanctioned for use as an obesity treatment for people living in Australia.
In the USA, Qsymia was approved as a weight loss medication in 2012. However, the FDA expects doctors to adhere to strict guidelines regarding its distribution. Most of them relate to BMI.
If your BMI is less than 27, you will not be able to get a prescription.
If your BMI is 27-30, Qsymia may be available to you but only if you have at least one other weight-related medical condition.
With a BMI of 30 or higher, the need for an associated condition is no longer necessary, but prescriptions are still issued at a doctor’s discretion.
If your doctor feels the medication may cause more harm than good, they will not prescribe Qsymia.
When you are aware of all the red tape surrounding a Qsymia prescription it becomes easier to understand the demand for over-the-counter alternatives.
Who Should Not Use Qsymia
As with any medication, Qsymia is not suitable for everyone. If you are under 18-years of age, you will not be able to get a prescription.
Qsymia poses a potential threat of fetal damage so it is unsuitable for women who are pregnant. If you suspect you may be pregnant or are trying to become so, you will need to let your doctor know.
Qsymia is also unsuitable for people who have a history of depression. Even if the condition is under control, the medication may cause it to return. It can even cause additional mood disorders to develop.
If you have a history of suicidal thoughts, Qsymia won’t be a suitable option for you either.
Other medical conditions that might make Qsymia unsuitable for you include:
- Kidney stones
- Seizures or epilepsy
- Low bone mineral density
- Overactive thyroid gland
Qsymia can also cause problems if you use it alongside some medications including certain sedatives and sleeping pills. Extra care may be necessary if you are using anticonvulsants or mood stabilizers and you should not use it within 14 days of treatments involving MAOI antidepressants.
If you have any doubts about the suitability of the medication, it’s important to discuss your concerns with your doctor before accepting a Qsymia prescription.
Qsymia can present some very undesirable side effects including:
- Swelling of the tongue, lips, and face
- Eye pain and/or sudden vision problems
- Breathing difficulties
- Pounding/fluttering heartbeat
- Difficulty concentrating
- Memory problems
- Impaired speech
- Extreme thirst
- Low blood sugar
- Sleep problems
- Dry mouth
- Tingling sensations
Needless to say, people who experience some of the more frightening negative reactions can be very keen to find a good over-the-counter alternative to Qsymia.
Qsymia Alternatives You Can Buy Over-the-Counter (Without a Prescription)
If Qsymia is unavailable to you, is unsuitable, or has caused side effects, it’s not the end of the world. There are a number of alternatives. Unfortunately, all the prescription-only diet pills, such as Phentermine and Orlistat, have similar restrictions on their use to those of Qsymia.
However, there are some very good diet pills you can buy over-the-counter and use instead of Qsymia. PhenQ and Leanbean are two of the best.
Both options suppress appetite and increase energy expenditure in a similar way to Qsymia. They also offer additional support in other areas. Neither one has a reputation for causing side effects and they both have money-back guarantees.
As is the growing trend with the best weight loss supplements these days, PhenQ and Leanbean are 100 percent vegan friendly.
We believe PhenQ is the best alternative to Qsymia. It offers a phenomenal level of weight loss support but has a little caffeine in it. We know some people prefer to lose weight without stimulants, so we recommend Leanbean as a second choice.
As a viable over-the-counter alternative to Qsymia, Leanbean is snapping at PhenQ’s heels and is stimulant-free.
#1 Alternative: PhenQ
As the name suggests, PhenQ was developed to be a safe alternative to Phentermine. With a combination of fast results and no known side effects, it was an instant hit with dieters all over the world.
More than 190,000 people have already lost weight with PhenQ. It’s often rated the #1 diet pill in the world and this is not a trend that’s likely to change anytime soon.
Qsymia suppresses appetite by using the drug Phentermine. PhenQ does it by using a cactus extract that’s gentle on the body and further supports weight loss by reducing the amount of calories your body can get from dietary fats.
Qsymia increases calorie expenditure by using Topiramate. PhenQ helps you to burn extra calories by using a powerful capsicum extract that boasts proven metabolism-boosting capabilities and reduces hunger as well.
PhenQ also provides a cutting-edge ingredient called a-Laceys Reset that helps you to burn fat without loss of muscle mass.
The caffeine in PhenQ gives metabolism a further boost while helping prevent diet-related fatigue.
PhenQ does everything Qsymia can do without the restrictions and potential side effects.
#2. Alternative: Leanbean
If you want a good alternative to Qsymia that does not contain caffeine or other stimulants, Leanbean is the best option to choose.
It was originally the secret of top fitness models. Now it’s marketed as a diet pill for women and, although it’s undoubtedly the best female fat burner on the market, there’s nothing to stop men from using it too.
Leanbean is an especially good option if you have a greater need for hunger control than fat burning because it contains a better lineup of appetite suppressants than any other diet pill in the world.
There’s a reason for that. Women are more susceptible to hunger than men are. But let’s not get sexist here, a lot of men get pretty hungry too.
The main hunger killer in Leanbean is glucomannan. It’s a root extract that swells in the stomach and makes it feel full. The European Food Safety Authority has tested glucomannan’s abilities and agrees it’s a natural appetite suppressant that works.
Instead of using caffeine, Leanbean uses B Vitamins and Turmeric.
B Vitamins help you extract energy from food. Turmeric boosts energy as well. It also enhances calorie expenditure by increasing thermogenesis.
Like PhenQ, Leanbean does the same things Qsymia does and then some more.
Final Thoughts on Qsymia Substitutes
Qsymia is an effective weight loss medication but the problems with side effects and availability issues have created a demand for good over-the-counter alternatives.
The best alternative is undoubtedly PhenQ but Leanbean comes a close second and moves into the lead if you prefer to lose weight with stimulant-free supplements.
Both alternatives offer more far-reaching benefits than Qsymia. That’s no bad thing. Losing weight is a hard game. Most people need as much support as possible if they are going to play the weight loss game and win.
In addition to being less harsh than Qsymia, PhenQ and Leanbean are also a lot cheaper to use. Even a low dose of Qsymia can cost upwards of $120. Our two alternatives cost around half that amount. And let’s not forget they have money-back guarantees. That’s something you never get with prescription medications.