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Medically reviewed by
Constance Tambakis Odom, MD graduated in 1987 with her Doctorate of Medicine from the New York Medical College, and was an Anesthesiologist Resident from 1988 to 1991 at the Brookdale Medical Center PGY II (CA-I)-PGY IV (CA-III). She is Board Certified by the American Board of Anesthesiology since 1998 and American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine since 2002. Constance Odom, MD is affiliated with the American Medical Association, American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine, American Society of Anesthesiology, Georgia Society of Anesthesiology, Hellenic Medical Society of New York, North Carolina Society of Anesthesiology, and Society of Ambulatory Anesthesia.
Weight loss, a common goal that almost every one of us has at some point in life. While it may be easy for some of us to shed the excess pounds, those with underlying conditions that support weight gain find it impossible to even start the weight loss journey. In these cases, a pharmaceutical agent is prescribed to accelerate fat burning. However, in recent years, barriers to prescribing have left most professionals looking to unlikely options to help trigger weight loss. One of these options is Qudexy. This drug is not categorized as a fat-burning accelerant, yet weight loss has been linked to its use.
Here we look at the possible weight-reducing abilities of this drug, along with its properties and other associated information:
Basic Overview of Qudexy
Designed by Upsher-Smith, Qudexy is an FDA-approved prescription medication used to prevent and control seizures (epilepsy) in adults and children 2 years and older. The treatment can also be used to reduce the intensity and frequency of migraine headaches in adults and adolescents 12+.
The well-developed product uses the active ingredient topiramate to carry out its function, which is an extended-release formula. This means that its effects work for an extended period of time. The prolonged effects are one of the reasons why the drug can successfully manage and treat the symptoms of the mentioned conditions.
The treatment has a potent disposition that allows it to efficiently subside symptoms in acute and chronic conditions. Evidence from a PubMed study confirms the long-term, sustained efficacy of Qudexy use. This opens up use to a wide patient demographic. Although the product is primarily used for seizures and migraines, there is emerging evidence that suggests that the active ingredient in Qudexy can be an effective weight loss aid.
The medicine market is filled with several hundred treatments that range in type, formula, and ingredients. Each medicine was made to treat a specific condition. However, some treatments, like Qudexy, have multiple uses. This is predominantly due to its active ingredient, topiramate, which has a top-tier rating among neurologists.
Qudexy may be used to:
Prevent, manage or treat migraine headaches in adults and adolescents 12 years and older
Headaches vary in intensity and are often accompanied by sensitivity to light, sound, and nausea.
Treat or manage certain types of seizures in adults and children 2 years+
- Grand mal seizure– This is a seizure that causes a sudden stiffness of muscles followed by muscle contractions.
-Partial-onset seizures –Abnormal electrical activity occurs in one part of the brain. Individuals can go unconscious or remain conscious through the seizure.
The Qudexy formula is compatible with other treatments and can be used in combination treatment plans to manage severe seizure-based conditions. A PubMed study presents evidence of its efficacy and safety in treating the above, concluding that Qudexy is a well-tolerated adjunctive treatment that can benefit both pediatric and adult patients. However, it has been recorded that a large number of Qudexy patients experience weight loss. This effect gained widespread attention, leaving most wondering if the drug has a possible new use.
Qudexy and Weight Loss
The primary source behind the weight loss effect that Qudexy produces comes from its active ingredient, topiramate. The ingredient is well known for its role in the anti-obesity drug Qsymia which is one of the most effective weight loss options on the market. Although Qsymia combines the effects of topiramate and phentermine, topiramate can produce some noticeable fat-burning effects on its own. Data from PubMed state topiramate supports weight loss and improves glycemic control in obese, diabetic patients. This is one of many studies that set the stage for further investigation.
Another study that supports the possibility of weight loss using topiramate is a widespread clinical trial done by Brazillian researchers. These researchers gathered data from 10 randomized, controlled clinical trials that evaluated topiramate's benefits, effectiveness, and side effects for weight loss.
Below we look at the evidence gathered from these trials:
Weight loss did occur in most users however the duration of use and dosage of topiramate consumed greatly affected the amount of weight lost.
Compared to patients who took a placebo, it was confirmed that topiramate-treated patients were seven times likelier to lose more than 10% of their body weight.
Although weight loss was such a high probability, researchers did find that patients were likely to stop topiramate use because of the intensity of side effects.
Side effects included a burning sensation mostly around the mouth, impaired taste, psychomotor disturbances, slower thinking/concentration, memory issues, and reduced physical movements. These are categorized as more serious side effects.
The evidence above proves that topiramate does have a substantial effect on weight loss. The percentage of weight loss achieved using the drug is comparable to the results achieved using most anti-obesity drugs. Considering that there are very few pharmacological options available for the treatment of obesity, the addition of topiramate to the obesity treatment list can be quite useful. The trials conclude that topiramate can be useful as an adjunctive tool in treating obesity only if proper warnings about side effects are considered.
How Does Qudexy Cause Weight Loss?
Qudexy is classified as an anticonvulsant, which are medicines that are most commonly used for seizures. The medication essentially alters abnormal electrical activity in the brain and improves communication between neurons by affecting neurotransmitters GABA and glutamate. GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that ensures the body has the energy to function. It does this by controlling hunger and appetite—blocking hunger signals when we are full to prevent overeating. In high volumes, the active ingredient in Qudexy enhances GABA function.
It works by decreasing appetites and prolonging feelings of fullness—eliminating overeating. This results in a reduced calorie intake and gradual weight loss. The American Diabetes Association also published evidence proving that topiramate positively affects blood sugar levels while facilitating weight loss. Topiramate's effect on blood glucose and insulin levels may induce ketosis, which can be an additional contributing factor to its weight loss capabilities. Ketosis is a process where the body converts fat for fuel rather than storage, resulting in significant weight loss.
Qudexy's Efficacy and Safety for Weight Loss
A real-world study consisting of several clinical trials confirms the efficacy and safety of topiramate for weight loss. Below we look at the summarized evidence:
There was a link established between doses and the amount of weight lost. Patients on high doses lost an average of 5.34 kg in approximately 16 weeks. In contrast, those who took lower doses experienced little to no weight loss. This means that dosage plays a large part in the efficacy of the treatment.
The product's safety is quite fair, with adverse events (side effects) experienced by a small percentage of users. The most frequently observed side effects were taste impairments, burning/prickling sensations, and psychomotor disturbances.
Although these side effects are categorized as serious adverse events, they did not deter users from continuing treatment. This signifies that the treatment is quite tolerable.
Another study evaluating the long-term efficacy and safety of topiramate in the treatment of obese subjects showed:
In 60 weeks, subjects lost approximately 10% of their total body weight. Here again, the loss was experienced on high doses of topiramate. This demonstrates the drug's long-term efficacy.
The weight loss was accompanied by significant improvements in blood pressure, glucose and insulin levels, showing that additional long-term benefits are possible with topiramate use.
The most frequently observed side effects were burning sensations, difficulty concentrating/ remembering, nervousness, and psychomotor slowing. This side effect list is extensive, which means the drug's safety profile is not ideal.
After analyzing the data above, it's clear that the product effectively supports weight loss. However, this efficacy comes with wavering safety levels. The side effects produced by the drug can negatively affect the overall health of users—risk of developing serious health conditions. The product is safe for use when the indicated conditions it treats are present. When these conditions are absent, safety is compromised to some level.
Recommended Dosage and Administration
Qudexy is definitely considered a cut above the rest when it comes to dosage and administration. The dosage and administration plan was carefully designed with patient adherence and dosing flexibility in mind. It ultimately helps patients achieve maximum efficacy with minimal effort. Qudexy comes in various strengths (25mg, 50mg, 100mg, 150mg, 200mg) and forms (capsule, tablet).
Each strength is allocated to treat specific conditions and their varying severities, while the forms are patient preference. The prescribed dosage is based on different patient factors, the medical condition, and treatment response. To reduce the risk of side effects, professionals recommend starting the medication on a low dose and gradually increasing it to a higher one (titration schedule).
There is no specific dose for weight loss since the drug isn't approved for this use. However, it may be prescribed off-label for weight loss in rare cases. If so, it's most likely that a higher strength is recommended. Nevertheless, a titration schedule will still need to be followed. Below we look at the standard Qudexy titration schedule:
Titration Schedule for Qudexy once daily dose for adults and pediatric patients 10 Years+
Week 1 —50 mg
Week 2 —100 mg
Week 3 —150 mg
Week 4 —200 mg
Week 5 —300 mg
Week 6 —400 mg
The once-daily dose can be taken with or without food and must be swallowed whole with a glass of water. If that administration method is inconvenient, users can empty the contents of the capsule on a teaspoonful of soft food (applesauce, yogurt). This preparation must be swallowed immediately, followed by a glass of water. Although the capsule may be opened, and the contents can be consumed this way, crushing or chewing the capsules is not advised. Experts recommend that patients drink plenty of water while on a Qudexy treatment plan to avoid kidney stones from forming.
Qudexy Side Effects
The most common negative aspect associated with medicinal treatments is side effects. Side effects are unavoidable negative symptoms that occur for several reasons, one of the most common being the body becoming familiar with the treatment.
Common Qudexy side effects include:
Loss of coordination
Tingling of the hands/feet
Loss of appetite or changes in how foods taste
The Qudexy side effects mentioned above typically have a mild expression that is both tolerable and easy to manage. Most patients tend to employ home remedies to reduce the intensity and duration of these effects. More serious side effects are possible if the treatment is not used for indicated conditions, for prescribed durations, or in correct dosages. Serious side effects often impede users' abilities, so it's best to use the drug according to professional recommendations and suggestions.
Qudexy Interaction and Contraindications
Interactions and contraindications are one of the most important aspects to look at before using a medication. Contraindications are situations/ conditions that do not allow the use of certain medicines. Below we look at health conditions that do not allow the use of Qudexy:
Severe liver disease
Hypersensitivity/allergy to topiramate
Bone marrow depression/blood dyscrasias
Besides the contraindications above, patients must also be aware of drug interactions (drugs that negatively interact with each other causing side effects and other issues). Below we look at a list of drugs that should not be consumed with Qudexy.
certain HIV medications
carbonic anhydrase inhibitors
antiplatelet drugs or blood thinners
divalproex (Depakote, Depakote ER)
anti-epileptic or anticholinergic drugs
central nervous system (CNS) depressants
nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
Qudexy use must be avoided if any of the above interactions or contraindications are present. Ignorance of the interactions and contraindications list can lead to the development of serious side effects and long-term health issues.
Drugs or medications are chemical substances or products that cure, treat, or prevent illness and disease. Most treatments have an overwhelming list of benefits that extend beyond their intended uses. Qudexy is one of those medicines whose effects extend beyond its primary use. The medication was released on the market as a treatment for seizures and epilepsy. It later made its way into medicine cabinets for other uses like migraines, showing off its potency and flexibility. So, weight loss claims could be possible, considering the formula has a history of being expansive.
If consumed in high doses for extended durations, Qudexy can trigger fat loss, but possible side effects that might join prolonged use lower the reliability and safety of the treatment. We found that the drug is not often recommended to those who do not suffer from indicated conditions due to these possible risks. However, its use is not ruled out, as it can produce effective results if properly tolerated. In most cases, Qudexy use for weight loss is suggested in cases where obesity is paired with migraines or seizures.
Nu Image Medical has strict sourcing guidelines to ensure our content is accurate and current. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We strive to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references.
This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your physician about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Nu Image Medical may not offer the medications or services mentioned in this article.