One of the newest weight loss discoveries is a medication called topiramate. Topiramate weight loss can be very effective, although there can be side effects for a few people. The initial findings were presented at the 93rd Annual Meeting of the Endocrine Society held in Boston in 2011 by the Brazilian researchers who led the study.
The study was significant with more than 3,300 obese or overweight people participating. Some took topiramate for at least four months while others took placebos. The researchers found that the study group members who took the topiramate lost an average of 11.8 pounds more than those who took the placebo.
Topiramate is typically used in treatment for migraines in adults and as an anti-seizure medication, but the results of this study are encouraging for its potential as a weight loss medication. The researchers did note that there needs to be more research on the effectiveness of topiramate as a weight loss medication.
Topiramate weight loss seems to be based on dosage and duration of treatment. During the study, participants lost more weight when prescribed doses of 96 to 200 milligrams of topiramate daily for more than four months. When compared to study participants who were prescribed the placebo, those who took the topiramate were more than seven times likelier to lose more than ten percent of their body weight.
The researchers did report, however, that study participants taking the topiramate were also nearly twice as likely as those taking the placebo to stop taking the medication because of side effects. Common side effects observed were impaired taste, a burning sensation, typically around the mouth; and psychomotor disturbances, including reduced physical movements and slowed thinking. Incidents of memory impairment and difficulty with concentrating were also observed.
Women who are pregnant should consult with their doctor before taking topiramate since the possible impacts on the unborn child are still unknown. Additionally, taking topiramate can also impact the effectiveness of birth control products containing hormones including the patch, pills, and the ring. Women should discuss with their doctor any need to use other birth control methods when using this medication and should always report any breakthrough bleeding or spotting since these may be indications that any birth control methods in use are not working well.
There seems to be substantial topiramate weight loss success, at least compared to other weight loss drugs, but the side effects can be significant. There are not many medication options for weight loss, so topiramate may be a good option for weight loss, especially when combined with diet and exercise. Patients must be thoroughly educated in all side effects and understand that this is a new use of topiramate and that there may be side effects that are yet undiscovered.
Prescription weight loss drugs such as topiramate can be very effective, but should be used only be used when an individual is at an increased risk of health related problems because of excessive weight. Potential side effects should always be considered and no weight loss medication should ever be started without first discussing it with a doctor.