A two drug combination of phentermine and topiramate can help overweight people lose weight and curb obesity, revealed a study conducted by researchers at the Austin Hospital in Melbourne, Australia.
According to the study published in the Medical Journal of Australia, a combination diet pill of phentermine (appetite suppressant) and topiramate (epilepsy drug) can help people lose weight. However, the side-effects are so severe that very people would opt for it. Heart palpitations, burning or prickling skin sensations, dry mouth and tingling, insomnia and depression are the most common side-effects of these two drugs.
As part of the study, the researchers at the Austin Hospital in Melbourne tested the drug on 103 patients who were given the combination therapy after completion of a very low calorie diet to start their weight loss program. They were then asked to be on a diet meant to maintain their weight while they continued taking the drugs.
While forty-one out of 61 people taking the drug gave up because of side effects, it was found that the average weight, for all those who completed the 22 month trial, fell by 6.7kg. This was apart from the initial mean weight loss of 16 Kgs during the early low calorie diet. According to Professor Joseph Proietto, lead researcher, the two combination drug therapy cannot be tolerated by all, but is effective in helping people maintain their weight after weight loss. "The purpose of our paper was to describe our experience with using the combination at some maximal doses to help people maintain weight after they've lost it," said Proietto.
The drug combination of phentermine and topiramate has not yet been approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration for weight loss in Australia. However, it has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. Since both the drugs are available in Australia, the GPs can prescribe these pills to their patients as "off label" fashion.