FAQs – Medical Weight Loss
Frequently Asked Questions – Medical Weight Loss
1) What is medical weight loss?
The Pacific Plastic Surgery Medical Weight Loss program offers a multi-disciplinary approach, incorporating medical and surgical services for adults who are overweight or obese. Our Physician Assistant Jessica Barker or Nurse Cassie Clara evaluates each patient and provides the individualized care that is crucial to effective and long-lasting treatment success. This comprehensive weight loss program provides prescription medicines, supplements, nutritional counseling, personal training and, if necessary, surgical issues related to obesity.
2) How will the medicines make me feel?
Phentermine may make you feel restless or jittery at first. It is best to take it in the morning so as not to impair your sleep. It is also best to take it with food and limited caffeine. Topamax should be started before bedtime for the first week. It can make you feel tired in the beginning. After a week or so of getting acclimated to the Topamax, you can add in the daytime dose.
3) What are the side effects of the medications?
Phentermine may cause side effects. These may include: dry mouth, unpleasant taste, diarrhea, constipation, and vomiting. Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call a doctor immediately: increased blood pressure, heart palpitations, restlessness, dizziness, tremor, insomnia, shortness of breath, or chest pain.
Topiramate’s side effects are as follows: paresthesia (numbness & tingling), upper respiratory tract infection, diarrhea, nausea, anorexia (loss of appetite), memory problems, psychomotor slowing, memory problems, confusion, and fatigue.
4) Is any of this medication the same as Fen-Phen?
Fen-Phen was an anti-obesity medication which consisted of two drugs: fenfluramine and phentermine. Fenfluramine was shown to cause potentially fatal pulmonary hypertension and heart valve problems, which eventually led to its withdrawal. Phentermine was not shown to cause harmful effects.
5) Do I really need to get the injected supplements?
Taking the supplements and following all the guidelines will allow you to get the best results from the program.
6) How fast will I lose weight?
If you adhere to the medications, exercise and nutritional plan set forth in the program, you should lose approximately 1-2 pounds per week.
7) Can I drink alcohol with these medications and supplements?
Alcohol may cause increased sedation or drowsiness and may increase the risk of having a seizure while on the Topiramate. It may also increase the side effects of the Phentermine.
8) Can I do other diets with this program?
We encourage you to maintain a diet low in calories, high in lean protein and low in saturated fats. The medications should not be combined with any other appetite suppressants, or other non-prescribed stimulating agents.
9) Who should not take these medications?
If you have severe heart disease or high blood pressure, glaucoma, agitation, history of drug abuse, pregnant, breast feeding, these medications are not right for you. Please notify your doctor of all medications and supplements that you are currently taking, as Phentermine or Topamax may interfere with other medicines.
10) How much does it cost?
The program costs $300 per month for three months and then $150 per month for two months. It includes the consult and scheduled visits, as well as office-administered supplements at Pacific Plastic Surgery. This price does not include the prescription medicines or initial blood testing and EKG. We estimate your total cost including these other items will be under $1000.