What is Phentermine and what is Phentermine used for? Phentermine is a prescription based drug used to treat obesity. To avoid drug abuse and addiction as it can been addictive, phentermine is intended and recommended for short-term treatment only.
Phentermine acts as an appetite suppressant affecting central nervous system. This reduction in appetite helps obese patients in weight reduction.
Phentermine is chemically related to amphetamines due to the resemblance in their chemical structures. That is why they both have many side effects and symptoms in common. But Phentermine is relatively well tolerated compared to other amphetamines.
Having said that, Phentermine should not be used as a standalone treatment but rather as a supplement to regular exercise, balanced diet and behavioral modification.
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What Is Phentermine? The History Behind It
Phentermine was first approved by FDA in 1959 and became available in early 1970s. Until 1998, it was sold by King Pharmaceutical under the brand name Fastin.
Currently, it is only available as Adipex-P by Gate Pharmaceuticals. In 1990, Combined with fenfluramine, it was known as Fen-Phen.
However, due to 24 reported heart diseases in 1997, the use of fenfluramine was discontinued at the request of the FDA. In light of that, no such action was taken against the use of phentermine. In a recent study, an appetite suppressant drug, Qnexa, was formed by combining Phentermine with Topiramate but it was narrowly rejected by FDA.
Phentermine is also sold as a generic drug. Due to its similarity to amphetamines, it is a controlled substance in many countries. In US, it is classified as a Schedule IV controlled substance whereas amphetamines is a Schedule II controlled substance.
What Is Phentermine? Who should take it?
Whether a person qualifies for this weight loss medication depends on his/her BMI. Body mass Index or BMI is a relation between weight and height of a person and is used to measure obesity.
Person having BMI of more than 30 qualifies for use and this limit is lowered to a BMI of 27 if a patient is also suffering from diabetes and chronic hypertension.
We believe that patients who are currently on Phentermine prescription medication should be off of it due to the more negative side effects and the fact that it is only for short term weight loss before the body becomes more tolerant of it.
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Phentermine should only be taken with the prescription of a physician. In case of side effects, its intake should not be stopped immediately as this can cause a rebound effect.
Due to its similarity to amphetamine, it should not be taken for a long time but only for a few weeks or as prescribed by the doctor.
Prolonged use can lead to its addiction and Phentermine side effects. It is better to be taken empty stomach i.e. before breakfast.
In addition, taking this drug in evening can cause sleeping problems or insomnia.
Phentermine Recommended Dosage:
Phentermine Capsules: 15 mg, 30 mg or 37.5 mg once a day usually in the morning.
When taking the tablet form, a half (18.75 mg) or a full (37.5 mg) once a day. These figures can vary depending on various factors such body’s reaction to the drug, body mass index and severity of condition.
Do not alter the prescribed amount yourself and doctor should be consulted in case the drug is not working as per your expectations.
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Side Effects of Phentermine
Occurrence and severity of these side effects vary from person to person.
Some minor and common side effects of Phentermine – Insomnia or difficulty in sleeping, mood fluctuations or euphoria, sudden depression, hyperactivity or restlessness, dizziness, dry mouth, constipation, diarrhea, headache, etc.
More severe side effects of Phentermine can occur such as chest pain; difficulty in breathing; fainting sensation; swelling of mouth; lips or ankle; etc.
These side effects can be life threatening and doctor should be immediately consulted if any of these symptoms occur. There may be many unreported side effects as well so it is better to consult a doctor if anything seems unusual.
Precautions To Take
Occurrence and magnitude of the above mentioned side effects are amplified in certain specific situations such as combining with alcohol, pregnancy or using with other appetite suppressants and any previous history of drug abuse. In these cases, use of Phentermine should be strictly avoided.
This weight loss drug should be avoided in case someone is suffering from coronary artery disease, uncontrolled High Blood Pressure (H.B.P.) and Hyperthyroidism (Overactive thyroid).
Phentermine Overdose / Missing A Dose
A phentermine overdose can lead to many serious complications.
Symptoms of overdose include rapid breathing, irregular heartbeat, nausea, fainting, hallucinations, restlessness, vomiting, chest pain, etc.
Immediately call emergency numbers if any of these symptoms show up so that they could be taken care of at proper time.
If you ever miss a dose, then take it as soon as you remember. Do not double the dose if it’s already the time of the next dose as this may lead to a phentermine overdose.