Phentermine is a pill or capsule containing the active ingredient diethylpropion, which affects chemicals in the brain that control behavior and emotions. Its chemical name is 2-Diphenylethylamine. It was originally developed as an antidepressant but was soon found to be a stimulant and then prescribed for obesity despite mixed studies on its effectiveness at weight loss.
Certain medicines, in addition to a good diet and moderate exercise, may aid weight reduction. Several medicines, including phentermine, one of the most often prescribed, are used to aid weight loss. When paired with a low-calorie diet and exercise, it is helpful for weight reduction in the short term. Despite this, there are hazards associated with taking Phentermine to reduce weight. While phentermine (Adipex-P) might help you lose weight by suppressing your appetite, it can also have dangerous adverse effects.
To prevent serious health problems associated with overweight or obesity, healthcare practitioners suggest attempting to attain a healthy weight for your height and build as a first step. However, there are several weight reduction solutions that might assist you in achieving your goals.
If you’ve been given phentermine to help you lose weight, be sure you’re aware of the potential adverse effects. Learn about the adverse effects of phentermine to see whether it’s good for you.
In this post, we cover all you need to know about phentermine, including its uses, dosage, dangers, and adverse effects, with a particular focus on female users (since women tend to use phentermine more than men and experience side effects more acutely).
What exactly does phentermine do?
Phentermine works in the brain and nervous system by increasing the synthesis of two substances (dopamine and norepinephrine) that mimic metabolism and reduce hunger. Outside of the brain, phentermine increases the synthesis of adrenaline and epinephrine, both of which have significant effects that burn calories and aid weight loss.
When paired with a healthy eating plan, phentermine may help you lose a lot of weight. The medicine does not cause weight reduction; rather, it allows you to stop worrying about eating. Your diet should be in sync with your body, routines, and eating habits. Working out on a regular basis is also essential. A 12-week course of 37.5 mg phentermine leads in a weight loss of roughly 16 pounds.
Uses of Phentermine
Phentermine is a prescription-only weight-loss medication. It was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1959 for use in individuals over the age of 16 for up to 12 weeks.
Pharmaceutical firms combined phentermine with other weight reduction drugs in the 1990s. Fen-phen was the name given to this drug combination. The FDA pulled the other two medicines used in the therapy, fenfluramine and dexfenfluramine, off the market after complaints of major cardiac issues among users.
Adipex-P, Lomaira, and Suprenza are brand names for phentermine, which is now accessible as a standalone drug. It’s included in weight-loss combination medications like Qsymia, which combines phentermine with a topiramate-like substance.
You may receive phentermine, a stimulant, if you have a prescription. Phentermine is a controlled drug since it has the potential to cause addiction. Its chemical structure is comparable to that of the well-known stimulant amphetamine, which is also illegal.
A healthcare physician may prescribe phentermine if you have obesity, which is defined as a BMI of 30 or greater. It’s also likely to be recommended by a doctor if you’re overweight, with a BMI of 27 or above, and have at least one weight-related disease, such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular problems, or type 2 diabetes.
A healthcare provider, on the other hand, is more likely to recommend alternative weight-loss strategies first, such as exercise and a calorie-reduced diet.
Phentermine side effects: What does phentermine do for weight loss?
Use phentermine for weight reduction just for a short time. Ideally, no more than 12 weeks at a time. It’s known as a “sympathomimetic” or “stimulant” drug since it works by rousing the sensitive nerve system associated with fighting or flight.
Phentermine may help you lose weight by reducing your appetite, so individuals who take it eat less. This may lead to an energy deficit, when you burn more calories than you intake, resulting in weight reduction.
If you have obesity or are overweight and have tried everything to lose weight without success, phentermine may be the answer for you.
Those with diabetes who use phentermine will need medical care. Patients must reduce their insulin levels and follow any other prescriptions while taking the medication.
However, given there are hazards associated with phentermine usage, the decision to take it is a personal one that should be made after seeking medical guidance.
Because phentermine may interact with alcohol, persons who are taking it should avoid drinking.
With phentermine, how much weight can I anticipate to lose?
When taking Phentermine, your extra weight is decided by your current weight and your ability to adjust your diet. Let’s have a look at two research that directly address this topic:
According to a small South Korean research, 86 percent of overweight or obese people who took phentermine for 14 weeks lost up to 5% of their body weight.
Another South Korean research focused on obese people who completed a 12-week phentermine regimen. It was revealed that approximately % of them lost more than 5% of their body weight, and that 62 percent of the same group lost more than 10% of their body weight.
If you have any unfavorable side effects while taking phentermine, contact your doctor right away. If you have serious adverse effects, you should get medical help right away.
Another medication, topiramate, is occasionally used in conjunction with phentermine. The combo medicine Qsymia (phentermine/topiramate) has been approved for a longer length of time. In a recent large study, 75 percent of those on phentermine/topiramate lost at least 5% of their body weight over a year, compared to just 23% of those taking a placebo.
What are the phentermine negative effects?
Like many other medicines, phentermine has both common and rare adverse effects.
Some of the most prevalent phentermine negative side effects include:
- Sleep disturbances
- Are you worried?
- Mouth aridity
- A fast pulse or heart palpitations
- Variations in libido
- Blood pressure elevation
- Tremors that shake (shakiness)
Serious side effects are rare, however they might include:
- Psychosis is characterized by confusion and hallucinations.
- Cardiovascular problems
- Lung hypertension causes difficulties breathing.
Effects on pregnant women and fertility
While there is little information on phentermine and pregnancy, another research looked at the use of phentermine/fenfluramine in the first trimester of pregnancy, but it is no longer available. It was discovered that, when compared to women who did not take the medication, those who did had a higher chance of:
- Miscarriage or abortion
- Premature delivery
- Newborns with birth problems
Women have more difficulties.
Similarly, we don’t know much about how phentermine affects a growing embryo or pregnant women. Pregnant women who took phentermine/fenfluramine during the first trimester had a higher risk of gestational diabetes, according to a 2002 research. Still, gestational diabetes was more likely a result of being overweight in the first place, rather than a drug adverse effect.
Pregnant women with gestational diabetes are at risk for a variety of health problems, including:
- Having a large baby might lead to problems during delivery.
- Both preeclampsia and high blood pressure may be fatal.
- Diabetes that strikes people later in life.
Why you shouldn’t lose weight while pregnant!
Losing weight when pregnant is not advised. According to some studies, fasting or not eating enough during early pregnancy might increase the risks of having a kid with a neural tube abnormality, which happens when the baby’s spine does not develop correctly. Spina bifida is caused by an abnormality in the neural tube. Being significantly overweight during pregnancy might also increase the risk of several medical issues. Examples include gestational diabetes and high blood pressure during pregnancy. Weight gain or loss during pregnancy may be discussed with your healthcare provider.
Will phentermine make it harder for you to become pregnant?
There have been no studies done to see whether taking phentermine makes it harder for a woman to become pregnant.
What happens if you become pregnant while on phentermine?
Consult your healthcare practitioner before making any changes to how you take this prescription. There are no noticeable negative effects if patients quit using phentermine right away. As a result, a person might stop taking phentermine at any moment. Other appetite suppressants must also be gently taken down over many days to prevent unpleasant side effects.
Does phentermine make your kid more likely to have a birth defect?
Every pregnancy has a three to five percent probability of miscarriage. Her background risk is what it’s called. There is very little information on phentermine use during the first trimester of pregnancy. There is no evidence that taking phentermine and fenfluramine together during the first trimester of pregnancy reduces the chance of having a baby with a birth defect.
If you used phentermine before being pregnant, it should have no effect on your ability to carry a healthy baby to term. Remember, however, that following conception, all traces of phentermine should be removed from your body. It should not damage your pregnancy if you got your last dosage a week before conception.
What is the most important thing to know about phentermine?
Do not use this medicine if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Phentermine combined with Topiramate may increase the risk of a newborn developing cleft lip and palate.
Phentermine may cause an increase in your resting heart rate. Notify your doctor if you experience rapid or pounding heartbeats while resting.
Would taking phentermine in the second or third trimester increase the risk of difficulties during pregnancy?
There haven’t been any studies to see whether taking phentermine in the second or third trimester increases the chance of complications during pregnancy.
Is it feasible that taking phentermine while pregnant may cause the infant to have long-term behavioral or developmental delays?
No research has been done to see whether phentermine increases the likelihood of long-term problems. During the pregnancy, however, there are several gestational developmental risk factors to consider.
Phentermine use during nursing
If you’re a nursing mother, phentermine might end up in your milk. As a result, nursing moms should avoid it. Phentermine should be avoided by pregnant or nursing women until they are no longer lactating.
There hasn’t been any study done on phentermine usage during breastfeeding. We don’t know how much phentermine gets into breast milk or how it affects a breastfed infant. Tremors, irritability, and reduced eating are possible adverse effects in newborns, based on what is known about the drug in adults.
How much phentermine should I take?
One pill of phentermine is the usual daily dosage. This may be taken in one dosage or divided into two morning and night doses. A new phentermine formulation (Lomaira) with a lower dose that may be used up to three times per day was recently introduced.
How long does it take for phentermine to start working?
Phentermine is metabolized in the gastrointestinal system after being taken orally. The maximum concentrations of phentermine are reached 3 to 4.4 hours after ingestion. The medicine has a half-life of about 25 hours. A half-life is the time it takes for half of a drug’s dosage to be metabolized by the liver or passed through the urine unaltered.
Phentermine and its derivatives
Phentamine variations comprise a mixture of phentermine and other medicines, such as topiramate. Oral capsules are the most prevalent mode of administration. Physicians may adjust the dosage to ensure that the patient receives the smallest possible dose.
Adults usually take 15 mg, 30 mg, or 37.5 mg of phentermine, which gives 12 mg, 24 mg, or 30 mg of phentermine. A daily phentermine and topiramate dosage might vary from 3.75 mg phentermine plus 23 mg topiramate to 15 mg phentermine plus 92 mg topiramate when taken consistently.
Underlying medical conditions may also have an impact on dosage recommendations. Individuals with damaged kidneys would need lesser dosages to avoid placing their bodies under unnecessary stress. Those suffering from chronic renal failure may not be able to take the drug.
If you’re over 50, doctors advise against using phentermine since it might stress your kidneys. Children under the age of 16 are recommended to avoid the medicine due to unknown consequences.
It’s also not a good idea to take the medication late at night or in the evening, since it might induce sleeplessness. It is well known that phentermine, whether used alone or in conjunction with other medications like topiramate, may cause a variety of adverse effects, including the risk factors listed above.
More negative consequences
Phentermine has a molecular structure that is comparable to amphetamines like methamphetamine, a drug with a history of abuse. As a result, there is a danger of misuse and dependency when someone uses phentermine.
Many people get used to the medicine and desire a more intense experience. Stopping the intake becomes crucial in these situations. Other weight-loss options are always available.
When people who use a lot of medication stop taking it, they may experience withdrawal symptoms. Consult your doctor about the potential for abuse in your condition.
Why is phentermine, like Xanax, designated as a controlled substance?
Because of the potential for abuse, phentermine is classed as a restricted drug. It works similarly to amphetamines, a class of illegal and recreational drugs.
Because of the apparent potential for misuse, phentermine is heavily supervised and extra safety safeguards are in place to deter individuals from obtaining it without a legitimate prescription.
What is the price of phentermine?
The price of phentermine varies based on the dose and type. In certain cases, health insurance may be used to assist offset expenses. Despite this, phentermine is a fairly priced medication. The normal retail price for a one-month supply of the most common dosage is about $36.
Many Medicare and commercial insurance policies do not fund it. A GoodRx coupon, on the other hand, may cut the monthly cost to roughly $10, saving you around 70% off the standard price.
Weight loss suggestions
Despite the fact that phentermine may help individuals lose weight, it is only taken as a supplement. To begin, one must develop the correct mix of diet and workout changes. The following are some fundamental weight-loss tips:
- Maintaining a healthy diet by eating nutrient-dense meals that include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats.
- Cardio and weight training should be done on a regular basis.
- Fast food and packaged meals should be avoided since they are high in fat and lacking in nutrition.
- To prevent eating excess calories, limit your intake of sugar-sweetened drinks.
- Consider using a natural fat burner to supplement your workout routine.
Explore more and do comprehensive study to learn how to reduce weight safely and organically.
Is it, in the end, effective?
Phentermine may help you lose weight in a variety of situations. Since its debut in 1959, it has been one of the most popular prescription weight reduction drugs, whether used alone or as part of a combination treatment.
It’s still a mystery how phentermine lowers appetite. However, other studies believe it increases neurotransmitter activity in the brain, which decreases hunger.
The person’s total dietary and lifestyle changes may also impact the weight reduction outcomes.
What the expert has to say
A few studies on the use of phentermine in pregnant and breastfeeding women have been conducted. If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, it’s advisable to stop taking phentermine right away. Your doctor can help you determine any possible risks by recommending weight increase before, during, and after pregnancy.
Pavel Sadovnik is a leading biochemical scientist with a PhD in biochemical engineering. He has spent decades working in industry as a chemist and pjharmaceutical consultant. He has extensive experience with the supplement industry, and specialises in supplement tsting and formulation consultancy. He is the Editor of NARSTO.