What is Phentermine?
Phentermine is a medication prescribed to help patients with weight loss. Patients given dietary management and treated with “anorectic” drugs (like Phentermine) lose more weight on average than those given placebo plus diet. Phentermine does not work well unless a dietary and exercise plan is included with the medicine.
How does Phentermine help me lose weight?
Phentermine suppresses appetite and increases your metabolic rate so you feel less hungry and burn more calories. It works by raising your noradrenaline levels which increases your sympathetic nervous system (“fight or flight”). There is a lot of variability in the older trials of Phentermine. Both the physician and the diet prescribed play a large role in the effectiveness of Phentermine for weight loss.
The studies suggest that you need the best diet and exercise plan tailored to you, in order to lose the most weight with Phentermine. In the studies since 2000, patients who received phentermine lost twice as much weight (or more) than patients who followed the same diet & exercise plan but took a placebo (fake pill). In clinical experience, brands of phentermine which are absorbed better, work better.
What are some side-effects?
Some patients experience no side-effects. The following are common side-effects which tend to get better over time: nervousness, restlessness, constipation, insomnia, dry mouth. If you develop constipation, please ask the staff for Fiberlean, a natural herb which combats constipation and causes additional weight loss.
The following are very rare side-effects, and if you develop them, stop the phentermine and call the doctor immediately: headaches, palpitations, blood pressure above 150/100, chest pain, blurred vision, or dizziness. However, most patients who experience those rare symptoms discover that the culprit is mixing another medication or caffeine with phentermine, and they have no problems taking phentermine by itself. If you feel you have severe side-effects, please write down any other medicines you may have taken recently.
Often, it is a different medicine which caused the problem (in 2005 Tylenol and Motrin/ibuprofen caused 22% of drug-related ER visits, but phentermine caused only 0.09%). Hundreds of thousands of patients have taken Phentermine safely, without any side-effect.
What are the risks of Phentermine?
You should not take Phentermine if you are pregnant or if you have advanced arteriosclerosis, serious cardiovascular disease, moderate to severe uncontrolled hypertension, hyperthyroidism, hypersensitivity to sympathomimetic amines, or glaucoma. Phentermine should not be taken if you have a history of drug abuse or if you take an MAO-inhibitor.
The warning label states: “There have been rare cases of valvular heart disease in patients who reportedly have taken Phentermine alone. There have been rare cases of primary pulmonary hypertension in patients who reportedly have taken Phentermine alone”. That was written a long time ago.
The most recent writings by the FDA on the website correct that statement and say, “At the present time, no cases of heart valve disease meeting FDA’s case definition have been reported with phentermine alone.” I expect them to fix the labeling.
Does Phentermine stop working?
Some patients become hungrier around 3-4 months because they stop following the diet as closely and they start eating foods that stimulate the appetite. Phentermine is still working, but eating the wrong foods can stimulate your appetite more than phentermine will suppress it. Frequently, the proper course of action is to increase adherence to the diet, rather than change the phentermine.
However, if phentermine doesn’t work, stops working, or has an intolerable side-effect, you should ask your physician to switch to a different weight loss medicine. There are lots of options. Some people have to take other medications which cause weight-gain; other patients have genetic obesity. For both groups of patients, the benefits of lifelong phentermine can outweigh the risks. Contact us here to learn more.