Phentermine: An Overview
What is Phentermine?
Phentermine is a medication that works similarly to amphetamines. It stimulates the central nervous system, which increases heart rate and blood pressure while decreasing appetite. It is used in combination with diet and exercise to treat obesity, particularly in individuals with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes.
Phentermine should not be used by individuals with glaucoma, overactive thyroid, severe heart problems, uncontrolled high blood pressure, advanced coronary artery disease, extreme agitation, or a history of drug abuse. Additionally, it should not be used by individuals who have used an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days.
Before Taking Phentermine
Individuals who are allergic to phentermine or have a history of heart disease, severe or uncontrolled high blood pressure, overactive thyroid, glaucoma, extreme agitation or nervousness, drug abuse, or who take other diet pills should not use phentermine. It is also not approved for use by anyone younger than 16 years old.
How to Take Phentermine
Phentermine should be taken exactly as directed by a healthcare provider. It is usually taken before breakfast or 1-2 hours after breakfast. It should not be taken in larger amounts or for longer than prescribed. Phentermine is for short-term use only and may be habit-forming. Misuse can cause addiction, overdose, or death.
Side Effects of Phentermine
Common side effects of phentermine include itching, dizziness, headache, dry mouth, unpleasant taste, diarrhea, constipation, stomach pain, and changes in libido. Serious side effects include shortness of breath, chest pain, swelling in the ankles or feet, heart palpitations, tremors, restlessness, changes in mood or behavior, and increased blood pressure.
What to Avoid While Taking Phentermine
Individuals taking phentermine should avoid driving or hazardous activity until they know how the medication affects them. Drinking alcohol with phentermine can also cause side effects.
Phentermine should not be taken with other diet medications such as fenfluramine or dexfenfluramine without a healthcare provider’s advice. Many drugs can interact with phentermine, including prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and herbal products.
Phentermine is approved for short-term use in individuals with a body mass index of 30 kg/m2 or greater or a BMI of 27 kg/m2 or greater with other risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or high cholesterol. It is thought to cause weight loss by suppressing appetite but the exact mechanism is not known. Individuals should always consult their healthcare provider before taking phentermine or any other medication.