Phentermine is a prescription medication that can help you lose weight. While doctors aren’t exactly sure how it works, they do know that it suppresses appetite and increases your heart rate, which may lead to faster burning of fat.
Phentermine was approved for use in the United States in 1959. During the 1990s, doctors started combining this medicine with other weight loss medicines. This combination was called fen-phen. While it was highly effective for weight loss, it also came with devastating cardiovascular side effects. The product was taken off the market in 1997, and many major lawsuits followed.
Who Cannot Take Phentermine (Adipex)?
As phentermine is a stimulant of the nervous system, there are some people who should not take it. This includes those suffer from:
anxiety or agitation
high blood pressure
Phentermine can be dangerous for those who suffer from these conditions because it raises blood pressure and heart rate, which can lead to heart damage, heart attacks, and strokes. You must inform your doctor if you suffer from any of these conditions. You may still use the medicine, but your doctor will make the appropriate decisions about dosage or whether you need to get other conditions under control before starting this medicine.
This medicine should also not be taken by those who have used an MAO inhibitor (antidepressant) in the previous two weeks as there’s a risk for a severe interaction.
You should also not take this medicine if you are already taking other medications, including non-prescription diet pills, for weight loss.
Doctors usually prescribe Phentermine for up to 12 weeks. After this time, the medicine may lose its effectiveness, so you won’t lose any more weight. This medicine should be used in conjunction with a healthy diet and exercise to lose weight.
It’s also important to note that you should take exactly how much your doctor tells you to—taking more will not help you lose more weight or lose it faster, but it could increase the side effects that you experience.
Phentermine is usually prescribed as a single dose of up to 37.5 mg in the morning or three doses of 8mg spread throughout the day. If you’re prescribed a single dose, you’ll take it before you eat breakfast or a couple of hours after. If you are taking multiple doses per day, you’ll take it half an hour before meals.
What If I Miss A Dose?
If you forget to take your medicine, you should take it as soon as remember, unless it’s time for the next dose or it’s late in the day. You should not take two doses at the same time.
Phentermine Side Effects
This weight loss medicine may produce both minor and serious side effects. Some of the most common side effects include:
Minor Side Effects
Serious Side Effects
Dizziness and nausea
Itchiness and rash
Swelling in your extremities
Stomach upset, including diarrhea and constipation
Tremors and restlessness
You should discuss all side effects you experience with your doctor, but you should immediately seek help if you are plagued by any of the serious side effects listed above.
How Much Weight Will I Lose?
Weight loss depends on many factors, including your age and gender. The most important factor concerns how much you eat; that is, how many calories you consume. In order to lose weight, you have to consume fewer calories than you burn.
Phentermine helps you lose weight by reducing your appetite: You won’t eat as much, so you’ll burn more calories than you take it. Most patients can expect a 5% reduction in body weight a 12-week course. However, some individuals have experienced as much as 10% weight loss. If you weight 250 lbs, 5% is equal to a weight loss of 12.5 lbs and 10% is equal to 25 lbs.
To experience better weight loss, doctors recommend consuming a low-calorie diet and incorporating exercise into your daily routine. Some doctors may also prescribe the anti-seizure medicine topiramate for better results. Studies have shown that this medicine can also suppress the appetite, so you may experience better weight loss when the two are combined.