Side effects are the annoying reality of most medications and the weight-loss pill Phentermine is no exception. The medicine gives rise to various unwanted, secondary effects that usually occur in case of incorrect dosage, discontinuation of the drug, or chemical reactions in the body. Read on to know more about the various side effects of this drug in obese patients.
Phentermine Side Effects
The side effects produced by usage of this medication can be categorized into:
Long-term side effects
The drug gives rise to a host of side effects that generally persist for a longer duration of time. Affected individuals may experience extreme discomfort and several health issues that often compel them to discontinue the drug. Minor side effects are common if patients follow the prescribed dose as recommended by their physicians. These are however, less serious side effects that could be well-tolerated by the patients during the course of drug therapy. This short-term treatment method for obesity only provides temporary benefits and is often followed by subsequent regaining of body weight. Some of these after-effects include:
- Psychological dependence
- Bitter or metallic taste in mouth
- Loss of libido
- Frequent episodes of headache
- Dry mouth
- Excessive stimulation
- Upset stomach
- Hives or itchy skin rashes
- Blurred vision
- Ringing in the ears
Severe side effects
In certain cases, patients consume large amount of the medication for quick results without consulting their healthcare providers that ultimately leads to drug overdose. Such cases occur when increased tolerance develops towards the appetite-suppressing effect of the drug, causing the patients to take higher doses. The use of the pill is contraindicated in individuals who are taking or have taken drugs like dexfenfluramine, fenfluramine, furazolidone, or MAO inhibitors as it causes adverse reactions in the body. This puts the affected individuals at a higher risk of developing the following life-threatening conditions:
- Pulmonary hypertension
- Cardiac valvular disorder
- Elevation of blood pressure
- Rapid heartbeat
- Decreased blood supply
- Shortness of breath
- Acute chest pain
These side effects are more prevalent in individuals with:
- Drug allergy
- Conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, hyperthyroidism, cardiovascular disorders, neurological problems, or high cholesterol levels
Side effects in pregnant women
Medical experts believe that obligatory weight gain is a common phenomenon, occurring in the maternal tissues during pregnancy. The weight loss pill provides no potential benefits to the pregnant women. On the contrary, it could be hazardous to the health of the developing fetus. There are many obese women who have pregnancy plans, but are not able to conceive, owing to the excessive body fat. Such overweight women often take this drug for quick weight loss. However, it can later have a negative effect on the fetal growth. If a pregnant woman consumes the drug during pregnancy or gets pregnant while having the drug, she must immediately be informed of its repercussions. The drug has a possibility of getting secreted in human milk that poses a high risk to nursing infants. Physicians must prevent breast-feeding mothers from consuming the drug in order to protect the neonates from any congenital anomalies.
Side effects in elders
Elderly patients must be administered lower doses of the medication, owing to their age and state of health. Higher doses of the drug can lead to greater frequency of kidney, liver, or heart malfunction. Presence of other obesity-related disorders could further aggravate the health condition.
Phentermine withdrawal side effects
Discontinuation of the drug, without seeking the advice of an experienced health specialist, can endanger the health of obese patients. Withdrawal symptoms like chronic tiredness, depression and irritability can be extremely debilitating. Intake of the drug should not be stopped instantly, unless approved by physicians. The condition of patients must be constantly monitored by doctors to reduce the risk of regaining the lost weight.