Phentermine is a medicine that is prescribed by physician for quick weight loss to people having a body mass index of over 30 kg/m2 and suffering from health issues due to obesity. Read on to know all about this drug including its uses, dosage, interactions and side effects.
What is Phentermine?
It is a psychostimulant drug, which belongs to the class phenethylamine that generally encompasses a variety of psychoactive drugs. These medications normally function as a neuromodulator or neurotransmitter. The drug is pharmacologically similar to amphetamine – a drug that acts as a stimulant for the central nervous system (CNS), but gets addictive if used in excess.
The drug is broadly used to treat exogenous obesity caused by excessive intake of high calorie food. These overweight individuals are normally placed at a greater risk of developing a host of obesity-associated disorders. The drug functions as an appetite suppressant by modifying the eating pattern of patients. In addition to this, it also enhances the metabolism. The weight loss drug, however, has short-term benefits. The habit-forming nature of the diet pill makes it more restrictive to use. The drug cannot treat the problems related to obesity alone and has to be coupled with adequate physical exercise as well as a healthy, balanced diet. It is sometimes used in the form of a dietary supplement and is a common constituent of several types of food.
The anti-obesity drug is a prescription stimulant. The approval of an experienced healthcare professional is mandatory before using the medication. Although many online sites are found to sell the same drug at an affordable cost, most of them are actually illegal and fake. It is always advisable that you consult a physician before consuming the pill. Various doses of the generic drug are manufactured by the following companies:
- Celltech Pharmaceuticals Inc.
- Medeva Pharmaceuticals
- Smith Kline Beecham
- Gate Pharmaceuticals
This particular drug is available in the form of tablets and extended-release capsules for oral administration.
Phentermine Mechanism of Action
The drug facilitates the release of norepinephrine by targeting the hypothalamus region of the brain, which in turn stimulates the adrenal glands. Norepinephrine is a catecholamine that functions as the principal neurotransmitter and triggers physiological activities such as rapid heart rate and increased blood flow. Elevated levels of catecholamine again stimulate the adrenal glands to secrete epinephrine. The release of the chemical leads to the secretion of glucose from the liver and muscle cells that store body fat. Increased amount of glucose in the blood automatically suppresses the hunger, resulting in controlled appetite. Administration of certain doses of the drug could often release other neurotransmitters like Serotonin and Dopamine, where the former regulates the appetite and the latter acts as a precursor for epinephrine and norepinephrine.
Some obese patients normally start on a lower dose of 15 mg or 30 mg once daily, as recommended by their healthcare providers. The standard dose of the drug is usually 35 mg and is available in any medical store. It is advisable to have the pill 30 minutes before breakfast. Evening doses are generally recommended to be avoided as it may lead to insomnia. The medication can be consumed only up to 12 weeks and thereafter withdrawn from use.
Phentermine Side Effects
Overdose of the drug can lead to serious side effects, causing many life-threatening conditions. Some of these include:
- Shortness of breath
- Abnormal heartbeat
- Mood swings
- Sleep disruption
The drug is not applicable for use under certain conditions. Affected individuals must abstain from taking the drug as it can produce adverse health issues. Obese patients must strictly adhere to the following instructions:
- Do not take the drug if you are using or have used Dexfenfluramine, Fenfluramine, Furazolidone, Guanadrel, Guanethidine, Bupropion or Amphetamine.
- The drug is prohibited for those who have consumed monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAO) in the last 14 days.
- Do not use this drug for weight reduction if you are allergic to any of its ingredients.
- Do not consume it if you are suffering from glaucoma, coronary artery disorders, diabetes, neurological disorders or hyperthyroidism.
- Avoid using the medication if you are a victim of drug or alcohol abuse.
- Women who are pregnant or having pregnancy plans must not use it.
- Nursing mothers should not take this drug as its metabolites might get released in breast milk.
As aforementioned, the drug undergoes interaction with MAO inhibitors that could be lethal to the patients. In addition to this, a few drugs are also prescribed that may produce negative reactions in the body. Some of these are:
Phentermine Generic Brands
The drug is known by the generic name of “Adipex-P”. Its other brand names include:
A one-month supply of this drug, as approved by the FDA, costs around 28$.