In addition to a healthy diet and regular exercise, certain drugs can help with weight loss. Several drugs are used to help people lose weight, including phentermine, one of the most popular drugs on the market. It is effective in the short term for weight loss if it is combined with a reduced-calorie diet and exercise. Despite this, using Phentermine to lose weight comes with risks. While phentermine (Adipex-P) reduces appetite and may help you lose weight, it can also have potentially harmful side effects.

As a first step, healthcare providers recommend trying to reach a healthy weight for your height and build to avoid severe health consequences related to overweight or obesity. There are, however, some weight loss remedies that can be helpful to you in reaching those objectives.

If you are prescribed phentermine for weight loss, make sure you understand the possible side effects. Discover phentermine's side effects to help you decide if it's right for you.

We explain everything you need to know about phentermine in this article, including its uses, dosage, risks, and side effects.

What is the function of phentermine?

Phentermine acts in the mind and neurological structure by boosting the production of 2 chemicals in your brain (dopamine and norepinephrine) to imitate metabolism and decrease appetite. Phentermine also has an effect outside the brain, enhances the production of adrenaline and epinephrine, both of these have potent effects that burn calories and help you lose weight.

Phentermine produces considerable weight reduction when combined with a nutritional approach. The drug does not result in weight loss; instead, it enables you to avoid obsessing about food. Your nutrition should be compatible with your body, routines, and food habits. It is also critical to work out on a routine basis. Taking 37.5mg of phentermine daily for 12 weeks results in a fat reduction of nearly 16 pounds.

Phentermine uses

Phentermine is a weight loss medicine that requires a prescription. It was licensed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1959 for short-term usage of up to 12 weeks for adults over 16 years of age.

In the 1990s, pharmaceutical companies coupled phentermine with other weight loss medications. This medication combination was known as fen-phen. Following reports of serious heart problems among users, the FDA removed the other two products utilized in the treatment, fenfluramine, and dexfenfluramine, from the public.

Phentermine is now available as a standalone medication under the trade names Adipex-P, Lomaira, and Suprenza. It's also found in weight-loss combo drugs like Qsymia, which blends phentermine with some other drug called topiramate.

If you have a prescription, you can get phentermine, which is a stimulant. Since phentermine has the potential for addiction, it is classified as a restricted substance. It has a similar molecular structure to the known stimulant called amphetamine, which is likewise a banned substance

If you have obesity, as defined by a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher, a healthcare provider may prescribe phentermine. It is also likely to be prescribed by a healthcare practitioner if you are heavy with a BMI higher than or close to 27 and maintain one body related disorder (pertaining to weight), like high BP, cardiovascular issues, or diabetes in type2.

Conversely, a healthcare practitioner will most probably propose other weight loss measures first, such as exercise and a calorie-reduced diet.

Side effects of phentermine: What does phentermine do for weight loss?

Only use phentermine for weight loss for a brief period. Preferably less than 12 weeks at a time. It's been dubbed a "sympathomimetic" medication or "stimulant" since it functions by stimulating your sensitive nervous system related to fighting or flight.

Phentermine may lead to weight loss by suppressing your appetite, so people who take it generally eat little. This can result in an energy deficit burning more calories than you consume and consequent weight loss.

If you have obesity or are overweight with health-related concerns and have tried everything to reduce weight, phentermine may be a solution for you.

Those suffering from diabetes and using phentermine will need doctor’s supervision. When taking the medicine, patients need to lower their insulin and take care of any other prescriptions.

Nonetheless, because there are risks linked with phentermine use, the choice to use is personal and should be determined after advice from your medical practitioner.

Since phentermine may react with liquor, people who are taking it must stop using alcoholic beverages.

How much weight can I expect to lose with phentermine?

The excess weight is determined by the excess weight you have and your ability to change your diet when using Phentermine. Two studies address this subject directly, let's have a look:

A small South Korean study found that about 86% of overweight or obese adults who took phentermine for 14 weeks dropped upwards of 5% of their body weight.

A further South Korean study focused on persons who were obese and used phentermine for a 12-week program. It was discovered that nearly % of them dropped over 5% of their body weight, and 62% in the same group dropped over 10% of their body weight.

If you suffer any negative effects while using phentermine, you should notify your healthcare provider immediately. If you experience severe side effects, you may require immediate medical attention.

Topiramate, another medicine, is sometimes used in addition to phentermine. Qsymia (phentermine/topiramate) is a combination drug that has been permitted for a longer period. In recent big research, 75% of participants on phentermine/topiramate lost at least 5% of their body weight over a year, compared to 23% of participants given a placebo.

What are the side effects of phentermine?

Phentermine, like so many other drugs, has both common and uncommon side effects.

The following are some of the most common phentermine adverse side effects:

  • Sleeping difficulties
  • Feeling anxious
  • Migraine
  • Mouth dryness
  • Heart palpitations or a rapid heartbeat
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Libido fluctuations
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Shaking tremors (shakiness)

Rarely, serious adverse effects may occur, such as:

  • Psychosis - confusion and hallucinating
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Hypertension of the lungs - difficulty breathing

Effects on fertility and expectant mothers

While data on pregnancy and phentermine is limited, another study investigated the usage of phentermine/fenfluramine in the first trimester of pregnancy, which is no longer accessible. It found that, as compared to women who did not use the medicine, those who did had an increased risk of:

  • Abortion or miscarriage
  • Premature birth
  • Birth defects in newborns

More complications for women 

Similarly, we know very little about the consequences of phentermine on a developing embryo or pregnant women. According to one 2002 study, pregnant women who used phentermine/fenfluramine during the first trimester had an increased likelihood of gestational diabetes. Still, the risk factor of gestational diabetes was most likely due to being overweight in the first place, rather than a side effect of the medication.

Gestational diabetes can put pregnant women at risk of a range of health issues, such as:

  • Giving birth to a big baby can cause complications during delivery.
  • Preeclampsia and high blood pressure both are life-threatening.
  • Diabetes that develops later in life in adults.

The reasons why you shouldn't lose weight during pregnancy

It is not advisable to lose weight while pregnant. As per some research, fasting or not eating enough during early pregnancy may double the chances of having a baby with a neural tube defect, which occurs when the baby's spine fails to grow properly. A neural tube defect is an example of spina bifida. Being severely overweight can also raise the risk of various medical complications during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes during pregnancy and excessive blood pressure are examples. Your healthcare professional can advise you on weight gain or decrease during pregnancy.

Will phentermine make it more difficult for you to conceive?

Thus far, there have been no studies to evaluate if taking phentermine makes it more difficult for a woman to conceive.

What if you become pregnant while taking phentermine?

Before making any changes to how you take this medicine, consult with your healthcare providers. If people stop using phentermine promptly, there are no significant side effects. Thus, a person might likely discontinue taking phentermine at any time. Also, other appetite suppressants must be tapered off gradually over several days to avoid unwanted effects.

Does taking phentermine increase the chances of a birth defect in your baby?

There is a 3% to5 % chance of miscarriage in every pregnancy. It is referred to as her background risk. There is minimal data regarding phentermine exposure during the first trimester of pregnancy. No evidence using phentermine in combination with fenfluramine during the first trimester of pregnancy influences the risk of delivering a baby with a birth defect.

If you used phentermine before becoming pregnant, it should not influence your capacity to deliver a normal baby to term. However, remember that all traces of phentermine should be eliminated from your body after conceiving. Even though you received your final dose the week before conceiving, it should not affect your pregnancy.

What is the most crucial information to be aware of regarding phentermine?

If you are pregnant or intend to become pregnant, do not use this medication. Phentermine in combination with Topiramate may raise the risk of a newborn developing a birth condition known as cleft lip and cleft palate.

Phentermine has the potential to raise your resting heart rate. If you have fast or hammering heartbeats while resting, notify your doctor.

Would using phentermine in the second or third trimester lead to further pregnancy complications?

There haven't been any studies to determine if taking phentermine in the second or third trimester raises the risk of pregnancy difficulties.

Is it possible that using phentermine during pregnancy will produce long-term behavioral or developmental delays for the baby?

There have been no studies to assess if phentermine raises the risk of long-term difficulties. But there are gestational developmental risk factors to consider during the pregnancy itself.

Taking phentermine during breastfeeding

If you are a lactating mother, phentermine may well be secreted in breast milk. Therefore, it is not suggested for breastfeeding mothers. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid phentermine until they are no longer lactating.

The use of phentermine while nursing has not been researched. We don't know just how phentermine goes into breast milk or what impact it might have on a breastfed baby. Based on what is known about the medicine in adults, potential side effects in babies could include tremors, irritability, or decreased feeding.

What is the usual phentermine dosage?

The normal daily dose of phentermine is 1 tablet. This can be administered in a single dose or split into 2 doses morning and night. A new phentermine formulation (Lomaira) was recently released in a smaller dosage that can be taken up to three times per day.

How much time does it take for phentermine to work?

After being taken orally, phentermine is metabolized through the gastrointestinal tract. phentermine reaches maximal concentrations 3 to 4.4 hours after consumption. The half-life of the medication is approximately 25 hours. A half-life is the amount of time it takes for half of a drug's dose to be digested by the liver or eliminated unchanged through the urine.

Phentermine with its combinations

There are Phentamine variants that contain a combination of phentermine and additional drugs like topiramate. It is commonly administered in the form of an oral capsule. Physicians might modify the dosage to ensure that the patient obtains the minimal optimal dosage.

Adults' typical phentermine doses are 15 milligrams (mg), 30 mg, or 37.5 mg, which provides 12 mg, 24 mg, or 30 mg of phentermine. When administered regularly, a daily phentermine and topiramate dose can range between 3.75 mg phentermine as also 23 mg topiramate up to 15 mg phentermine with 92 mg topiramate.

Dosage guidelines may also be affected by underlying medical issues. Individuals with damaged kidneys would need lower doses to prevent putting extra strain on their bodies. All those with chronic renal failure may be unable to take the medication.

Doctors advise against taking phentermine if you're above the age of 50 because it can stress your kidneys. Due to the unknown complications, it is advised that children under the age of 16 should avoid the medication.

It's also not an astute idea to use the drug late at night or in the evening because it can create insomnia. It is a noted fact that phentermine alone or in combination with other medicines, such as topiramate, may have its own set of side effects, which can include many risk factors as noted above.

More harmful effects

With its chemical structure, Phentermine is similar to amphetamine substances such as methamphetamine, a drug with a history of abusive misuse. Therefore, when someone takes phentermine, there is a risk of abuse and dependence.

Many individuals develop tolerance to the medication and crave more of an experience. In these circumstances, it becomes critical to stop the intake. You can always try other weight-loss treatments.

People who consume high amounts of medicine may develop symptoms of withdrawal when they quit using it. Consult a doctor about the risks of abuse in your specific situation.

Why is phentermine classified as a scheduled drug, similar to Xanax?

Because phentermine has the potential for abuse, classified as a controlled substance. It functions similarly to amphetamines, which are illicit and recreationally used drugs.

Due to the obvious potential for abuse, extensive supervision and additional safety precautions are in place to discourage people from acquiring phentermine without a legal prescription.

How much does phentermine cost?

The cost of phentermine will vary depending on the form and dosage. In rare circumstances, health insurance may also help cover costs. Still, phentermine is a reasonably priced drug. For a one-month supply of the most usual dose, the typical retail price is roughly $36.

It is unsupported by many of the Medicare or private insurance plans. However, a GoodRx coupon can reduce the cost to about $10 each month, at around 70% off the regular price.

Suggestions for weight loss

Although phentermine can assist people to lose weight, it is used as a supplement. Firstly, one should build the right wright son balanced nutrition and exercise modifications. Some basic weight-loss guidance is as follows:

  • Eating nutrient-dense meals including fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins while keeping a healthy diet.
  • Regular physical activity involving cardio and strength training.
  • Fast food and packaged foods, which are fatty and low in nutrients, should be eliminated.
  • Keep sugar-sweetened beverages to a minimum to avoid consuming extra calories.
  • Try a natural fat burner that can help you complement your exercise regime.

Find out how to lose weight safely and naturally by exploring further and doing thorough research.

Finally, is it effective?

In many circumstances, phentermine aids in weight loss. It has been one of the most popular prescription weight loss medications since its introduction in 1959, whether solo or as a component of combination therapy.

How phentermine suppresses hunger is still a mystery. But according to some researchers, it raises neurotransmitter activity in the brain, which reduces appetite.

The weight loss results may also be influenced by the person's overall dietary and lifestyle modifications.

What the expert's advice

There are a few studies on the usage of phentermine in pregnant and nursing women. If you're taking phentermine and are pregnant or nursing, it's best to stop instantly. Your doctor can assist you in assessing any potential dangers by advising on gaining weight prior, during, and after pregnancy.

About the Author

Steven has been into health, nutrition, and fitness for over 10 years, and has a degree in Physical Education and Coaching. He is an expert in supplements and is devoted to helping his clients achieve their fitness goals and live their best lives.

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