Phentermine Medication

About Phentermine Medication For Weight Loss

What is Phentermine?

Phentermine, a prescription medication for weight loss, is approved by the FDA in 1959. The FDA approved phentermine in 1959 for short-term, up to 12-week use for those over 16. Phentermine was often combined with other weight-loss drugs in the 1990s. The drug combination was known as fenphen. The FDA removed the two other drugs in the treatment, fenfluramine (and dexfenfluramine) from the market after reports of serious heart problems among users.

You can find Phentermine under the brands Adipex-P and Lomaira. Because of its chemical similarities with stimulant amphetamine, it is a controlled drug. It can only be obtained by prescription. If you are obese (with a BMI greater than 30), your doctor may recommend phentermine. If you are overweight and have a BMI of 27 or more, and have at least one weight-related condition (e.g., high blood pressure or type 2 diabetic), phentermine may be prescribed.

What Does Phentermine Medication Do?

Phentermine is a drug in the “anorectics” class, also known as hunger suppressants. Phentermine can help reduce your appetite and limit the amount of calories you consume. This can eventually lead to weight loss. Although the mechanism behind the appetite-reducing effects are not clear, phentermine is believed to increase neurotransmitter levels in the brain.

Your body’s chemical messengers are neurotransmitters. They include serotonin and norepinephrine . Your hunger will decrease if your levels of these chemicals rise. Within a few weeks, however, you might develop a tolerance to the appetite suppressing effects of Phentermine. You should stop taking the drug and increase the dose.

Is Phentermine Medication Effective for Weight Loss

Numerous clinical studies have shown that phentermine can increase fat loss. Phentermine can lead to a 5% average weight loss. It can go as high as 10% over 12 weeks. For a 200-pound person, this equates to a weight loss between 10-20 pounds.

A meta-analysis of six studies found that people who had taken the average dose of 27.5mg of phentermine over 13 weeks lost an average 13.9 lb, compared to 6.2 lbs in the placebo group.

Phentermine is effective in weight loss. However, it might work better when taken with topiramate. Topiramate, a drug that can be used alone to treat seizures, also has appetite-reducing properties. Qsymia is a combination drug that includes topiramate and Phentermine. The combination of phentermine with topiramate is more likely to result in a weight loss of at least 5% than the other drugs commonly prescribed for weight loss. Research shows that the combination of phentermine/topiramate is the most effective weight-loss medication. People have lost an average of 21.6 pounds in one year after taking the maximum amount for one year.

This weight loss has resulted in a significant reduction in waist circumference, an improvement insulin sensitiv and blood sugar control. It also has positive effects on cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Phentermine May Help with Certain Eating Disorders

Combining phentermine with topiramate could help people suffering from bulimia and binge-eating disorder (BED). Binge eating disorder (BED) is defined as eating large quantities of food quickly and to the point that it causes discomfort. BED is also associated with feelings of guilt or shame after the binge. Bulimia nervosa is the same type of binge-eating as BED but also includes self-induced vomiting to counter the binging effects.

A small 12-week study of obese or overweight individuals with BED showed that the combination of phentermine/topiramate led to significant weight and BMI reductions, as well as a decrease in binging episodes frequency. A 12-week study was conducted on people with BED and bulimia. They were randomly assigned to either the drug combination or a placebo. The number of binge-eating days decreased by 4.2 percent over 28 days after treatment with phentermine/topiramate. Similar results were not seen in the placebo group. The drug combination can reduce binging episodes and help people suffering from BED or Bulimia Nervosa (obese) lose weight. It also improves mood control.

Phentermine Medication Dosage

Before 2016, the maximum doses of phentermine available were 15, 30 and 37.5 mg. The FDA approved an 8 mg formulation in 2016 because doctors should prescribe the lowest dose. This can be used up to three times per day. To avoid insomnia and difficulty falling asleep, you should not take the last dose too late in your day.

Phentermine & Topiramate

Qsymia, which sells phentermine and topiramate under the brand name Qsymia, is a combination medication that aids in weight loss. There are four strengths of this medication, which range from 3.75 mg to 15 mg of Phentermine to 23 to 92mg of Topiramate. Your doctor may allow you to increase your dose after 14 days of taking the lowest dose. If you haven’t lost 5% of your bodyweight within 12 weeks, the medication should be stopped.

Precautions and Side Effects

Phentermine is only intended for short-term use, since there have not been long-term studies to prove its safety. The FDA approved phentermine with topiramate as a combination for long-term use because the combined dose of both ingredients is less than the maximum dosages of each drug. Although serious side effects are rare, there have been studies that show several side effects from the combination of phentermine/topiramate.

Side effects most frequently reported include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Problems with sleep
  • Dizziness
  • Heart palpitations
  • Flushing of the skin
  • Fatigue
  • Constipation
  • Irritability

Phentermine should not be taken if you have hyperthyroidism, heart disease, glaucoma, pregnancy, or nursing. Monoamine oxidase inhibiters (MAOIs), which are medications that treat depression, should not be used in conjunction with phentermine. Your doctor will decide if phentermine is safe and appropriate for you.

Healthy Ways To Promote and Maintain Weight Loss

Phentermine is a powerful weight-loss aid. However, healthy lifestyle habits are the best way to lose weight and keep it off for the long-term. If you don’t make the necessary changes, you will likely gain the weight back.

A comprehensive lifestyle change includes:

  • Reduced-calorie diet: If you are trying to lose weight, try eating 300-500 calories less each day. This range can be adjusted by a registered dietitian to suit your needs and goals.
  • Prioritize nutritious foods: The Nutrient dense foods — like fruits and vegetables — are low in calories but high in nutrients such as vitamins and minerals.
  • Increase physical activity: Guidelines recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate-aerobic exercise per week, such as running or walking.
  • Behavior strategies: Behavior change includes self-monitoring your food intake, physical activity and weight. You can also make adjustments as necessary.

These lifestyle changes are not easy and should not be done in one go. This will require some time and effort, but the end result will be long-term weight reduction and better health.

The Bottom Line

Phentermine, a prescription-only appetite suppressant/weight loss pill, is approved for short-term usage. Combining phentermine with topiramate seems to be more effective and tolerable that phentermine by itself. Side effects include dryness of the mouth, dizziness and fatigue, irritability and constipation. People with bulimia and BED can also reap the weight loss benefits from phentermine or topiramate. Phentermine is a short-term tool for weight loss, but you need to make healthy lifestyle choices for long term success. Contact LKN Weight Loss & Wellness today to inquire about our weight loss programs and how you can lose weight fast!

Phentermine Medication

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