There is no doubt that phentermine is an effective agent to help individuals lose weight. However, there has been a lot of debate regarding the safety of the drug. As opposed to a lot of the negative hype that the drug has received, phentermine, when taken as prescribed, is actually a safe way to lose unwanted weight.
Ever since the 1950s, phentermine has been approved by the FDA for use as a weight loss agent. It acts by suppressing the individual’s appetite and inhibiting the hunger signal from reaching the brain.
In October of 2006, a randomized controlled trial was conducted in the Yonsei University in Korea to determine both the efficacy and safety of phentermine. Phentermine hydrochloride or placebo was given once every day to 68 obese Korean adults. The study revealed that the group given phentermine lost a significantly greater amount of weight than the placebo group. The phentermine group experienced only mild to moderate side effects from intake of the drug. Blood pressure was not significantly elevated in either group. Insomnia and dry mouth were common adverse reactions to phentermine.
One of the serious risks associated with phentermine use is addiction. Since phentermine is similar to amphetamines chemically, intake of the drug could potentially result in a psychological and physical dependence. This is also the reason why the drug is considered as a controlled drug. It is classified as a Schedule IV substance, meaning it has some potential for addiction and abuse.
A contraindication to the use of phentermine is pregnancy. There have been few studies done on pregnant patients using phentermine. One study in 1962 involving 118 women who were given phentermine in their 3rd trimester until delivery resulted in 5 stillbirths. The causes of the stillbirths were not fully evaluated; however, as phentermine was not found to have any significant benefit when given during pregnancy, and as it could potentially be a cause of stillbirths, phentermine has thus been contraindicated for pregnant women. Also, intake of phenetermine while breastfeeding is not advised, as the drug could potentially be passed on to the baby via breast milk, and can result in unwanted effects.
Human studies on phentermine have been conducted on adult individuals. No information could be gathered regarding the use of the drug in children and in the elderly. Phentermine is thus not recommended for children who are below 16 years of age or who are older than 60.
Phentermine alone has been approved by the FDA; the use of cocktails or combination drugs, such as fen-phen or phen-pro, has not. The use of these combination drugs, therefore, should generally be avoided. Before taking phentermine, it is also important to inform your physician if you are taking other medications, such as antidepressants or other weight loss pills, as phentermine can interact with these drugs and can cause serious side effects.
When taken as advised, phentermine by itself is a safe and effective drug to use for the short-term treatment of obesity in adult patients. Try it!