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Phentermine is used with a doctor-approved exercise, behavioral change, and reduced-calorie diet program to help you lose weight. It is used by some overweight people, such as those who are obese or have weight-related medical problems.
Losing weight and keeping it off can reduce many of the health risks that come with obesity, including heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and a shorter life.
It is not known how this drug helps people lose weight. It may work by reducing appetite, increasing the amount of energy used by the body, or affecting certain parts of the brain. This drug suppresses appetite and belongs to a class of drugs called sympathomimetic amines.
Take this medicine by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually once a day, 1 hour before breakfast or 1 to 2 hours after breakfast. If necessary, your healthcare provider may adjust your dose to take a small dose up to 3 times daily. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully.
Taking this medicine at the end of the day may cause sleep problems (insomnia).
If you are using slow-release capsules, the dose is usually taken once daily before breakfast or at least 10 to 14 hours before bedtime. Swallow the medicine whole. Do not crush or chew the extended-release capsules. This may release all of the medicine at once, increasing the risk of side effects.
If you are using tablets designed to dissolve in the mouth, the dose is usually taken once daily in the morning, with or without food.
First, wipe your hands before handling the tablet. Place the dose on the top of your tongue until it dissolves, then swallow it with or without water.
Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy. Your healthcare provider will adjust the dose to find the best dose for you. Use this medicine regularly and exactly as prescribed to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time (day).
Keep this in mind if your doctor prescribes phentermine:
The combination of phentermine and topiramate may help reduce overeating in people with binge eating disorders (BED).
Bulimia nervosa involves the same binge eating as with BED but includes behaviors such as self-induced vomiting in an attempt to compensate for the effects of binge eating.
In a small 12-week study of obese or overweight people with BED, the combination of phentermine and topiramate was associated with significant reductions in weight, BMI, and binge eating.
In another 12-week study, people with BED or bulimia nervosa were randomized to receive the drug combination or placebo.
Over 28 days, treatment with a combination of phentermine and topiramate reduced the number of binge eating days from 16.2 to 4.2. The same results were not observed in the placebo group.
By reducing the number of binge eating episodes, the drug combination may help about 40-80% of people with BED or bulimia nervosa who are overweight or obese to lose weight by improving mood and a sense of control over food intake.
Phentermine itself is intended for short-term use only, as there are no long-term studies on its safety.
However, the FDA has approved phentermine in combination with topiramate for long-term use because the dosage of the two ingredients is lower than the maximum doses of the individual drugs.
Although there are common side effects associated with the use of phentermine, most people tolerate it. However, people with certain medical conditions and pregnant or lactating women should not use phentermine.
Phentermine should also not be prescribed in combination with monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), a class of medications used to treat depression.
Your doctor will determine if phentermine is right for you and if it is safe for you.
Appetite suppressants should not be used as a substitute for a proper diet. For best results, this medication should be used with a doctor-approved diet and exercise program.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., blood pressure, heart tests, kidney tests) may be performed periodically to monitor your progress or to check for side effects.