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This Weight Loss Drug May Do More Harm Than Good


Phentermine is a drug used to suppress appetite by changing levels of neurotransmitters.

The drug is normally prescribed to those suffer from obesity complications, though it can be used as an anorectic drug. It is normally recommended that a person take phentermine for short periods of time, since long-term use of the drug includes great risks.

History of Phentermine

Phentermine has a history of being controversial. In 1997, Mayo Clinic researchers concluded that a combination of phentermine and fenfluramine, or "Fen Phen", caused heart disease and pulmonary hypertension. Additionally, the drug was taken off the market in Europe due to an association with heart and lung problems.

Associations of the drug with any history of heart disease, high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis, hyperthyroidism, diabetes, glaucoma or drug abuse can be fatal and should be avoided.

Side Effects

Less serious side effects of phentermine include restlessness, dizziness, insomnia, dry mouth, and diarrhea or constipation.

Long-term use of the drug can include several fatal side effects. Some of these effects include unusual thoughts or behavior, feelings of extreme happiness or sadness, seizure and dangerously high blood pressure.

Although allergic reactions to the drug are rare, they can include hives and swelling of the face, lips and tongue. The reaction is more likely when phentermine is taken with other appetite-suppressant drugs.

If you experience any of these side effects, contact your physician immediately.

Patients at Risk

This drug should not be used during pregnancy or nursing. During pregnancy, the drug may harm an unborn baby. During breast-feeding, the drug may pass into breast milk and have undesirable effects on an infant. Therefore, it is important to alert a doctor if you currently are, or plan on being, pregnant.

Because kidney function declines with age and phentermine is removed by the kidney, elderly patients may experience greater dizziness and are at higher risk for high blood pressure while taking this drug.

Source: Web MD