Is Phentermine a Good Option for Weight Loss?

Answer from Meera Shah, MD

Phentermine (Adipex-P, Lomaira) is an amphetamine-like prescription drug used to suppress appetite. It can help you lose weight by reducing your hunger or making your village feel fuller. Phentermine is also available in combination with topiramate for weight loss (Qsymia).

Like other prescription weight loss drugs, Phentermine is intended to be used as part of a general weight loss plan. It is recommended for people who are obese and have not been able to lose enough weight with just diet and exercise – not for people who want to lose only a few pounds.

Phentermine is a List IV drug, a classification given to drugs that have a potential for abuse, although the real potential seems to be low.

Common side effects of phentermine include:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Feeling tingling or stinging in the hands or feet
  • Dry mouth
  • Insomnia
  • Nervousness
  • Constipation

Although phentermine is one of the most commonly prescribed medications for weight loss, it is not a good option if you have heart disease, high blood pressure, an overactive thyroid gland or glaucoma. It is also not for women who are pregnant, may become pregnant, or who are breastfeeding.

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