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Phentermine is a drug used for short-term weight loss in patients who are obese. It is a regulated drug, and typically requires a prescription from a physician when purchasing. If you’re interested in taking Phentermine, it is first important to know some basic information about the drug.
Phentermine is classified under the drug class of amphetamines. The name phentermine is a shortened form of phenyl-tertiary-butylamine. Chemically, phentermine is actually 2-methyl-1-phenylpropan-2-amine and 2-methyl-amphetamine. Phentermine is also known by a number of brand names, such as Adipex, Fastin, Ionamin and Pro-Fast. There is likewise a generic form of amphetamine that is available in the market.
Phentermine is used in the treatment of obesity, especially for those individuals who are at risk for developing heart disease in the future. Best results are achieved when the drug is combined with both regular exercise and the proper diet. The drug is completely absorbed in the body by around 4 to 6 hours, and has peak levels in the blood 1 to 4 hours after drug intake. This drug should not be used in combination with other drugs for weight loss.
Phentermine works by suppressing one’s appetite. It stimulates the brain to release special chemicals known as catecholamines. These catecholamines produce a stress response in the body that stops the hunger signal from reaching the brain. These chemicals are thus responsible for the loss of appetite associated with the intake of the drug.
In the late 1950s, phentermine was approved as an appetite suppressant by the Food and Drug Administration or FDA. The resin form of the drug became commercially available soon afterward. Phentermine hydrochloride, the active ingredient used in phentermine preparations nowadays, was developed and eventually became available in the market in the early 1970s.
In general, phentermine is a well-tolerated drug, with relatively mild side effects. These include a high blood pressure, a fast heart rate, palpitations, nervousness and headache. A common side effect of the drug is insomnia; thus, the drug should not be taken at bedtime. If used longer than prescribed, it can result in addiction or dependency. However, when used properly, phentermine produces rapid weight loss with few, if any, adverse reactions.
Phentermine has become the focus of numerous controversies. Specifically, the combination of phentermine with fenfluramine, also known as Fen-Phen, was associated with the development of disease of the heart valves. Research revealed that this side effect can be attributed to the fenfluramine component, and not phentermine per se; thus, phentermine by itself remains available in the market. However, because of the risk of addiction that may develop in individuals taking the drug, phentermine is considered as a controlled substance in various countries all over the world. At present, phentermine is classified as a Schedule IV drug based on the international Convention on Psychotropic Substances.
Phentermine can have serious effects on people with certain medical conditions, and may interact with a number of medications. Thus, it is best to consult your physician prior to taking phentermine or any other weight loss agent.