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Phentermine (By mouth)

Helps you lose weight when used for a short time.

What works?

Learn more about the effects of these drugs. The most reliable research is summed up for you in our featured article.

Phentermine is used as part of a short-term plan, along with a low calorie diet, for weight reduction. It is used in obese patients who have not been able to lose weight with diet and exercise alone. Phentermine belongs to the group of medicines known as appetite suppressants. This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription… Read more
Brand names include
Adipex, Adipex-P, Atti-Plex P, Fastin, Ionamin, Lomaira, Phentercot, Phentride, Pro-Fast
Drug classes About this
Appetite Suppressant, Centrally Acting
Combinations including this drug

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Long‐term effects of weight‐reducing drugs in people with elevated blood pressure

Doctors often recommend that people who are overweight or obese with elevated blood pressure lose weight, which may include taking anti‐obesity drugs to assist in weight and blood pressure reduction. Two active ingredients (rimonabant and sibutramine) were withdrawn from the market in 2009 and 2010, respectively. Current guidelines for the pharmacological management of obesity quote five medications (orlistat, lorcaserin, phentermine/topiramate, naltrexone/bupropion, and liraglutide) that have been approved for long‐term weight reduction by the US Food and Drug Administration. However, two of these drugs (phentermine/topiramate and lorcaserin) did not obtain approval in Europe.

Pharmacotherapy for weight loss in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus

Obesity is closely related to type 2 diabetes and weight reduction is an important part of the care delivered to obese persons with diabetes. This review of drugs for weight loss among adults with type 2 diabetes revealed weight loss of between 2.0 and 5.1 kg for fluoxetine, orlistat and sibutramine at follow‐up of up to 57 weeks. The long‐term effects remain uncertain. Adverse events were common in all three drugs: gastrointestinal side effects with orlistat; tremor, somnolence, and sweating with fluoxetine; and palpitations with sibutramine. There were few studies examining other drugs used for weight loss in populations with diabetes.

Drug Misuse: Psychosocial Interventions

This guideline has been developed to advise on psychosocial interventions for drug misuse. The guideline recommendations have been developed by a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals, service users, a carer and guideline methodologists after careful consideration of the best available evidence. It is intended that the guideline will be useful to clinicians and service commissioners in providing and planning high-quality care for people who misuse drugs while also emphasising the importance of the experience of care for people who misuse drugs and their carers.

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Summaries for consumers

Long‐term effects of weight‐reducing drugs in people with elevated blood pressure

Doctors often recommend that people who are overweight or obese with elevated blood pressure lose weight, which may include taking anti‐obesity drugs to assist in weight and blood pressure reduction. Two active ingredients (rimonabant and sibutramine) were withdrawn from the market in 2009 and 2010, respectively. Current guidelines for the pharmacological management of obesity quote five medications (orlistat, lorcaserin, phentermine/topiramate, naltrexone/bupropion, and liraglutide) that have been approved for long‐term weight reduction by the US Food and Drug Administration. However, two of these drugs (phentermine/topiramate and lorcaserin) did not obtain approval in Europe.

Pharmacotherapy for weight loss in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus

Obesity is closely related to type 2 diabetes and weight reduction is an important part of the care delivered to obese persons with diabetes. This review of drugs for weight loss among adults with type 2 diabetes revealed weight loss of between 2.0 and 5.1 kg for fluoxetine, orlistat and sibutramine at follow‐up of up to 57 weeks. The long‐term effects remain uncertain. Adverse events were common in all three drugs: gastrointestinal side effects with orlistat; tremor, somnolence, and sweating with fluoxetine; and palpitations with sibutramine. There were few studies examining other drugs used for weight loss in populations with diabetes.

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