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All About Using Phentermine for Weight Loss

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Recent studies have, again, discovered evidence linking healthy weight to greater life satisfaction. They also found how life satisfaction drops when body mass index (BMI) goes up.

What’s more, a 2018 study debunked the well-known “obesity paradox.” The researchers say that a healthy weight is a key factor to healthy longevity. In this way, it helps lengthen both healthspan and lifespan.

Despite that, more than 20% of adults in all US states have obesity. In 12 states, one in three adults has obesity.

In such cases, phentermine for weight loss can help with its appetite-curbing effects. Studies have proven its effectiveness, and it’s an FDA-approved weight loss drug.

On that note, we made this guide on the facts you need to know about this appetite suppressant. Read on to learn just how effective (and safe) this prescription medication for weight loss is.

What Is Phentermine?

Phentermine is one of the few FDA-approved diet pills that require a prescription. It was back in 1959 when the FDA approved it for use in treating obesity. Since then, it has become the most often-used anti-obesity medication.

The FDA approval came with a treatment length restriction of 12 weeks or less, though. The agency hasn’t changed that since.

However, a recent study found evidence that longer phentermine use is still safe. It looked at the drug’s safety when used for over three months. They found no evidence of an increased risk of fatality or cardiovascular disease.

The same study also noted how phentermine led to greater weight loss after three months. As such, the researchers support the safe longer-term use of the appetite suppressant.

Phentermine is usually sold under the brand names Adipex-P, Lomaira, and Suprenza. These are the ones with an FDA restriction of 12 weeks.

Qysmia, a combination phentermine prescription medication for weight loss, is also available. The FDA has guidelines approving its use for longer than 12 weeks.

You can find phentermine in oral capsule form and oral tablet form. It’s also available as an orally-disintegrating tablet.

How Does Phentermine Weight Loss Medications Work?

Phentermine is an appetite suppressant belonging to the “anorectics” class of drugs. It stimulates an increased release of neurotransmitters that affect metabolism and curbs appetite. Neurotransmitters, in turn, are the body’s chemical messengers.

Researchers found that phentermine promotes the release of norepinephrine and dopamine. High levels of these hormones tend to curb hunger signals. As a result, you may not feel hungry, so you won’t have an appetite to satiate.

This hunger-quashing effect can then help limit your calorie intake. The fewer calories you consume in the long run can then lead to weight loss.

Who Are Good Candidates for Phentermine Treatment?

Doctors often prescribe phentermine to patients with obesity. This means that their BMI is equal to or greater than 30. If dieting and exercise aren’t enough to manage obesity, this medication may help.

Your doctor may also prescribe this pill if you have a BMI of at least 27, which classifies as overweight. You likely will receive this prescription if you have another weight-related condition. These include type 2 diabetes mellitus, hypertension, or high cholesterol.

What Does Science Say About the Effectiveness of Phentermine for Weight Loss?

Phentermine can result in a 5% reduction in a patient’s initial body weight. So in patients who weigh 200 pounds, this can translate to an initial weight loss of at least 10 pounds. However, studies have shown that using the pill for more than 12 weeks can lead to a 10% decrease in weight.

In controlled trials, patients who took phentermine lost an average of 15 to 17 pounds after 12 to 36 weeks.

All that proves how phentermine is effective for weight loss. However, it may yield even better results if combined with topiramate.

Topiramate is a drug used to treat epilepsy and to keep migraines at bay. Like phentermine, though, it also has appetite-suppressing effects.

Qysmia is a perfect example of phentermine and topiramate combination medications. Studies demonstrated this combination to result in greater weight loss.

What About Safety?

Phentermine is safe and well-tolerated by most people. However, its use must be under the watch of a medical weight loss professional. After all, it’s a controlled substance, which is why it’s not available over the counter.

Your health care provider also needs to monitor any potential phentermine side effects. These may include an increase in your heart rate, and sometimes, blood pressure. Let the doctor know if you experience dry mouth, nervousness, or constipation, too.

More Than Weight Loss

Phentermine and topiramate may also help treat people with binge eating disorder (BED). People with BED tend to eat large amounts of food at a pace so quick they usually feel sick afterward. BED may also make patients feel out of control, ashamed, or guilty of their eating behaviors.

The increased amount of food intake makes people with BED more at risk of being overweight or obese. Researchers found that phentermine and topiramate helped reduce binge-eating frequency. They also discovered the patients to have had significant weight and BMI reductions.

To top everything off, phentermine is more cost-effective than other anti-obesity medications. One study even found phentermine to cost 50% less than sibutramine or orlistat. This lower cost can make it easier for you to adhere to your weight loss goals.

All in all, phentermine is safe provided you follow your doctor’s prescription.

Taking Phentermine for a Leaner, Healthier You

Phentermine for weight loss is a science-backed treatment. It’s also the oldest FDA-approved anti-obesity medication. If it’s not safe or effective, the agency would have long since pulled it out of the market.

With that said, phentermine may be the key to unlocking the success of your weight loss goals.

Ready to get the help you need to lose weight with proven medical weight loss strategies? Then please know that Chicago Weight Loss & Wellness Clinics can help. Reach out to us now so that we can help you get started on your weight loss journey!


Dr. Anand Thakkar is a licensed Internal Medicine physician. He is Board Certified in Anti-Aging & Regenerative Medicine. He has been a member of the teaching faculty for students at Chicago Medical School and has been featured on ABC, FOX, USA Today, Chicago Tribune, and Forbes as a recognized authority in wellness, fitness & nutrition, weight loss, anti-aging, hormones & metabolic medicine, holistic medicine, lifestyle coaching and women’s & men’s health.

Learn more about Dr. Thakkar or Chicago Weight Loss and Wellness Clinics here.

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