How Does Phentermine Help in Weight Loss?

Since the FDA approved phentermine for use as a prescription medication to treat obesity, it has become one of the most widely used drugs for weight loss. Phentermine has been shown to be effective in curbing appetite, and it’s been approved in a variety of dosage strengths and in combinations with other drugs. Although the drug is available in a range of formulations and brand names, phentermine costs less than the other varieties because it’s the generic version.

Studies show that phentermine is a cost-effective generic aid to reducing excessive body mass. It is also free of the potentially dangerous side effects of fenfluramine, another popular weight-loss medication that was withdrawn from the market in 1997. Like many approaches recommended by doctors to lose weight, phentermine works best when used as part of a regulated program and lifestyle change that includes a low-calorie nutrition-rich diet and exercising.

Phentermine is typically prescribed for a 12-week period with a dosage of 37.5 mg daily and can result in weight losses of up to 16 pounds during that time. Portion control and an understanding of what constitutes healthy nutrition play an important role in the success of a diet plan assisted by phentermine.

Is Phentermine an Appetite Suppressant?

Phentermine is an appetite suppressant that has been approved for use in doctor-regulated weight loss programs. Because it acts in a manner similar to an amphetamine, it has been classified as a Class IV drug and cannot be obtained without a prescription. Like other appetite suppressants, phentermine is not a fat-dissolver; it won’t make fat go away on its own. Its function is to affect the central nervous system and promote the release of certain biochemicals called neurotransmitters.

These chemical substances are released by nerve fibers and play a role in how we feel and respond. In other words, they can mimic various sensations, one of which is the feeling of being full or having no desire to eat. In this respect, they can help eliminate cravings for food and control overeating. The neurotransmitters released by phentermine can also stimulate your metabolism, which can help you to burn calories. 


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Are There Drug Interactions To Be Concerned About When Taking Phentermine?

There are several medications that should never be used while taking phentermine. The medications categorized as MAO inhibitors can bring on a harmful drug interaction. These medications are antidepressants prescribed to combat depression, social phobias and anxiety disorders. They can also be prescribed to treat Parkinson’s disease. Interactions between phentermine and MAO inhibitors can be severe and possibly fatal in some cases. Blood pressure and sleep medications taken at the same time as phentermine can also prove to be a harmful drug combination.

In addition to prescribed drugs, over-the-counter medications and herbal supplements should be discussed with your doctor before beginning any treatment involving phentermine. Non-prescription drug interactions, such as those occurring with allergy or cough medications, can cause adverse reactions while taking phentermine. Overall, any and all medications and supplements — OTC and otherwise — should be discussed with your doctor before beginning any new treatment programs. Any use of alcohol or marijuana should also be a part of the discussion with your doctor.

Are There Any Side Effects Associated With Phentermine?

Because phentermine affects the central nervous system, it has the potential to increase your heart rate and raise your blood pressure. This can result in headaches or dizziness in some patients, and for others it could possibly lead to heart palpitations, anxiety or severe hypertension. Some patients experience a positive effect and see an increase in their attention span and their ability to maintain their focus.

The degree of adverse effects caused by phentermine are related to the dosage and your personal sensitivity to the drug. Your doctor may only need to reduce the dosage in order for the undesirable side effects to subside. There is, however, a chance that some patients may not be able to tolerate the medication without side effects regardless of the dosage. Beverages containing caffeine, such as coffee, tea, energy drinks and many soda products can increase phentermine’s potential for side effects. Large amounts of chocolate can also increase the possibility of adverse reactions.

Besides discussing any potential side effects before beginning a drug treatment, you should always call your doctor for medical advice about side effects as soon as they occur. If you are scheduled to have surgery or dental work performed, be sure to tell your surgeon or dentist that you have been taking phentermine.

Is It Safe To Take Phentermine During or Immediately After Pregnancy?

Women who are pregnant should not take phentermine. The medication could cause harm to an unborn child. Your doctor should be informed as soon as possible if you believe you may have become pregnant while taking this medication. Phentermine should also not be taken while nursing. The medication could be passed on through breast milk, and a nursing infant could be affected by the drug.

Are There Medical Conditions That Prohibit Taking Phentermine?

Like many other medications, phentermine should not be taken if there is a preexisting medical condition such as uncontrollable high blood pressure, glaucoma, diabetes, kidney disease or hyperthyroidism. Phentermine should also not be used by patients with heart problems or coronary heart disease. Any and all medical conditions, past and present, should be discussed with your doctor before beginning any use of phentermine.

Are There Options to Phentermine?

There are several new weight-loss drugs that have appeared in recent years. If you’re thinking about starting a prescription-assisted diet plan, you should discuss the available medications with your doctor. Two recently developed brand-name options to phentermine, Contrave and Qsymia, are worth considering.

Contrave is the brand-name version of a combination of two drugs, naltrexone and bupropion. The medication contains an antidepressant, the bupropion component, and patients reported feeling less depressed while taking it. Constipation and nausea are possible side effects. Studies have shown that almost half of the patients who were prescribed Contrave lost at least 5% of their body weight over a 56-month period. Because it’s a brand-name drug and not a generic form, it costs considerably more than phentermine and may not be covered by many insurance plans.

Qsymia is a combination of topiramate and phentermine. The two drugs working together can more effectively suppress your appetite and enable you to reduce your food intake. Based on clinical results, Qsymia can help you lose an average of about 8.9% of your body weight, but your doctor may possibly take you off the medication if you do not lose 3% of your weight after the first three weeks.

Because Qsymia can cause birth defects, it should not be taken by women who are either pregnant or hoping to conceive. Due to the risk of birth defects, Qsymia may not be available at your local pharmacy. As part of a Risk Evaluation Management Strategy imposed by the FDA, it can only be obtained at certified pharmacies that will ensure that all purchasers are fully aware of the birth defect risks involved. As a brand-name drug, Qsymia is also more expensive then generic medications and your insurance plan may not cover the prescription cost.

Both Contrave and Qsymia should be used as part of a lifestyle modification plan that includes proper diet and exercise. They can also cause adverse reactions when taken with other medications. You should always discuss with your doctor any and all prescribed or OTC medications you’re taking before beginning any new prescribed drugs. Medical conditions, such as high blood pressure or sleeplessness, should also be brought to the attention of your doctor when discussing new medications.

How Much Does Phentermine Cost?

Like any medication that is intended for use beyond a month, the issue of “How much does phentermine cost?” will come to mind. One of the factors that will determine what you can expect to pay for the medication will be the prescribed dosage. The currently approved dosages for phentermine range between 15 mg and 37.5 mg, and the most popular dosage prescribed by doctors is the phentermine 37.5 mg tablet. The tablet is scored in the middle, so it can be broken in two for a half-strength starter dosage. If you experience no side effects with the half-strength dosage, your doctor may then decide to raise your dosage to a full tablet. Phentermine is also available in 15 mg, 30 mg and 37.5 mg capsule formats.

The phentermine price for a month’s supply of the popular 37.5 mg tablet version that you will find at the major pharmacy chains can vary somewhat. The current phentermine cost at CVS/Walgreens/Rite Aid/Walmart for example, ranges between $22.89 at CVS to $31.84 at Walgreens and Rite Aid, with Walmart landing around the middle at $26.49 for a 30-day supply of 37.5 mg tablets.

How Can Phentermine Be Purchased at Additionally Discounted Rates?

In addition to shopping around at the various chain and local pharmacies for the lowest cost, you can also use an online printable discount coupon from to obtain an even better price for your monthly supply of phentermine. With 63,000 pharmacies participating in the program and no minimums, maximums or limitations, your pre-activated and free discount drug card issued by Prescription.Cards is your ticket to savings on as many as 60,000 doctor-prescribed medications.