Phentermine, a contraction for “phenyl-tertiary-butylamine”, is an appetite suppressant of the amphetamine and phenethylamine class.It is approved as an appetite suppressant to help reduce weight in obese patients when used short-term and combined with exercise, diet, and behavioral modification. It is typically prescribed for individuals who are at increased medical risk because of their weight and works by helping to release certain chemicals in the brain that control appetite.
Generally, it is recommended by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that phentermine should be used short-term (usually interpreted as ‘up to 12 weeks’), while following nonpharmacological approaches to weight loss such as healthy dieting and exercise. However, recommendations limiting its use for short-term treatment may be controversial. One reason given behind limiting its use to 12 weeks is drug tolerance, whereby phentermine loses its appetite-suppressing effects after the body adjusts to the drug. One study showed that phentermine did not lose effectiveness in a 36-week trial.
Phentermine hydrochloride tablets and capsules are FDA indicated as a short term (a few weeks) adjunct in a regimen of weight reduction based on exercise, behavioral modification and caloric restriction in the management of exogenous obesity for patients with an initial body mass index ≥ 30 kg/m2, or ≥ 27 kg/m2 in the presence of other risk factors (e.g., hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia).
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