Weight Loss

What is Phentermine?

Phentermine is one of the most popular weight-loss medications available today. Phentermine functions as an appetite suppressant, which allows you to more easily limit your caloric intake. It is a FDA approved prescription weight loss medication for short-term use of up to 12 weeks for people older than 16. Phentermine can be used on its own and in combination medications for long-term weight loss, such as Qsymia, which combines phentermine and topiramate.

How does Phentermine Work?

Phentermine is an appetite suppressants. It possible acts by increasing neurotransmitter levels in your brain. Taking phentermine limits how many calories you eat. Over time, this can lead to weight loss.The average weight loss when taking phentermine is 3% of your initial body weight after 3 months and 5–7% after 6 months. 

Phentermine may work even better when combined with topiramate for long-term weight loss. Topiramate is a drug that has been used on its own to treat seizures and migraine headaches but, like phentermine, also has appetite-reducing properties.

Topiramate and phentermine is a combination medication with the brand name Qsymia. The FDA approved Qsymia as an addition to healthy lifestyle behaviors such as increased exercise and a calorie-reduced diet. The degree of weight loss increased with the dose:

  • 7.8 pounds (3.55 kg) for a 3.75/23 mg (phentermine/topiramate) dose
  • 16 pounds (7.27 kg) for a 7.5/46 mg dose
  • 18 pounds (8.25 kg) for a 15/92 mg dose

Here weight loss translated to a significant decrease in waist circumference as well as improved insulin sensitivity, improved blood sugar management, and reduction in blood pressure. 

Phentermine Dosage

Most common prescribed Phentermine is 37.5 mg tablet. You can take it once per day in the morning before breakfast or 1–2 hours after breakfast. To prevent difficulty falling or staying asleep, you should avoid taking the last dose too late in the day.

Phentermine Side effects and Precautions

Phentermine alone is designed for short-term use only. However, the FDA has approved phentermine in combination with topiramate for long-term use, since the doses of the two ingredients are lower than the maximum doses of the individual drugs. The most commonly reported side effects of phentermine and combined phentermine and topiramate aredry mouth, sleep problems, dizziness, heart racing, skin flushing, fatigue, constipation, irritability, nausea, and vomiting.

You shouldn’t take phentermine if you have heart disease, hyperthyroidism, glaucoma, or severe kidney or liver disease or if you’re pregnant or nursing.

Phentermine should also not be prescribed in combination with monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), a class of medications used to treat depression.

Healthy Ways to Promote and Maintain Weight Loss

Most often, healthcare professionals prescribe phentermine and topiramate after you’ve tried other lifestyle modifications for weight loss but haven’t seen significant results.

While phentermine can be a powerful weight loss aid, the only proven way to shed weight and keep it off in the long term is to engage in healthy lifestyle behaviors:

  • Eating a reduced-calorie diet. If you have excess weight to lose, you can try to eat 300–500 fewer calories per day. A registered dietitian can help you tailor this range based on your preferences and goals.
  • Prioritizing nutrient-dense foods. Nutrient-dense foods such as fruits and vegetables are relatively low in calories and high in nutrients such as fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
  • Increasing physical activity. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends getting a minimum of 150 minutes per week of moderate aerobic exercise such as brisk walking or running.
  • Getting more sleep. Though individual needs vary, try to get 7–9 hours of sleep per night.
  • Doing your best to manage your stress levels. Managing stress can help reduce emotional eating and inflammation. You can try strategies such as medication, going for walks, socializing with friends and family, or speaking with a trained professional.
  • Trying behavioral strategies. Behavior changes that may be helpful include self-monitoring your food intake, physical activity, and weight and making adjustments as needed.

These lifestyle changes can be difficult to make, and you don’t have to do them all at once. Instead, slowly incorporate new healthy behaviors over time. This will help promote long-term, sustainable results.

Ready to Get Started?

At Anchor Medical Weight Loss Program, we provide FDA approved safe and effective treatments and develop customized weight loss plans for each individual. Start to book your first appointment to find out the best plan to achieve your weight loss goal for a healthier and happier living.