In the pursuit of a medical weight loss program, there are some medications that help a patient with weight loss. One such medication is phentermine, or popularly known under its brand name of Adipex. Phentermine is a strong appetite suppressant that diminishes the hunger signal in the brain and causes the individual to eat less calories. There are myths and misconceptions surrounding appetite suppressants in popular culture, so here are some FAQ about phentermine and how it can help you lose weight:

  1. How does phentermine work? – The exact mechanism like many weight regulating drugs is unknown. However, it is thought that phentermine works on the hypothalamus, a deep part of the brain that controls hunger and arousal level. The medication influences the neurotransmitter activity in this part of the brain which dramatically reduces appetite and facilitates weight loss. Phentermine is not recommender for those with hypertension or kidney disease, as it poses a risk to those conditions.
  2. Does phentermine have any side effects? The most common side effect of phentermine is dry mouth which can be managed by staying hydrated as well as chewing sugar-free gum. Another known side effect is sleeplessness and anxiety. Phentermine might disrupt the sleep/wake cycle making it harder to go and stay asleep. A person who takes phentermine might experience anxiety, moodiness, and irritability. All side effects that should subside as the patient builds tolerance to the medication. In some cases, constipation or diarrhea might occur in the early stages of taking the medication.
  3. How often and when should I take phentermine? Most patients start out with a half a dose of a 37.5mg tablet for two weeks once a day. Then after two weeks move up to a full 37.5mg tablet daily. The recommendation is to take the pill around 9 or 10 am in the morning for maximum hunger control during the day and for the medication to wear off before bedtime. Phentermine takes about 3-5 days to build up and flush out of the system. Therefore, on days that you may miss a dosage you will still feel the appetite suppression.
  4. Does phentermine quit working after a period of time? A patient taking phentermine will build a tolerance to the medication over time. Just as the side effects subside over time, so does the appetite control. A good idea is to titrate the dosage upward with the medical supervision of a doctor, an afternoon dose which will alleviate any additional side effects but keep the appetite in check.
  5. Will phentermine show up on the drug test? Some people worry that taken phentermine will put them at risk for failing a drug test. While, it is true that some people have tested false positive for amphetamines while on phentermine, the medication differs from the illicit substance. A more sensitive drug test would be able to tell the difference, as well as a letter stating that you are taking prescription medication as part of a weight loss program.

When you make the decision to lose weight, you want to have the best resources to help you achieve your goal. Phentermine, a common appetite suppressant prescription medication is a great tool for controlling appetite and shedding those unwanted pounds. While it does have minor side effects, a daily dose of phentermine can help you achieve your weight loss goals.