Phentermine is used with a doctor-approved exercise, behavior change, and reduced-calorie diet program to help you lose weight. It is used by certain overweight people, such as those who are obese or have weight-related medical problems. Losing weight and keeping it off can lessen the many health risks that come with obesity, including heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and a shorter life.
It is not known how this medication helps people to lose weight. It may work by decreasing your appetite, increasing the amount of energy used by your body, or by affecting certain parts of the brain. This medication is an appetite suppressant and belongs to a class of drugs called sympathomimetic amines.
How to use
Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually once a day, 1 hour before breakfast or 1 to 2 hours after breakfast. If needed, your doctor may adjust your dose to take a small dose up to 3 times a day. Carefully follow your doctor’s instructions. Taking this medication late in the day may cause trouble sleeping (insomnia).
If you are using sustained-release capsules, the dose is usually taken once a day before breakfast or at least 10 to 14 hours before bedtime. Swallow the medication whole. Do not crush or chew sustained-release capsules. Doing so can release all of the drug at once, increasing the risk of side effects.
If you are using the tablets made to dissolve in the mouth, the dose is usually taken once a day in the morning, with or without food. First, dry your hands before handling the tablet. Place your dose on top of the tongue until it dissolves, then swallow it with or without water.
The dosage and length of treatment are based on your medical condition and response to treatment. Your doctor will adjust the dose to find the best dose for you. Discuss the risks and benefits, and the length of phentermine treatment, with your doctor. To get the most benefit, take this medication regularly, exactly as prescribed, and for as long as directed by your doctor. To help you remember, take it at the same time(s) each day.
If you suddenly stop using this medication, you may have withdrawal symptoms (such as depression, severe tiredness). To help prevent withdrawal, your doctor may lower your dose slowly. Withdrawal is more likely if you have used phentermine for a long time or in high doses. Tell your doctor or pharmacist right away if you have withdrawal.
Though it helps many people, this medication may sometimes cause addiction. This risk may be higher if you have a substance use disorder (such as overuse of or addiction to drugs/alcohol). Do not increase your dose, take it more often, or use it for a longer time than prescribed. Properly stop the medication when so directed.
This medication may stop working well after you have been taking it for a few weeks. Talk with your doctor if this medication stops working well. Do not increase the dose unless directed by your doctor. Your doctor may direct you to stop taking this medication.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose or late in the evening, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Appetite suppressants should not be used in place of proper diet. For best results, this drug must be used along with a doctor-approved diet and exercise program.
Do not share this medication with others. Sharing it is against the law.
Lab and/or medical tests (such as blood pressure, heart tests, kidney tests) should be done while you are taking this medication. Keep all medical and lab appointments. Consult your doctor for more details.