Weight loss medications should never be used during pregnancy, and weight loss is not advised during pregnancy. Women who are thinking about becoming pregnant should avoid these drugs, as they may harm an unborn baby.
ADIPEX OR PHENTERMINE Phentermine is a stimulant that is similar to an amphetamine. Phentermine is an appetite suppressant that affects the central nervous system.
Phentermine is used together with diet and exercise to treat obesity (overweight) in people with risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes.
Do not use phentermine if you are pregnant or breast-feeding a baby.
You should not take phentermine if you have a history of heart disease, severe or uncontrolled high blood pressure, overactive thyroid, glaucoma, if you are in an agitated state, or if you have a history of drug or alcohol abuse.
Do not use phentermine if you have taken an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, and tranylcypromine.
HOW TO TAKE ADIPEX OR PHENTERMINE
Considerations for people taking phentermine include the following:
Phentermine comes in tablet and capsule form. It is usually taken by mouth once daily, although some people may need to take it twice a day.
Your dose should be taken either before breakfast or one to two hours after breakfast.
This medication should be combined with an appropriate diet. It is not meant to be used without dieting.
Do not take phentermine more often or at higher doses than prescribed, as this can lead to addiction or dependence.
For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed.
If you are unsure about anything related to your phentermine dosage, please talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking Adipex-P (phentermine)? Do not use phentermine if you have taken an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, and tranylcypromine.
You should not take phentermine if you are allergic to it, or if you have:
a history of heart disease (coronary artery disease, heart rhythm problems, congestive heart failure, pulmonary hypertension);
severe or uncontrolled high blood pressure;
if you are pregnant or breast-feeding;
if you are in an agitated state;
if you have a history of drug or alcohol abuse; or
if you are allergic to other diet pills, amphetamines, stimulants, or cold medications.
Taking phentermine together with other diet medications such as fenfluramine (Phen-Fen) or dexfenfluramine (Redux) can cause a rare fatal lung disorder called pulmonary hypertension.
Do not take phentermine with any other diet medications without your doctor’s advice.
To make sure you phentermine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
high blood pressure;
kidney disease; or
Weight loss during pregnancy can harm an unborn baby, even if you are overweight. Do not use phentermine if you are pregnant.
Phentermine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while taking phentermine.
Do not give this medication to a child younger than 16 years old.
Phentermine may be habit forming.
Never share phentermine with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction.
Keep the medication in a place where others cannot get to it.
Phentermine-Topiramate (Qsymia) In July 2012, the FDA approved the drug combination phentermine and topiramate, sold as Qsymia (pronounced kyoo-sim-EE-uh) to treat obesity in adults. Qsymia combines two FDA-approved drugs:
Phentermine, a medicine approved to suppress appetite.
Topiramate, a medicine approved to control seizures. It may also be used to prevent migraine headaches. It is in an extended-release form in Qsymia.
The doses used in Qsymia are much lower than the usual doses of Phentermine and Topiramate when prescribed separately.
Side effects. Common side effects include tingling of hands and feet, dizziness, taste alterations (particularly with carbonated beverages), trouble sleeping, constipation, and dry mouth. Serious but rare side effects include allergic reactions (such as rash, hives, difficulty breathing), thoughts of suicide, memory problems, mood problems (such as anxiety, depression, panic attacks), and changes to your vision. Rare side effects associated with topiramate include kidney stones and acute glaucoma. Qsymia must not be used during pregnancy because it may cause harm to the baby. People with an overactive thyroid gland, glaucoma, or who have recently taken certain antidepressant drugs known as MAOIs should not use Qsymia, although the drug was studied in patients taking SSRI and other antidepressants without adverse events.
Lorcaserin (Belviq) Belviq (pronounced BEL-VEEK) or lorcaserin hydrochloride, works by affecting chemicals in your brain activating a serotonin receptor in the brain, which may help a person eat less and feel full after eating smaller amounts of food, according to the FDA.
Side effects. Common side effects of Belviq include headaches, dizziness, feeling tired, nausea, dry mouth, cough, and constipation. A rare but serious side effect is serotonin syndrome (high fever, muscle rigidity, and confusion), which can occur if the drug is taken along with SSRI antidepressants or MAOI medications. Belviq, as with all weight-loss agents, should not be taken if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant.
Orlistat (Xenical and Alli) The drug orlistat, sold under the brand name Xenical (pronounced ZEN-i-cal), has been available since 1999. The over-the-counter version of orlistat is sold under the brand name Alli. The two drugs contain different amounts of orlistat. Xenical contains 120 mg, while Alli contains 60 mg.
Orlistat will stop about one-third of the fat from the food you eat from being digested. It does so by blocking the enzyme lipase, which breaks down fat. When fat is not broken down, the body cannot absorb it, so fewer calories are taken in. After 1 or 2 years of taking orlistat, patients may lose about 5 to 7 pounds.
Side effects. Common side effects of orlistat include stomach pain, gas, diarrhea, and leakage of oily stool. These side effects are generally mild and temporary, but may be worse when you eat high-fat foods. You should eat a low-fat diet (less than 30 percent of calories from fat) before starting to take this drug. Because orlistat prevents some vitamins from being absorbed, you should take a multivitamin while using orlistat.
Rare cases of severe liver injury have been reported. Stop using the drug and see your health care provider immediately if you develop symptoms of liver problems. These symptoms may include dark urine, itching, light-colored stools, loss of appetite, or yellow eyes or skin. Orlistat should not be taken with cyclosporine.
Other Appetite Suppressants The other FDA approveddrugs promote weight loss by increasing one or more brain chemicals that affect appetite. You may feel less hungry or feel full sooner when taking these drugs. There are several appetite suppressants may be used to promote weight loss in adults. They include:
Side effects: Common side effects of appetite suppressants include dry mouth, difficulty sleeping, dizziness, headache, feeling nervous, feeling restless, upset stomach, and diarrhea or constipation. Severe side effects may include chest pain, fainting, fast heartbeat, shortness of breath, confusion, and swelling in your ankles or feet. People with heart disease, high blood pressure, an overactive thyroid gland, or glaucoma should not use these drugs. These medications are controlled substances because of their potential for abuse. The chart shows the commonly used prescription weight-loss drugs, how they work and their side effects.