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Phentermine Hydrochloride

What You Need to Know about Phentermine Hydrochloride

Phentermine hydrochloride is a popular anorectic drug that has been used for the treatment of obesity since the 1960s.

However, phentermine’s therapeutic use in the medical community has been overshadowed by its illicit use in the bodybuilding and fitness world. This article will explore the history of phentermine, its medical uses, and its dangers when used for non-medical reasons.

What is Phentermine?

Phentermine hydrochloride is a sympathomimetic amine with potent anorectic activity. It was first approved by the FDA in 1959 as an appetite suppressant for short-term use (up to 12 weeks). Phentermine is structurally similar to amphetamines and therefore has similar but weaker effects on the central nervous system. These effects include increased alertness, increased focus, and decreased appetite.

Phentermine’s mode of action is not fully understood but it is thought to work by releasing norepinephrine and other neurotransmitters that stimulate the hypothalamus, resulting in reduced appetite. Norepinephrine is also a potent fat burner and this may contribute to phentermine’s efficacy as a weight loss drug.

Medical Use of Phentermine

Phentermine is still used today as a short-term adjunct to diet and exercise in the treatment of obesity. It is typically prescribed at lower doses (15-30 mg/day). The drug is only recommended for people who are obese (BMI > 30) or who are overweight (BMI > 27) with comorbidities such as type 2 diabetes or hypertension.

While phentermine can be effective when used appropriately, it is important to note that it is not a magic bullet for weight loss. The majority of people who take phentermine will lose some weight but the average amount of weight lost over 12 weeks is only 5-10%. Furthermore, weight loss tends to plateau after 6-8 weeks even with continued use of phentermine. Because of this, phentermine should only be used as part of a comprehensive weight loss plan that includes diet, exercise, and behavioral modifications.

Dangers of Illicit Use of Phentermine

Phentermine hydrochloride was once available in 37.5 mg tablets but these have been taken off the market due to concerns about abuse and dependence. The only formulation now available contains 15 or 30 mg tablets that are meant to be taken once or twice per day before meals. Like other amphetamines, phentermines stimulate the release of dopamine in the brain which results in feelings of pleasure and euphoria. Furthermore, they increase alertness, energy levels, and focus while reducing fatigue and hunger. For these reasons, phentermines are often abused by students trying to improve their academic performance or by athletes seeking an edge over their competitors. However, abusing phentermines can lead to serious side effects including psychosis, hostility, cardiovascular problems, tremors, and seizures. In high enough doses, phentermines can even be fatal. Because of these risks associated with abuse, it is important to only take phentermines under the supervision of a medical professional.


Phentermine hydrochloride is a potent anorectic drug with a long history of use in the medical community for the treatment of obesity. However, its illicit use by bodybuilders seeking to improve their physical appearance or athletes seeking an edge over their competitors has led to widespread abuse of the drug which can result in serious side effects including psychosis, hostility, cardiovascular problems, tremors, seizures, and death. If you are considering taking phentermine for any reason it is important that you do so only under the guidance and supervision of a medical professional familiar with your health history.

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