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Learn more about the results we get at Within

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Phentermine for weight loss (Adipex-P, Lomaira)

Phentermine is the generic name for the prescription drug sold under the brand names Adipex-P and Lomaira. It’s a stimulant drug that suppresses appetite and can lead to weight loss, which is why it may be prescribed for weight loss or to help with binge eating disorder. However, taking phentermine for binge eating or as a weight loss pill comes with a host of health risks and may indicate disordered eating or increase the chance of developing disordered eating habits.  

5
 minutes read
Last updated on 
December 21, 2023
Phentermine for binge eating
In this article

What is phentermine?

Phentermine (Adipex-P, Lomaira) is a prescription weight-loss drug known as an anorectic, which reduces a person’s appetite. It’s available as an extended-release capsule or a tablet and is only approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for short-term use, which is about three months or fewer.1,2

Phentermine/topiramate is sometimes prescribed to reduce binge eating disorder.3 However, if you’re considering taking phentermine for binge eating, understand that it won’t address the underlying issues that cause binge eating in the first place—it will simply suppress your appetite while taking the medication. Speak with your doctor or healthcare professional before taking any medications to lose weight.

Treating binge eating disorder or other eating disorders requires therapy to help uncover the underlying mental reasons why the disorder exists in the first place. Learn more about the experience you'll have when undergoing remote treatment with Within.

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What are the dangers of phentermine diet pills?

Since phentermine is a stimulant and is chemically similar to amphetamine, this drug poses many dangers, especially when misused without a prescription or for longer than the 12-week limit.4

Taking an appetite suppressant like phentermine may not only cause many physical adverse effects but it can also lead to disordered eating behaviors like caloric restriction and skipping meals and even clinical eating disorders like anorexia nervosa (AN).

Phentermine side effects and health risks

There are many dangers of phentermine diet pills, including:1,4

  • Unpleasant taste in your mouth
  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Tremor 
  • Psychosis
  • Depressed mood
  • Heart palpitations
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Restlessness
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Swelling of ankles or legs
  • Impotence

Additionally, phentermine can cause weight loss due to suppressed appetite, making it appealing for many people who struggle with body dissatisfaction or have a compulsive desire for thinness. However, it can be dangerous to take Lomaira for weight loss for both physical and mental health reasons.

Can you overdose on phentermine? 

Yes, it is possible to overdose on phentermine, which is a stimulant drug similar to amphetamine. A Lomaira overdose may include psychotic symptoms, such as auditory hallucinations and persecutory delusions.6

Other signs of a phentermine overdose may include:7

  • Tremors
  • Confusion
  • Aggression
  • Panic attacks
  • Rapid breathing
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Circulatory collapse
  • Dangerously high or low blood pressure
  • Convulsions
  • Coma
If you suspect an Adipex-P overdose, call 911 immediately. Stay by the person’s side until first responders arrive.

In addition to a possible overdose, phentermine can also be addictive, especially if used for an extended period of time. This is why doctors only prescribe it for short-term use.1 Chronic phentermine use can lead to dependence and addiction, especially if you’re misusing it or continue to increase your dose as time goes on. If you are struggling with phentermine misuse or addiction, substance abuse treatment can help you quit using this medication.

The problem with using  medications like phentermine for “weight loss”

Misusing phentermine and other popular weight loss drugs as appetite suppressants and to lose weight can increase a person’s risk of engaging in other disordered eating behaviors or can indicate disordered eating as well as a full-blown eating disorder like anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, or binge eating disorder. 

In fact, studies have proven that young women who use medications like phentermine or laxatives to manage their weight are more likely to be diagnosed with an eating disorder within one to three years than those who haven’t.8

Those who learn about phentermine’s appetite-suppressing effects and subsequent weight loss may be interested in taking it as a miracle weight loss cure, but this is a reaction to societal influences like diet culture, weight stigma, anti-fatness, and healthism—all of which affect a person’s body image, self-esteem, eating behaviors, relationship to movement, and beyond.

Although society wants us to believe that there is only one ideal body type, we can actually be healthy and happy at any size (and body weight), and the real danger is weight discrimination and anti-fatness. Thinness does not automatically equal health, especially in the face of using medications like phentermine, which can have catastrophic consequences.

Treating eating disorders

If you are struggling with disordered eating behaviors, such as phentermine misuse, laxative use, self-induced vomiting, caloric restriction, and compulsive exercise, treatment is available in many different settings. Inpatient and outpatient care may be beneficial for those who have the time and ability to attend in-person treatment, and remote care can close the treatment gap, providing care to people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to get treatment for an eating disorder.

Remote treatment that works

Our remote treatment program at Within Health provides integrated, compassionate, and inclusive care that can work around your busy schedule. Through our user-friendly app, you can access individual therapy, group counseling, family therapy, group meals, experiential therapy, nutritional counseling, and more. You'll have access to a personalized team of healthcare professionals, including dietitians, nutritionists, therapists, and more.

(866) 293-0041

Disclaimer about "overeating": Within Health hesitatingly uses the word "overeating" because it is the term currently associated with this condition in society, however, we believe it inherently overlooks the various psychological aspects of this condition which are often interconnected with internalized diet culture, and a restrictive mindset about food. For the remainder of this piece, we will therefore be putting "overeating" in quotations to recognize that the diagnosis itself pathologizes behavior that is potentially hardwired and adaptive to a restrictive mindset.

Disclaimer about weight loss drugs: Within does not endorse the use of any weight loss drug or behavior and seeks to provide education on the insidious nature of diet culture. We understand the complex nature of disordered eating and eating disorders and strongly encourage anyone engaging in these behaviors to reach out for help as soon as possible. No statement should be taken as healthcare advice. All healthcare decisions should be made with your individual healthcare provider.

Resources

  1. Phentermine. (2017). National Library of Medicine. Retrieved May 11, 2023.
  2. Prescription Medications to Treat Overweight & Obesity. (2021). National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Retrieved May 11, 2023.
  3. Guerdjikova, A. I., Fitch, A., & McElroy, S. L. (2015). Successful Treatment of Binge Eating Disorder With Combination Phentermine/Topiramate Extended Release. The Primary Care Companion for CNS Disorders, 17(2), 10.4088/PCC.14l01708. 
  4. Skopp, G., & Jantos, R. (2013). Phentermin--ein "gewichtiger" oder gefährlicher Arzneistoff? [Phentermine--a "weighty" or a dangerous substance?]. Archiv fur Kriminologie, 231(3-4), 116–129.
  5. Adipex-P (phentermine hydrochloride) capsules label. (2012). Food and Drug Administration. Retrieved May 12, 2023.
  6. Sic Jo, H., Wang, S., Kim, J. (2019). Recurrent Psychosis after Phentermine Administration in a Young Female: A Case Report. Clinical Psychopharmacology and Neuroscience, 17(1), 130-133. 
  7. QSYMIA (phentermine and topiramate extended-release) capsules, for oral use. (2012). Food and Drug Administration. Retrieved May 12, 2023.
  8. Roeder, A. (2019). A gateway to eating disorders. The Harvard Gazette. Retrieved May 12, 2023.

FAQs

Are phentermine “diet pills” safe?

No, using phentermine for weight loss is not safe—although people lose weight while taking it, this medication can cause serious mental and physical health risks, including leading to eating disorders if not taken with medical supervision. 

What is Adipex-P?

Adipex-P is one of the brand names for the appetite suppressant pill phentermine.

Is it safe to use phentermine for weight loss?

No, phentermine is not safe to take for weight loss. It can cause serious heart issues, dependence, and addiction, and increase the risk of an eating disorder.

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