Last updated on May 15th, 2017 at 12:39 pm
A brief history of Phentermine: Origin & Discovery
Phentermine combines many years of experience, well-studied risk factors and the most effective principle of weight loss – a negative balance of calories. Despite a long history, Phentermine has still not lost its relevance in obesity treatment.
Prior to occurrence of Phentermine in clinical practice, obesity treatment was not an easy task. The main means for weight loss was a combination of Amphetamine, thyroid hormones, glycosides and diuretics. Intake of several drugs with completely different therapeutic properties was accompanied with negative consequences for the body.
Introduction of Phentermine into clinical practice opened a new era in obesity therapy in 1959. So today, patients have an opportunity to get rid of excess kilograms without experiencing side effects in a short period.
The first brand of this anorectic was Ionamin. Subsequently, Phentermine has become available under such brand names as Adipex, Fastin, Ona-Mast, Oby-Trim, Suprenza and others.
Initially, the active ingredient was used in tablets and capsules only in the form of ion-exchange complex. In 1970, a new chemical formula Phentermine – hydrochloride was developed. The medicine has had the same anorexigenic properties as the resin, but is much better tolerated by patients.
A sharp growth of Phentermine sales in the 1970s contributed to increase in costs of drug production. To reduce costs of developing raw materials, pharmaceutical companies began to look for possible combinations of the anorectic with other drugs. The goal of creating combination drugs was to reduce Phentermine dosage with the possibility of increasing its therapeutic effect.
Since the 1980s, 4 combined drugs containing Phentermine have been released to the pharmaceutical market:
- with Fenfluramine (Fen-Phen, 1984)
- with Dexfenfluramine (Dexfen-Phen, 1992)
- with Prozac (Phen-Pro, 1995)
- with Topiramate (Qsymia, 2012).
However, instead of taking care of the patients’ health, pharmaceutical companies strived only to make profit from the medications sale. Therefore, the combined drugs came into the market without going through all safety and effectiveness trials.
As a result, some Phentermine-based medicines have been discontinued or have not been approved for obesity treatment because of severe side effects.
To date, Qsymia remains the only Phentermine-based combination drug approved by the FDA. To this day, search for Phentermine combinations with other drugs to increase the anorectic effectiveness continues.