History of Phentermine (when it became available for sale) goes back as many as almost 60 years. First approved by the FDA as an appetite suppressant in 1959 and formulated as Phentermine Hydrochloride, it was introduced to the market of prescription diet medications in the early 1970s.
Since that time, it has managed to get a share equal to nearly half of all prescriptions written for anti-obesity drugs.
To this day, Phentermine remains one of the most popular and frequently used appetite-reducing agents in the USA.
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.
The first brand of this anorectic was Ionamin. Subsequently, Phentermine has become available under such brand names as:
Initially, the active ingredient was used in tablets and capsules only as ion-exchange complex. Subsequently, a new chemical formula Phentermine – hydrochloride was developed.
Phentermine hydrochloride was introduced to the market of prescription diet medications in the early 1970s. This medicine has had the same anorexigenic properties as the resin, but the duration of action is different.
Since 1970s, Phentermine has always been “tried” in a combination with other compounds. Most of such anti-obesity drugs are no longer available on the market.
Four combined drugs containing Phentermine have been released to the pharmaceutical market:
- with Fenfluramine (Fen-Phen)
- with Dexfenfluramine (Dexfen-Phen)
- with Prozac (Phen-Pro)
- with Topiramate (Qsymia)
However, instead of taking care of the patients’ health, pharmaceutical companies strived only to make profit from the medications sale. Therefore, some 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.
The first such combination was introduced as Fen-Phen (Fenfluramine-Phentermine) diet drug cocktail in the early 1990s. The market presence of this medication, however, appeared to be brief:
- The FDA advisors voted that the benefits of Fen-Phen do not outweigh the risks.
- In 1997, the drug cocktail was taken off the market on the FDA’s initiative.
Another similar combination, Dexfen-Phen (Dexfenfluramine-Phentermine), appeared to have a similar “problem”. They both seemed to cause heart valve disease.
Attempts to combine Phentermine with other compounds used for obesity haven’t stopped though. Since 2012 (when it was first approved by the FDA), Qsymia (formerly Qnexa) has become available as a treatment option for obesity. Here appetite suppressing properties of Phentermine are enhanced by Topiramate, an anticonvulsant drug.
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.
Until recently, Phentermine tablets and capsules have had a minimum application rate – once a day. On December 9, 2016, Lomaira tablets containing 8 mg of the active substance were on sale. You can take Lomaira three times a day with each main meal.
The American suppliers of Phentermine are more than 20 pharmaceutical companies. Even more companies previously supplied Phentermine to the US, but today they do not. Perhaps they could not compete with other manufacturers on an equal footing.
Phentermine is sold not only in the US. You can buy this medication in:
- New Zealand
- Great Britain
- Hong Kong
- South Africa
Phentermine is not approved in Canada and continental Europe. Therefore, residents of these countries cannot use oral appetite suppressants. They are usually prescribed with Orlistat (fat blocker). It does not cause cardiovascular side effects, but is less effective than Phentermine.
Although Phentermine cannot guarantee the complete cure for obesity and causes side effects, the demand for this drug continues to grow. Phentermine can be used for no more than 12 weeks, but it is effective in appetite suppression and gives a real opportunity to reduce body weight.