Editor’s Choice: Phentermine

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Phentermine, a contraction of "phenyl-tertiary-butylamine", is a psychostimulant drug of the phenethylamine class, with pharmacology similar to amphetamine. It is used medically as an appetite suppressant. Phentermine is approved as an appetite suppressant and is medically prescribed as a diet pill; intended for obese patients and patients that are considered a medical risk due to weight. Phentermine is a prescription that helps aid weight-loss and is designed for short-term use with a combination of exercise and a healthy diet. Phentermine is FDA approved but its currently being studied in combination with other medications for obesity. The first such combination is the appetite suppressant phentermine/topiramate (Qsymia formerly Qnexa). In 2012, the FDA approved its sale in the United States. There are various Phentermine brands and supplements available through tablets, capsules, and drinks such as: Vites, Adipex and Qsymia (previously known as Qnexa) available in various dosages. Manufacturers of Phentermine diet pills have their own 37.5 mg dosages, Phentermine 37.5 mg tablets or capsules are generally manufactured by generic pharmaceutical groups.

Phentermine has some similarity in its pharmacodynamics with its parent compound, amphetamine, as they both are TAAR1 agonists.[8] Phentermine works on the hypothalamus portion of the brain to stimulate the adrenal glands to release norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter or chemical messenger that signals a fight-or-flight response, reducing hunger. Phentermine works outside the brain, as well, to release epinephrine or adrenaline, causing fat cells to break down stored fat, but the principal basis of efficacy is hunger-reduction. At clinically relevant doses, phentermine also releases serotonin and dopamine, but to a much lesser extent than that of norepinephrine

In 1959, phentermine first received approval from the FDA as an appetite-suppressing drug. Phentermine hydrochloride then became available in the early 1970s. It was previously sold as Fastin from King Pharmaceuticals for SmithKline Beecham, but in 1998, it was removed from the market. Medeva Pharmaceuticals sells the name brand of phentermine called Ionamin and Gate Pharmaceuticals sells it as Adipex-P. Phentermine is also currently sold as a generic. Since the drug was approved, almost no clinical studies have been performed. Phentermine was marketed with fenfluramine as a combination appetite suppressant and fat burning agent under the popular name Fen-Phen. In 1997, after 24 cases of heart valve disease in Fen-Phen users, fenfluramine and dexfenfluramine were voluntarily taken off the market at the request of the FDA.[10] Studies later proved nearly 30% of people taking fenfluramine or dexfenfluramine had abnormal valve findings.

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