Phentermine is an oral appetite suppressant used as an adjunct short-term treatment for obesity. Given its similar structure to methamphetamine, phentermine works by stimulating the sympathetic nervous system to increase norepinephrine and dopamine.1 It has also been studied to raise serotonin levels.2
Phentermine has the potential to cause dizziness, dysphoria, euphoria, headache, insomnia, restlessness, tremor, constipation, diarrhea, nausea, and cardiac side effects. The use of phentermine with other anorectic agents for obesity has not been evaluated and is not recommended.3 Tolerance to the clinical effects of phentermine may develop within a few weeks of starting therapy, where higher doses become required to produce the same response. In this case, it is generally recommended that phentermine be discontinued rather than increased.
Phentermine is a sympathomimetic amine anorectic indicated as a short-term adjunct (a few weeks) in a regimen of weight reduction based on exercise, behavioral modification and caloric restriction in the management of exogenous obesity for patients with an initial body mass index ≥ 30 kg/m2, or ≥ 27 kg/m2 in the presence of other risk factors (e.g., controlled hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia). The limited usefulness of phentermine should be measured against possible risk factors inherent in its use.
Phentermine HCl was approved for human use in the U.S. in 1973. Today, phentermine is available commercially as oral capsules, tablets, and disintegrating tablets in select doses.
Since phentermine is already commercially available orally, compounded phentermine capsules are reserved for patients that are allergic to excipients found in FDA approved phentermine drug products (e.g., gelatin, lactose, dyes), for those that require a different dosage unit than what is widely available, and for those that would benefit from an oral formulation containing the excipient MethocelTM E4M as determined by a prescriber. Phentermine is commonly compounded into oral capsules containing E4M in the following strengths, though other strengths and formulations may be available upon request:
Phentermine 7.5mg E4M Capsules (Dye Free, Lactose Free, Gelatin Free)
Phentermine 15mg E4M Capsules (Dye Free, Lactose Free, Gelatin Free)
Phentermine 30mg E4M Capsules (Dye Free, Lactose Free, Gelatin Free)
Phentermine 45mg E4M Capsules (Dye Free, Lactose Free, Gelatin Free)
Phentermine may also be compounded into a lollipop. This formulation may be an attractive option for patients battling cravings. Since lollipops are not often fully consumed in one sitting, the dosage received is often much less and the side effect profile may be minimized. Lollipops are commonly compounded into the following strengths, though other strengths and formulations may be available upon request:
Phentermine 15mg Lollipops
Phentermine 30mg Lollipops
Phentermine 45mg Lollipops
Store this medication at 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C) and away from heat, moisture and light. Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Throw away any unused medicine after the beyond use date. Do not flush unused medications or pour down a sink or drain.
- Adipex-P (phentermine hydrochloride tablets and capsules) package insert. Sellersville, PA: Teva Pharmaceuticals; 2013 Jan.
- Zolkowska D, Rothman RB, Baumann MH. Amphetamine analogs increase plasma serotonin: implications for cardiac and pulmonary disease. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2006;318:604-610.
- Suprenza (phentermine hydrochloride) package insert. Cranford, NJ: Akrimax Pharmaceuticals; 2011 Oct.
Compounding Pharmacy Statement
Phentermine capsules are compounded with drug components whose suppliers are registered with the FDA. While Galleria Medical Pharmacy adheres to USP <795> guidelines and applicable state and federal regulations to meet the required quality standards, the statements made regarding compounded phentermine capsules have not been evaluated by the FDA for safety or clinical effectiveness. As such, this preparation is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. For inquiries concerning this preparation, please contact (504) 267-9876.