Adipex is the brand name of the weight loss medication Phentermine. Phentermine works in weight loss primarily as an appetite suppressant, and secondarily as a stimulant of metabolism. It received FDA approval for weight loss and appetite suppression originally in 1959 and currently ranks as the most popular weight loss medication in the US. Its chemical similarity to the amphetamine class of drugs is responsible for its classification as a Schedule IV drug under the Controlled Substances Act.
The mechanism of action of phentermine is through its stimulation of the hypothalamus portion of the brain to produce norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter or chemical messenger that signals the ‘fight-or-flight’ response, which reduces hunger. Phentermine also works outside the brain to release epinephrine, which causes fat cells to break down stored fat. Phentermine is also thought to release other neurotransmitters, serotonin, and dopamine, but to a much lesser extent than norepinephrine.
Phentermine is indicated for the treatment of obesity, but the proper use of this medication is always in concert with diet and exercise. Certain medical conditions or physical states may prohibit the use of phentermine, including pregnancy, breastfeeding, hyperthyroidism, atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. Patients having an allergy to phentermine or sympathomimetics (pseudoephedrine) and patients taking MAO Inhibitors should not take phentermine. You should not take Adipex if you have a history of heart disease, severe or uncontrolled high blood pressure, overactive thyroid, glaucoma, a history of pulmonary hypertension, if you are in an agitated state, or if you have a history of drug or alcohol abuse.
Taking Adipex together with other diet medications such as fenfluramine (Phen-Fen) or dexfenfluramine (Redux) can cause a rare fatal lung disorder called pulmonary hypertension. Do not take phentermine with any other diet medications without your doctor’s advice. To make sure Adipex is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney disease, a thyroid disorder, or if you are allergic to aspirin or to yellow food dye.
Adipex may be habit forming. Never share Adipex with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a place where others cannot get to it.
How should I take Adipex?
Take Adipex exactly as prescribed. Follow all directions on the label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Adipex can be taken with or without food. To prevent sleep problems, take this medicine earlier in the day, no later than 6:00 pm. Talk with your doctor if you have increased hunger or if you otherwise think the medication is not working properly. Taking more will not make it more effective and can cause serious, life-threatening side effects. Do not stop using Adipex suddenly, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What should I avoid?
Drinking alcohol can increase certain side effects of Adipex. Adipex may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Adipex: hives, wheezing, chest tightness, trouble breathing, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call the doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as; shortness of breath, chest pain, feeling like you might pass out, swelling in your ankles or feet, pounding heart beat or fluttering in your chest, confusion or irritability, unusual thoughts or behavior, feelings of extreme happiness or sadness, high blood pressure, severe headache, or blurred vision.
Common side effects may include, restlessness, or hyperactivity, headache, dizziness, tremors, insomnia, dry mouth, constipation or diarrhea, and upset stomach. This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur.
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