Prescription appetite suppressants, or anorexiants, can help obese patients reach their weight-loss goals. These medications are prescribed to patients who have a body mass index of at least 30. Patients with a body mass index of 27 or higher may also use an anorexiant if risk factors are present, including high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes. If you would like to start a prescription weight-loss aid, discuss the appetite suppressants with your physician to see if one of these is a good choice for you.
Phentermine is available as a capsule of 15, 30 and 37.5mg and as a tablet of 37.5mg. Take the medication before breakfast or one to two hours after breakfast. The drug works by increasing the actions of a gland called the hypothalamus, which results in a decreased appetite. Avoid taking a dose in the evening or before bed because the medication may produce insomnia, according to the "Drug Information Handbook." Phentermine may significantly increase the blood pressure and cause heart palpitations and irregular heart rhythm. Patients with high blood pressure and heart disease should not use the drug. Because the medication can dilate the eyes, it may worsen glaucoma and is not recommended for use in these individuals. Inform your physician of your medical history to avoid an undesired effect.
Diethylpropion is available as an immediate release 20mg tablet and a controlled release 75mg tablet. The immediate release tablet is taken three times a day, one hour before meals. The controlled release tablet should be administered at mid-morning. This medication also stimulates the hypothalamus. Like phentermine, taking diethylpropion in the late afternoon or evening may lead to insomnia. Other side effects include dizziness, dry mouth, anxiety, vomiting and upset stomach. According "Pharmacotherapy: A Pathophysiologic Approach," if you have diabetes, you may need to lower the dose of your anti-diabetes medications or insulin before starting diethylpropion. More frequent self-monitoring of blood sugar is necessary, as well as following up with your physician regularly.
Phendimetrazine is available as an immediate release 35mg tablet and a slow release 105mg capsule. The tablet is taken three times a day, one hour before meals, while the capsule is taken 30 minutes before your morning meal. It has the same effect on the hypothalamus as the other anorexiants. The side effects of this medication include dizziness, blurred vision, restlessness and masking of extreme tiredness, says Drugs.com. This drug may be habit-forming and may cause withdrawal effects if it is discontinued suddenly. If you wish to stop phendimetrazine, speak with your physician.
- "Drug Information Handbook"; Charles F. Lacy, Lora L. Armstrong, et al.; 2009
- "Pharmacotherapy: A Pathophysiologic Approach"; Joseph T. Dipiro, Robert L. Talbert, et al.; 2008
- Drugs.com: Phendimetrazine