Phen-Fen drugs - "Phen" remains
They haven't gone away, at least
not completely. In 1995 the FDA pulled the prescription combination
of Phentermine and fenfluramine after a discernible link between
increased Phen-Fen prescriptions and valvular disease, including
onset of the serious and life threatening PPH (Primary Pulmonary
Hypertension). The dangerous effects were ultimately linked
to "Fen" (fenfluramine), thus "Phen" (Phentermine)
continues to sell as a weight loss drug.
Phentermine, also sold under the
name Adipex, is an appetite suppresant being sold aggressively
by online pharmacies offering drugs without prescriptions.
Phentermine is a noradrenergic agent that affects the brain
chemicals dopamine and norepinephrine much as an amphetamine.
It interrupts the appetite signal and users ultimately consume
less food. I've written extensively on the flaws of appetite
suppression as a weight loss solution for the majority of
weight loss wanters. While it does not affect serotonin and
blood pressure at the level that it's partner in crime, fenfluramine
did, it has been deemed a pulmonary hypertensive which means
it does contribute to elevated blood pressure in the lungs
and should not be mistaken as "a safe supplement."
I am often asked whether, in my
opinion, Phentermine can be called safe. I personally can't
find a comfort level with using that term for any drug that
affects neurotransmission and lung activity. I'm also asked
if people should use it to lose weight. I personally can't
see the value, except perhaps in individuals who may not feel
satieted due to a chemical malfunction in neurotransmission,
and that makes up a tiny percentage of our obese population.
Suppressing appetite often results in the medicated individual
taking in fewer calories than are necessary to support basal
metabolic needs resulting in a loss of muscle tissue, alterations
in thyroid hormone production, and metabolic slowdown.
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