The 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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