What is the Connection Between Phentermine and Fen-Phen? :

Phentermine and Fen-Phen connectionWhat is the Connection Between Phentermine and Fen-Phen?

In the early 90s, Fenphedrine, also known as Fen-Phen, was approved as a prescription drug in order to give dieters a new way to help to get thin when nothing else seemed to have been working.

This drug was a combination of two other prescription diet medications, fenfluramine and phentermine. That said, by September 1997, that drug was taken right back off the market, again, in the United States. The reason was that there were large numbers of reports of adverse reactions to the drug that were flooding in throughout the time that it was legal to use.

Among some of those reactions were some very dangerous ones, such as abnormalities to the aortic, mitral, and tricuspid heart valves, and even fatalities as a result of pulmonary hypertension – a deadly condition of the lungs. From July to September 1997, alone, there were at least 90 cases of a rare heart valve disease reported in people who were taking this medication. There was also a disproportionate number of patients who were taking this medication who had abnormal readings on their echocardiogram tests, regardless of the fact that they did not have any obvious symptoms.

What was even more scary about the legal use of this drug was that Fen-Phen actually obtained its FDA approval based on the results of one study that involved the participation of only 121 obesity patients. Not only is that a tiny sample that is hardly representative of the general population, but the results weren’t all that impressive. Among them, the average weight loss was 30 pounds over a period of four years. That means that the drug received approval based on effects that brought about an average of just over half a pound of weight loss per month. Still, it was virtually labeled a “miracle cure” and the prescriptions started flowing out like water.

Fenfluramine, itself, was also taken off the market after being sold as a prescription drug for twenty four years. This was done at the request of the FDA. The reason was that there was a growing amount of evidence that this medication – as well as another compound that was almost identical, called dexfenfluramine – were greatly cardiotoxic.

Phentermine, on the other hand, continues to be sold as a prescription drug for weight loss. This diet drug is sold under its generic form as well as a number of brands, such as Adipex-P, the most popular among them. It is meant for the treatment of obesity for certain specific patients. It is a drug that is closely related to amphetamines and is known for a range of potential unwanted side effects from mild to severe. That said, many obesity patients have had a great deal of luck in accelerating their weight loss to bring them closer to a healthier body weight.