Adipex, a brand name for phentermine, is one of many weight-loss pills on the market. Adipex is a prescription drug designed to treat major weight problems—where the person's health is at risk—and may have serious side effects as well as negative interactions with other drugs. Adipex may be helpful as a starting point for a comprehensive, doctor-monitored weight-loss program, but the drug has many pros and cons to consider.
Know the Basics
Adipex is a stimulant that affects your central nervous system, suppressing your appetite. It is a weight loss aid, not a cure, and it is generally prescribed for overweight people who are at serious risk for developing high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol.
Your doctor will advise you how to take Adipex; however, it is typically prescribed as one pill, once a day, before breakfast. In certain instances, your doctor may prescribe lower doses which would then be taken twice a day. Because it is a highly addictive drug, treatment typically only lasts between three and six weeks.
Speak With Your Doctor
If you feel Adipex is the weight loss aid for you, it is imperative to speak with your doctor and be honest about any allergies, health conditions or medications you are currently taking. Depending on your situation, you may not be a candidate for Adipex.
If you have used an MAO inhibitor 14 days prior to taking Adipex, the drug interaction could be life-threatening. Also, if you are currently taking or have taken the diet drugs Phen-Fen or Redux and try to combine them with Adipex, it can result in a fatal lung disease called pulmonary hypertension.
Medical conditions such as heart disease, overactive thyroid, glaucoma or a history of drug or alcohol abuse can result in you being ineligible for using Adipex. In addition, if you are currently taking medications for conditions such as anxiety or epilepsy, your doses may need to be adjusted to ensure your safety.
Understand the Side Effects
As with any prescription drug, there are side effects you should consider before using Adipex. Some of the more common side effects include insomnia, diarrhea, dry mouth, itching, dizziness and anxiety.
More serious side effects include rapid heart beat, chest pain, confusion, or signs of high blood pressure such as severe headache and blurred vision. These are all signs of a serious medical reaction to the drug and could be life-threatening.
Monitor Your Health
Adipex may not work for everyone, and in some cases, people experience an increase in hunger rather than a decrease. If this happens, taking more than your prescribed dose could lead to an overdose and have life-threatening repercussions. In addition, if you do not feel like Adipex is working for you, stopping it suddenly without first talking to your doctor can result in withdrawal symptoms.