font size

Weight Loss Drugs (cont.)

Author:
Medical Author:

What are the warnings with weight loss drugs?

Before starting any medication, let your doctor know your full medical history such as drug allergies, medical conditions, current medication use, and whether you are pregnant, trying to become pregnant, or nursing.

Amphetamine-Like Drugs

Because patients can develop tolerance to this type of prescription diet pill within weeks, they are indicated for short-term use.

Using this type of weight loss medication may also result in drug dependence and abuse. Side effects seen with chronic use include irritability, personality changes, insomnia, even psychosis similar to schizophrenia. Sudden withdrawal may result in severe depression.

Operating a motor vehicle or machinery may be more difficult while using these weight loss drugs. People with heart disease, high blood pressure, thyroid problems, glaucoma, or epilepsy may not be able to take these medications.

Phentermine (Adipex-P, Fastin)

Pulmonary hypertension is a rare and potentially fatal blood vessel disease of the lungs that has reportedly occurred when the amphetamine-like drug phentermine was used in combination with two now-withdrawn weight loss products: dexfenfluramine (Redux) and fenfluramine (Pondimin). Rarely, it has occurred in those taking phentermine alone. Symptoms include trouble breathing, chest pain, fainting, and edema.

Similarly, regurgitant cardiac valvular disease, or a leaky heart valve, has been linked to phentermine use in combination with dexfenfluramine and fenfluramine, but this effect possibly could occur from phentermine use alone.

People who are already taking medications or have medical conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes need to talk to their doctor about risks of taking phentermine.

Diethylpropion (Tenuate):

High doses may result in hallucinations; toxic psychosis is also possible with excessive or even proper use.

Diethylpropion may increase the risk of convulsions in epileptics.

Sibutramine (Meridia)

Sibutramine can substantially raise blood pressure and/or pulse rate in some patients. Because of this, sibutramine users should have their blood pressure and pulse rate monitored regularly. The drug should be used with caution, if at all, in patients with a previous history of hypertension, stroke, heart disease, or severe kidney or liver disease.

Patients with narrow angle glaucoma should not use sibutramine because it causes dilation of the pupils (mydriasis). Sibutramine may interact with other medications, so it is important to talk to a doctor about current medications before starting sibutramine.

Orlistat (Xenical, Alli)

High-fat diets or meals may increase side effects from orlistat. Orlistat inhibits absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. Patients should take a multivitamin containing fat-soluble vitamins with two hours' separation from the orlistat dose.

Orlistat may increase the risk of gallbladder and kidney stones. People taking medications for diabetes, thyroid disorders, or other medical problems should talk to their doctor about possible drug interactions before taking orlistat.



Women's Health

Find out what women really need.

advertisement
advertisement
Use Pill Finder Find it Now See Interactions

Pill Identifier on RxList

  • quick, easy,
    pill identification

Find a Local Pharmacy

  • including 24 hour, pharmacies

Interaction Checker

  • Check potential drug interactions
Search the Medical Dictionary for Health Definitions & Medical Abbreviations