According to the media phentermine is America’s diet drug of choice. But there are a lot of questions surrounding it.
In this article we’ll answer all your phentermine questions.
You’ll find out whether it’s safe and, most importantly, what alternatives there are if you don’t want to take a pharmaceutical approach to losing weight.
If you’re interested in phentermine alternatives, you can jump straight to pharmaceutical
Table of Contents
What is Phentermine?
Phentermine is an amphetamine-like prescription medication used to suppress appetite. It comes in oral capsule or tablet form.
The medication acts as a short-term weight loss treatment (a few weeks) for very overweight or obese people with certain health risk factors, including high blood pressure, raised cholesterol and diabetes.
Phentermine is intended for use as part of an overall weight-loss plan, such as one including exercise, behavioural change, and calorie reduction.
It belongs to a class of drugs called anorectics also known as appetite suppressants.
Looking for a gentle appetite suppressant? Each dose of Leanbean contains ingredients to –
- Reduce your appetite
- Control your cravings
- Support healthy, sustainable weight loss
Phentermine works by increasing the release of three chemicals in your brain that help to reduce appetite: norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine.
When the levels of these chemicals increase, feelings of hunger decrease, helping you to eat less and therefore, over time, to lose weight.
It is possible to build a tolerance to the weight loss effects of phentermine within a month or so. If this occurs, the product’s use should stop. Phentermine is FDA approved for short-term use only, as there are no long-term studies on its safety.
However, the FDA has approved phentermine (at a lower dose) combined with topiramate for long-term use.
Key phentermine brands include: Adipex-P, Lomaira, Fastin, Suprenza
Phentermine is a weight loss medication prescribed to overweight people with certain health risk factors.
It is intended for short-term use, alongside healthy lifestyle changes.
OTC Phentermine – Where can I Buy Phentermine Over the Counter?
Like similar prescription medications, phentermine is not generally available over the counter. To buy this product you likely need to receive a prescription from a doctor and collect it at the pharmacy.
If you don’t want to purchase phentermine from a store then there are alternative methods of getting it.
Brands such as Adipex-p, Lonamin and pro fast are often available from CVS, Honeybeehealth, Rite-aid and other online pharmacies, making the process somewhat more convenient, though you will still need a medical prescription to purchase them.
You need a prescription from a qualified medical professional to get phentermine.
Is Phentermine Safe? Phentermine Side Effects Explained…
When choosing prescription medication such as phentermine, there will inevitably be certain side effects. Reported side effects of Phentermine include:
- Heart palpitations
- Loss of libido
Although further research is needed, some studies have reported that phentermine and similar products may increase the risk of hypertension in humans.
A further study referenced a female who experienced pulmonary arterial hypertension after five weeks of taking phentermine and suggested that further research is needed to establish the safety and recommended dosage level of the product.
Phentermine can be taken alone or used in combination with other medications for promoting weight loss. Fen-phen was a popular combination of phentermine and fenfluramine or phentermine and dexfenfluramine.
However, both fenfluramine and dexfenfluramine were removed from the market in 1997, when it was revealed that they may cause serious heart and lung problems. It is not clear whether phentermine alone may cause similar problems.
Phentermine should not be taken if you have heart disease, hyperthyroidism, glaucoma, or if you are pregnant or nursing. Your doctor will determine whether the product is appropriate and safe for you.
There are several reported side effects for phentermine, which is why a qualified doctor must decide whether or not it is a safe choice for you.
Best Phentermine Alternatives – Pharmaceutical Options
If you’re not keen on phentermine, there are several pharmaceutical alternatives you can explore.
Orlistat works by inhibiting gastric and pancreatic lipases in the lumen of the gastrointestinal tract to reduce systemic absorption of dietary fat.
Treatment with orlistat may also offer small improvements in total cholesterol, LDL, blood pressure and fasting glucose.
Importantly, orlistat may reduce the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, taking a multi-vitamin during orlistat therapy is recommended to prevent deficiencies.
Reported side effects include severe gastrointestinal discomfort, oily rectal leakage, body aches, diarrhoea, flatulence with discharge and fever.
Key Orlistat brands include: Xenical and Alli.
Lorcaserin is a selective serotonin 2c receptor agonist, approved by the FDA in 2012 for weight management.
This drug affects chemical signals in the brain that control appetite, helping you to feel full by eating smaller meals. Lorcaserin is used together with diet and exercise to treat obesity.
A 2019 systematic review based on 9,452 patients showed favorable effects on blood pressure, heart rate and metabolic syndrome.
Commonly reported side effects of lorcaserin include: headache, euphoria, serotonin syndrome, nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhoea, fatigue, upper respiratory tract infection, rash, urinary tract infections, back pain and dizziness.
Key Lorcaserin brands include: Belviq, Belviq XR.
Liraglutide induces weight loss in a population of obese patients, including those with hypertension, dyslipidemia, type 2 diabetes, and obstructive sleep apnea, and offers the benefit of improved glycemic control.
The drug delays stomach emptying, slowing the absorption of glucose by the gut and reducing appetite.
The most common side effects, which occur in more than 5%, of people, include nausea, hypoglycemia, diarrhea, constipation, vomiting, headache, dyspepsia, fatigue, dizziness, abdominal pain and increased lipase.
Gastrointestinal intolerability is also common; it was cited as the main reason for people discontinuing the drug during trials.
Key Liraglitude brands include: Victoza, Saxenda.
There are several phentermine alternatives available, each with different mechanisms of action and potential side effects.
The Best Phentermine Alternatives
The best phentermine alternatives are ingredients that help you to reduce your appetite and calorie consumption while carrying a lower risk of side effects that come with prescription drugs.
The following are safe ingredients that work similarly to phentermine but are available without a prescription:
Glucomannan is a plant extract and dietary fiber that contributes to weight loss in the context of an energy-restricted diet.
This ingredient appears to promote weight loss by delaying stomach emptying and producing feelings of fullness, as it sponges up water in the digestive tract, reducing the absorption of carbs and cholesterol.
What’s more, glucomannan feeds the good bacteria in your intestine, which turns it into short-chain fatty acids (proven in animal studies to protect against weight gain). A 2008 systematic review showed that Glucomannan also appears to positively affect total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.
Glucomannan is available as a supplement and in drink mixes, or can be added to food products, such as pasta and flour. It is best taken between 15 minutes and one hour before eating, with the sufficient dosage for weight loss set at 1 gram mixed with water three times a day.
Side effects, while uncommon, include mild flatulence, bloating or soft stools.
Numerous studies report caffeine as playing a significant role in weight loss, thanks to its ability to increase calorie burn and fat breakdown.
Additionally, caffeine can work as an appetite suppressant, further supporting weight loss.
Consuming caffeine 30 mins to 4 hours before eating may influence stomach emptying, appetite hormones and hunger levels. This effect can last through to the next meal, so people are more likely to opt for smaller portions during lunch or dinner, and throughout the day.
Caffeine may also support weight loss by helping to boost metabolism by up to 10%.
B vitamins play an important function in metabolism; one of their key roles is to support the body in metabolizing fats, carbohydrates and proteins.
Thiamine (B1), for example, supports the body’s cells in converting carbohydrates into energy. Sub-par levels of this, or indeed any B vitamin, means your metabolism will be operating sub-optimally, which may lead to weight gain and potentially obesity.
Cobalamin (B12) is not available through plant sources, making it more difficult for those following a vegan or even a vegetarian diet to get enough.
Read more about vitamin B6 for weight loss here.
Choline is an essential nutrient that plays an important role in maintaining health, including adequate lipid metabolism and the transportation of cholesterol and lipids.
A 2016 study of 3,214 people confirmed that high dietary choline is closely associated with favorable body composition in humans and that low choline levels were linked to obesity.
The peel of Garcinia gummi-gutta fruit contains hydroxycitric (HCA), which may help contain weight loss properties. Animal studies also show that supplementing garcinia Cambogia may reduce food intake.
Garcinia Cambogia also appears to increase serotonin levels, which then communicate with the brain to produce satiety signals, making it a possible appetite suppressant.
Turmeric has shown potential as an anti-inflammatory agent and may support skin diseases, digestive issues, liver conditions and obesity.
With weight gain, white adipose tissue increases. Brown adipose tissue helps produce heat by burning fat. Research has found that turmeric may trigger white adipose tissue to turn brown, leading to weight and fat loss.
There are plenty of phentermine alternatives available: each daily dose of Leanbean contains all of the ingredients above!
We have now discussed each alternative to the well-known drug phentermine for those looking for a safer way to lose weight.
While phentermine can be a useful short-term weight-loss method, the reported side effects are many and further research is needed to rule out the worrying links with hypertension.
All this goes to show that, choosing a product and combining it with a diet and lifestyle change can help you achieve safe and long-lasting weight loss.
Disclaimer: The information on the Leanbean blog does not constitute medical advice and should not be used as such. If you would like to learn more about your dietary requirements and related aspects of your health, speak with a registered medical professional.