FAQ: Weight Loss Medications (Adipex-P)

Weight Loss Medicine and Prescriptions – Adipex-P (Phentermine)

The health risks and medical concerns associated with taking this weight loss drug are outlined below. This information is either from the FDA site about the drugs side effects seen during clinical trials or the drug label warning content and fine print for the physicians.  These risk factors have to be mitigated before you start taking the drug. For your protection, our physicians will not prescribe weight loss aids if the drugs could be dangerous or harmful to your health. Please fully read the content of this page to understand our approach to prescribing weight loss drugs.

Weight Loss Medication and Medical Wellness:

While not used as a first line of therapy, the doctors at Heal n Cure have the ability to prescribe specific medications to aid in the process of weight loss and obesity management. It is critical that any patient looking to take these weight management prescriptions become part of the Medical Wellness program in order to establish the fundamental nutrition and exercise habits necessary for lifestyle change. The approval to take these prescriptions is based upon current health status, body composition analysis, and our doctors’ discretion. Our doctors will not prescribe weight loss aids if there is any indication of  danger or harm to your health based on their  medical analysis. If you would like more information regarding specific medications, or to see if such aids are right for you, a comprehensive medical review with our doctors will be necessary. 

Health Insurance

All health insurance questions need to be directed towards your provider. Health insurances, such as Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS), may cover these medications depending on your plan. Call your health insurance company and ask if your plan incorporates weight loss medication. Most PPO plans cover the Medical Wellness program and if you have a health issue your provider may be able to cover the costs of the medication, not including the deductible. HMO and PPO plans do differ; do not make any decisions before contacting your provider.

Drug: Adipex-P

As of Oct 22, 1980 Adipex-P has been an FDA approved weight loss medication. Adipex-P has been evaluated consistently by the FDA and recently in April of 2012 underwent a label change.

The main active component of Adipex-P is phentermine. Phentermine is used for a short term, fast weight loss aid in obese adults that works by decreasing your appetite.The drug is approved for use in adults with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater (obese) or adults with a BMI of 27 or greater (overweight) who have at least one weight-related condition such as high blood pressure (hypertension), type 2 diabetes, or high cholesterol (dyslipidemia). Patients must be on a low calorie diet and have increased exercise and activity.

Limitations of Adipex-P:

Since Adipex contains phentermine, it runs risks of being very addictive. While the prescribed dosage is reported to be for a period of 12 weeks, doctors will commonly refrain from the full term if unneeded because its addictiveness.

Side effects of Adipex-P:

Although Adipex is an effective weight loss aid, it isn’t appropriate for everyone. People with
heart disease, coronary artery disease, hyperthyroidism, glaucoma or uncontrolled high blood
pressure, or who are pregnant shouldn’t take Adipex. Those who have a history of substance
abuse and those who are taking other weight loss medications or supplements can’t take
Adipex.

Adipex may also decrease the effectiveness of insulin, oral hypoglycemia medications, and
adrenergic neuron blocking drugs. Please notify your doctor if you are taking any of these
because you may be unable to take Adipex or may need an altered dosage.

Other side effects found when on Adipex include but are not limited to:

  • Cardiovascular disease, and increased risk in attacks
  • Primary pulmonary hypertension
  • Heart palpations
  • Tachycardia
  • Elevation of blood pressure
  • Overstimulation
  • Restlessness
  • Dizziness
  • Insomnia
  • Euphoria
  • Dysphonia
  • Tremors
  • Headaches
  • Psychosis
  • Dryness of the mouth
  • Unpleasant taste
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Gastrointestinal disturbances
  • Urticaria
  • Impotence
  • Changes in libido

Why is this medication prescribed?

Phentermine is used for a short term, fast weight loss aid in obese adults that works by decreasing your appetite. The drug is approved for use in adults with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater (obese) or adults with a BMI of 27 or greater (overweight) who have at least one weight-related condition such as high blood pressure (hypertension), type 2 diabetes, or high cholesterol (dyslipidemia). Patients must be on a low calorie diet and have increased exercise and activity.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Phentermine is used together with diet and exercise to treat obesity (overweight) in people. Consult your doctor to determine a safe and effective diet and exercise program. Learn more about Heal n Cure’s weight loss and wellness program here.

Drinking alcohol can increase certain side effects of phentermine. Therefore, it is recommended that alcohol be avoided while taking this medication.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is less than 6 hours before you are scheduled to take your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

What other information should I know?

Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your body’s response to Adipex-P.

Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.

It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.

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