Phentermine – A Boon or a Bane?
Phentermine is a drug that's prescribed medically, to fight obesity. It can also be said that it's a clinically approved substitute that aids weight loss. It comes in oral form may be tablets, capsules or orally disintegrating tablet.
Phentermine is similar in nature to a drug called Amphetamine, and in a similar way it stimulates the CNS or the Central Nervous System to curb your appetite. It can be rephrased in simple words that it fools your appetite hormones in such a way that you feel full and hence end up not eating, which in turn decreases your calorie intake. Medically, the use of Phentermine is approved up to 12 weeks, and most of the weight loss occurs in the initial weeks, which might continue up to 6 months but the rate of weight loss tends to get slow down till the ninth month.
Although Phentermine was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1959 and was marketed as a combination of Fenfluramine or Dexfluramine to be used as appetite suppressant and fat burning agent. In the year 1997, 24 cases of heart valve disease were reported by the fen-phen users as a result of which Fenfluramine or Dexfluramine were banned by the FDA.
It became very clear that use of Phentermine has to be a regulated. A lot of researches were made to draw a clear line so that it could be understood that who is not fit for the usage of this drug. The people who are not fit for the use of Phentermine are:
- People who have history of Drug Abuse
- Anyone who is allergic sympathomimetic amine drugs.
- Those who are using Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitor or have used it in last 14 days.
- People who are suffering from cardiovascular diseases, hyperthyroidism or Glaucoma.
- Women who are pregnant or planning to get pregnant (although there are no clear evidences to support this) or are breast-feeding.
As mentioned above there a lot of similarities that Phentermine has with its parent compound Amphetamine. They both belong to the class of TAAR1 agonists, they facilitate the release of neurochemicals in to the Synapse which is a junction between two nerve cells at clinically approved doses. Phentermine primarily acts as a secretion agent of norepinephrine in the neurons, but at a relevant extent. It also releases dopamine and serotonin into the synapses. The common effect of pharmacodynamics of substituted amphetamine is the release of monoamines. The mechanism of its working is subsiding the hunger perception. It is a sub-conscious process that takes place in the Hypothalamus and concurrently it releases noradrenaline and adrenaline which breaks the fat cells.
Side Effects of Phentermine
Although Phentermine oral capsule don't cause drowsiness, but other than that it can cause other problems like trouble sleeping.
The more common side effects of phentermine can include:
- bad taste in mouth
- Dry mouth
These are some mild effects, they might go away in some days or may be a couple of weeks, but if these problems persist then they might be symptoms of some serious problem, so a Doctor should be consult right away.
Some serious side effects are:
- Primary pulmonary hypertension (PPH). This is just another type of high blood pressure that severely affects the arteries of the heart. Symptoms that may show up:
- Difficulty in breathing
- Fast heart beat
- cyanosis (when the color of lips turn blue)
- edema (swelling up of ankles and legs)
- Valvar heart disease. This drug harms the heart valves such that they cannot close properly and may leak. Symptoms may include:
- tiredness and weakness, especially when there is an increase in activity level
- Difficulty in breathing when you do some thing or even when you lie down
- angina (chest pain), chest discomfort
- arrhythmia (irregularity of heartbeat)
- heart murmur
- heart palpitations
- Tremors or uncontrolled movements in any part of the body
- Erectile dysfunction
Medications that one must avoid when taking Phentermine
There is some medication that one must avoid with Phentermine, although for that your doctor must manage all of your medications with great care. One must be sure to tell the doctor about all medicines or minerals that are taken by the concerned person. Some of the drugs that do not go well with phentermine are: Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), for eg: isocarboxide, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, and tranylcypromine, taking this medicine with Phentermine can cause an alarming increase in the blood pressure. Insulin and other oral diabetes drugs, like nateglinide, pioglitazone, repaglinide, taking these drugs together with Phentermine may drop the blood sugar level so one must constantly keep a check on the blood sugar count.
Warnings that come with Phentermine:
Allergy warnings - Phentermine can be a cause of severe allergic reactions, like:
- Trouble in breathing
- swelling of throat or tongue
- If one is allergic from Phentermine or phendimetrazine tartrate even, then this drug should be avoided as it could be fatal.
Interaction with Alcohol
With alcohol this drug will only increase your inclination towards the above mentioned side-effects.
Warning for people with certain Health Conditions
Those having history of primary pulmonary hypertension (PPH): Phentermine will only worsen an already bad problem.
- History with heart disease: Any kind of heart problem be its Heart attack, heart failure, history of irregular heartbeat, valve related problem. This drug should be avoided as it results in increase in blood pressure and it might worsen your problem.
- History with hyperthyroidism: Tell your doctor if you have had an overactive thyroid. Phentermine will enhance your thyroid activity. Hence, further increasing your Thyroid levels.
- Glaucoma: In this case phentermine will or may cause permanent damage to your eyes that may include complete loss of vision.
- Diabetes: When on Phentermine then adjustments to your dosage of diabetes medicine should be done.
- Drug misuse: This drug is addictive in nature. This medicine should not be continued for very long durations.
- Panic Attacks: This drug has a tendency to increase restlessness, watch-out if you have had a history of panic attacks.
Warnings for certain groups:
Phentermine is of category X; this means:
- Category X drugs should never be taken during pregnancy.
- Women of childbearing age must use reliable birth control measures with intake of this drug.
- Breastfeeding Mothers: There is a strong possibility that Phentermine may pass through breast milk and affects the child that is breastfed. Consult your doctor in case you breastfeed your child.
- Old Age: The kidneys of older adults may not be strong enough. This results in slow processing of the drug, hence it stays for a longer duration in the body and may cause a considerable harm.
- Children: This medication hasn't been studied in children. It shouldn't be used in people younger than 16 years.
- Above all, there are certain adverse effects of Phentermine, these are:
- Cardio-vascular Effects: Like high blood pressure, precordial pain, myocardial infraction or cardiac arrest.
- Central Nervous Systems Effects: like overstimulation, agitation, some rare cases of euphoria followed by depression and hallucinations.
- Gastrointestinal effects: like nausea, vomiting cramps, bad taste, dry mouth.
- Other effects may include disturbance of the menstrual cycle, impotency, trouble in urination, swelling of the face
The above discussion makes it clear that everything has its positive effects as well as negative effect. Phentermine drug comes with lot restrictions, that the user has to be very careful with the use of this drug. Phentermine drug should definitely be taken under doctor's supervision to avoid any unforeseen situation and also to get the desired results. Precautions are must for the users during the usage also. The above discussion is an attempt to enlighten the readers about the drug. In the end, having a healthy weight is everyone's desire but it is recommended to use the other and rather safer ways of weight loss.
Why You Should Have Proper Weight
Everyone desires to be in a good shape. Weight loss is not a requirement anymore but has transformed itself into fashion statement or may be an obsession. Girls focus upon having abs like Miley Cyrus, legs like Carrie Underwood whereas guys wish to have looks and physique like Chris Hemsworth or Dwayne Johnson. Victoria Secret's models are known for their stunning figure. They leave no stone unturned to look fabulous on-camera and on the same hand do not fail to maintain a healthy body off-camera. They do because it is their profession's demand. Celebrities bodies is what we desire. But it's essential that we understand when a body requires a weight gain or a weight loss.
Understanding Weight Loss
Weight loss is generally misunderstood as starving yourself and it lands the person in undesirable situations. This may include person suffering from de-hydration, plus it's important to understand that its effects are not just physical, there are psychological effects also, like people may have sleeping disorders, their social lives also tend to get disturbed because they become irritated. The essence of weight loss should be to become healthy.
What if a WWE champion plans on losing weight to 60-70 kg? What if a cricketer or a basket-ball player starts to follow the diet of a wrestler? It will become impossible for them to survive in their profession for even one day. The reason behind this is the difference in their body requirements for their profession. The body of a WWE wrestler demands loads of proteins, carbohydrates, fats to maintain their body whereas a cricketer will need a balanced amount of all the nutrients. The next major role is played by Body-Mass Index(BMI) that is the healthy weight that depends on the weight and height of the person. A useful measure to determine overweight and obesity.
BMI determines the mass of tissue (muscle, fat and bones) in an individual and then classify the person as:
- Normal weight
So we can say that BMI is a useful tool to understand that whether our body needs to gain weight or lose weight.
Weight Gain: Its Important Sometimes
- In Sports You might have seen in Olympics, Commonwealth games or other tournaments that have combat sport as their part. They have different weight category for the players and you are eligible only if you fulfil that requirement. So there it's important for the contestant to not only gain the required weight but also maintain it.
- During Pregnancy This is an important period in a women's life, where it's important to healthy as well as gain weight. But even here the weight should be checked. If the mother gains excess weight then it will put at a risk of C-section because there is high chance that they have big baby with birth weight over 4000 g to 4500 g, but if the weight gain is not as desired then it will affect the development of the baby which is not a healthy sign.
- Post-Pregnancy After the nine months' period, some women tend to gain weight, even that's normal for a certain period of time, at least till the mother is breast-feeding because she is feeding her young one too. A breast-feeding mother too needs a healthy diet, with lots of Proteins, calcium, minerals, vitamins and fibres. These nutrients are not only beneficial for herself but for her baby too as these nutrients pass on from mother to child through the breast milk.
Lose Weight-The Healthy Way
Although there are a number of ways to lose weight, lets discuss some of them:
- Diet Plan
- A healthy diet should be a balanced one, that is it should be a good mix of Fibres, Proteins, Vitamins etc. Breakfast being the most important meal of the day should never be skipped. Junk food should be avoided at all cost and it should be substituted with healthy supplements like Fruits and fresh fruit juices.
- Protein intake should be your priority when weight loss in on your mind.
- As the Digestion of the food starts right from the moment your chew your food so chewing your food properly also aids in weight loss.
- One should make it a point of having at least 8 glasses of water daily. Intake of good amount of water helps flush out toxins out of your body and not to forget it hydrates your body. Also one should make it a point of having water at least half an hour before the meal and should not have water immediately after it. Post the meal, the intake of water should be suspended until 40 minutes. The reason behind this is that if you immediately drink water after the meal then it will slow down the metabolism process and the digestion of the food will also get interrupted.
- One should avoid having sugary foods and food that are high on starch, or high on calories.
- Losing weight does not mean that you are not supposed to eat fats, as they are equally important for our body. Oils like Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, should have a healthy proportion in your diet. Avoid having oils having saturated fats.
- Devoting at least 15-30 minutes to your body will do wonders. Now that does not mean always gyming. It may be a brisk walk to market to get some groceries, or doing some dance moves on your favourite number, cycling to your office or any nearby place.
- Even regularly doing your household chores aids to the weight loss to some extent, like taking staircase to your room, flat or office chamber.
- Moreover, if you have considerable amount of time then you can hit the Gym. Doing some hard core cardio or push-ups, crunches, planks, lunges, squats and many more. These will bring the desired results.
- Yoga is one of the most practised method of weight loss these days, as it not only aids weight loss but also enhances the flexibility, core strength and posture of the body.
- The range of yoga is wide like the King of Yoga asana THE SUN SALUTATION or The Surya Namaskar, the reason it be called the king because it is a combination of 12 asana, when done properly it works on Neck, Shoulders, back, abdomen, thighs, arms, hands, wrist that is it works on the whole posture and its said to be the ideal asana for weight loss.
- Yoga is said to be the best weight loss strategy post pregnancy, because it not only deals with muscle strength but the inner strength or the core strength. It revitalises the whole body. Some of the poses for post-natal weight loss are:
- Bow Pose
- Tiger Pose
- Pigeon pose
- Cobra Pose.
- Ketogenic Diet
- This is a mesmerizing new found way of losing weight, it works in such a way that it converts your body into fat-burning machine.
- This works according to a methodology, where the keto-diet make up a fat-burning molecule in our body called Ketones. When the blood sugar level is in scarcity then these Ketones act as alternative fuel for your body.
- When you take the Ketogenic diet, the entire body uses fat as its fuel which burns itself to provide energy required by the body.
- Scientifically, the Ketones are fastest produced when the body fasts (not eating anything at all), but that's practically not possible because then it would be the question of survival so there's well devised procedure to have a healthy diet and also produce Ketones. The keto-diet includes low carb foods that includes eggs, yogurt, cheese, avocado, roasted cauliflower soup, broccoli or mushroom soups, salads may have asparagus-basils, cucumber salad with lemon dressing, drinks include lemonade, tea, coffee and occasional intake of wine, natural fats like butter and olive oil.
- One should definitely avoid drinking soda or cold-drinks, pastas, white rice, bread, chocolate, high carb foods like banana and potatoes or in general the vegetables that are grown above ground when on a keto-diet.
Our aim should be to have a healthy weight, and not to fall victim by starving ourselves or following an unhealthy routine. We should Understand our bodies and act accordingly. "LOVE YOURSELF and LIVE HEALTHY"