Being overweight can take a toll on your body. It may cause serious health conditions, which are more often related to the heart. The good news is that you can reduce your risks by taking small steps to be healthier and losing weight can get you started.
In contrast to what most fancy programs would offer, losing weight is not rocket science. It should be a balance of good diet, exercise, and effective supplements or pills. Luckily, we now have several weight loss pills available, offering good health benefits with no or fewer side effects.
Phentermine is one of the most popular and powerful drugs being used to assist in weight loss. However, it should only be taken under the supervision of a doctor and with caution. It’s meant for a short-term use only, approximately 3-6 weeks, as a kick-start for those who are committed to shedding off extra pounds with proper exercise and diet.
Phentermine suppresses one’s appetite, thus reducing cravings and the tendency to do binge eating. While the exact mechanism of how Phentermine works is not yet fully established, experts found out that it can do several things. Phentermine can stimulate the neurons to release dopamine and norepinephrine, which are responsible for curbing appetite (1).
You must know all the necessary information to successfully use the drug, which includes dosage, timing, and other safe practices.
Are you ready to take on the challenge and make being healthy your new year’s resolution? We’ll help you! Read on to know more about the details.
What should you consider before taking Phentermine?
Before deciding to use any medication, the risks of taking the drug must be weighed against the benefit it will give. This is a decision that you and your doctor should discuss and make. For Phentermine, you have to note the following:
- Have you ever had any allergic reactions to medicines? How about on food, dyes, and animals? If yes, tell your doctor.
- Phentermine should not be given to kids age 16 and below as effectiveness and safety, especially in this age group, is not yet established (2).
- No studies about the use of Phentermine have demonstrated problems among geriatrics. However, elderly patients are more likely to have heart, kidney, or liver problems, which need caution and dose adjustments (3).
- Phentermine should not be used by pregnant women. Studies have shown positive evidence of fetal abnormalities (3).
- Harmful infant effects were also noted in studies conducted among breastfeeding moms (3). If you really have to take this drug, you need to stop breastfeeding.
- Do not take Phentermine if you are taking other medications like MAO inhibitors, Furazolidone, Iproniazid, Linezolid, and the like (3).
How to use Phentermine properly?
Phentermine should be taken exactly as directed by a medical professional. You must not consume more than what is prescribed. If you take too much of Phentermine, it may become a habit, causing drug dependence (4).
Phentermine is available in four forms – capsule, tablets, disintegrating tablets, and extended-release capsules. Each one of this form has its own dosing instructions, which you can find the packaging labels.
Extended-release capsule and tablet forms must be taken as a whole. They should not be chewed or crushed (3).
The disintegrating tablet can be taken before or after a meal. Just be sure that your hands are well dried before getting a tablet. Place it on top of your tongue straight from the bottle. It will melt easily. Once completely melted, drink water (3).
Phentermine is a stimulant, hence best taken in the morning. It must not be taken 4-6 hours before bedtime unless instructed by your doctor. Late night medication can possibly cause insomnia (2).
What’s the right dosage of Phentermine for weight loss?
The dose of Phentermine may vary for different patients. It is a must to follow your physician’s orders. The average doses found on the drug label may not always be suitable for you. The doses you need to take every day, the time allowance in between doses, and the duration of intake will likewise depend on your medical condition.
Phentermine hydrochloride is an appetite suppressant commonly taken by people who would want to lose extra weight. The usual dosage may range from 15-37.5 mg (2).
Depending on which form of Phentermine are you using, dosage and time of intake may vary. To be more specific, here are the recommended dosages for adults age 17 and above:
- Capsule dosage may range from 15-10 milligrams. It is taken once daily, approximately 2 hours before breakfast.
- Disintegrating tablets are taken once a day, every morning, with or without food.
- Extended-release capsules are also taken once a day before breakfast or on an average of 12 hours before bedtime.
- Tablet dosage may range from 18.75-37.5 mg. This must be taken once in a day, before breakfast or 2 hours after.
What should you do if you missed a dose?
You may take a missed dose anytime as long as it is not near your next scheduled intake. Never double dose. Keep a good record of your drug intake and set an alarm if necessary to avoid missing a dose.
How to keep Phentermine properly?
Similar to other drugs, Phentermine must be safely kept in a dry, cool, and dark place. Do not store it in the bathroom to avoid warming and moisture. Be sure to keep it out of reach for kids.
While Phentermine is a proven weight loss medication, there are several tips and ways to maximize its effect to make sure that you’ll get the most out of your daily dose.
1. Know that Phentermine needs the right diet and exercise to work successfully
The effect of Phentermine may go on a plateau through time, and a lot of patients develop resistance to it. For these reasons, it is very important that you practice a sustainable diet and exercise plan while taking the drug. Phentermine can help you lose weight in the first few weeks, but only diet and exercise can maintain its wonderful effects (5).
Adding cardio and some weight-bearing exercises into your routine are the key to achieve rapid weight loss with this drug. Running and dancing can help boost your metabolism while toning exercises and weight lifting can tone your body and build lean muscles. Do these for around 10-15 minutes, at least 3x weekly to see the difference!
And even if Phentermine can suppress your appetite, it is very important for you to know that you still need to eat right to lose weight. Generally, you must never go below 1,200 calories per day (5). You can discuss this with your doctor for a more personalized figure, considering your age, height, weight, and sex. Anything less than 1,200 calories daily may slow down your metabolism and your body will soon start to hold onto fat as fuel instead of burning it (5). You have to keep your metabolism running smoothly. You can take meals or snacks rich in protein and fiber. Fruits and vegetables are recommended too.
2. Drink Lots of Water
Drinking lots of water can help reduce weight by making sure that your body is at its best to support all important bodily functions like burning fats and boosting metabolism. Also, drinking water can make you feel full, satisfying your appetite minus the calories. You must take water consistently all throughout the day, but one glass at least 20 minutes before mealtime is recommended (6).
Keeping a steady supply of water can help you lose water weight. This can be noticed easily during the first week of taking Phentermine. If your diet is high in sodium, the body will hold onto the water to keep you hydrated. This adds up to the numbers in your scale.
Also, water can help relieve dry mouth, which is a common complaint among Phentermine users (6).
3. Keep an Alkaline pH
While drinking water and exercising are considered to be two of the most important ways to help you lose weight, keeping an alkaline urinary pH can also enhance Phentermine’s effects. Experiments published in Medical Toxicology 3rd edition in 2004, results showed that with an acidic urinary pH, 5.5-6.0, 84% of Phentermine dose is excreted unchanged by the kidneys in as fast as 24 hours (7). On the other hand, alkaline urinary pH, 7.5-8.0, only excreted 48%. Why is this important? For a drug to work well, it has to stay in the body for a longer period of time for metabolization. Without this, effects will not be visible.
There are several foods that can help you keep an alkaline pH, but testing is recommended as others may be allergic to them. Some of the best alkalizing foods include onions, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, apples, grapes, lemons, berries, bananas, cinnamon, and almonds (7).
You must avoid acidifying drinks and foods like coffee, alcohol, butter, and ice cream (7).
4. Establish A Healthy Lifestyle
Losing weight requires you to put your health first, which includes getting enough rest and sleep and drinking vitamins for additional support.
Sleep and rest can help you reduce stress. Your body becomes stronger if you are mentally and physically stable. This is important to be able to sustain weight loss and endure the activities that you are engaged in.
To help get all the essential nutrients that you might be missing on your diet, take some vitamins and supplements. Magnesium, chromium, biotin, and vitamins A, C, and E are highly recommended (6).
By taking Phentermine at the right time using the most appropriate dosage, you’ll surely make the most of this diet pill. With the additional tips and hints mentioned above, you can achieve your goal faster and even better. Again, for a good start, consult your doctor. Cheers to a healthier you!
Marixie Ann Obsioma, is a licensed Medical Technologist (Medical Laboratory Science) and an undergraduate of Doctor of Medicine (MD).
She had her internship training in a government hospital for a year, serving mostly retired Veterans and their dependents. Her experiences during preceptorships in medical school allowed her to see patients regularly from different medical departments.
The combination of having a good medical background, being a mom, and wanting to help people especially the elderly has cultivated her passion of working in remote areas with love and compassion.