Precautions and Warnings With Benzphetamine

Some precautions and warnings with benzphetamine concern the increases in blood pressure and heart rate that may occur with the medication. Other warnings to be aware of before using the medication pertain to its addictive nature; benzphetamine is chemically similar to amphetamines and can be addictive. Other precautions and warnings with benzphetamine have to do with taking the drug during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.

Benzphetamine: What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking benzphetamine hydrochloride (Didrex®) if you have:
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
You should also be sure to tell your healthcare provider about any other medicines you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Specific Precautions and Warnings With Benzphetamine

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking benzphetamine include the following:
  • Benzphetamine is chemically similar to amphetamines, which are often abused. Taking benzphetamine for long lengths of time can lead to dependence. Because benzphetamine is often abused, there are special rules for prescribing and dispensing the medication.
  • Benzphetamine can increase your heart rate and blood pressure. This can cause problems, especially if you already have high blood pressure or heart problems.
  • Weight loss medications like benzphetamine that work by suppressing the appetite (known as "anorectics") have been linked to pulmonary hypertension, a rare but often fatal disorder. Such medications have also been linked to valvular heart disease (diseases affecting the heart valves). People who already have a heart murmur, heart valve problems, very high blood pressure, heart disease, or an irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia) should not take benzphetamine.
  • Do not combine benzphetamine with any other weight loss medications or supplements, as doing so may increase the risk of dangerous side effects such as pulmonary hypertension.
  • Benzphetamine can make glaucoma worse. Check with your healthcare provider before taking benzphetamine if you have glaucoma.
  • If you have diabetes and take insulin, your healthcare provider may need to adjust your insulin dosage, as benzphetamine suppresses the appetite.
  • Before you take benzphetamine, your healthcare provider should make sure your obesity is not caused by a medical problem.
  • Benzphetamine may affect your ability to perform tasks that require complete concentration, such as driving, operating machinery, or piloting an airplane, especially during the first few weeks of treatment. It is recommended that you use caution until you know exactly how benzphetamine affects you.
  • Benzphetamine can interact with a number of different medications (see Drug Interactions With Benzphetamine for more information).
  • Benzphetamine is considered a pregnancy Category X medication. This means that it should never be used during pregnancy (see Didrex and Pregnancy).
  • It is not known if benzphetamine passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start breastfeeding, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Didrex and Breastfeeding).
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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