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What Is Benzphetamine Used For?

Benzphetamine is used for treating exogenous obesity, which is caused by eating too much and exercising too little. Because the medication loses its effect as an appetite suppressant after a few weeks, benzphetamine is only intended for short-term use (a few weeks). The medication can be used in people who are 12 years old and older. There are no universally accepted off-label benzphetamine uses at this time.

What Is Benzphetamine Used For?

Benzphetamine hydrochloride (Didrex®) is a prescription medication approved as a short-term weight-loss aid.
With obesity on the rise (see Obesity Statistics), many people are searching for products to help with weight loss. Although the ideal weight-loss plans focus on gradual weight loss by eating a healthy diet and increasing physical activity (see How to Lose Weight), many people have difficulty following such plans (or feel they need extra assistance in their efforts). Before turning to drastic measures such as weight-loss surgery, many people consider using weight-loss pills, especially if they have unsuccessfully tried to control their obesity (and exercise and diet have been ineffective).
For adults, the definition of obesity is a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more (see BMI Calculator to find your BMI). People with a BMI between 25 and 30 are considered to be overweight, but not obese. Causes of obesity include overeating, lack of exercise, and other medical conditions (such as hypothyroidism). There are many health effects of obesity, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and strokes.
Obesity can be divided into two categories, endogenous obesity and exogenous obesity. Endogenous obeisty is caused by an identifiable medical condition, such as hypothyroidism. Exogenous obesity is caused by eating too much and exercising too little. Benzphetamine is meant to treat exogenous obesity (meaning it is not meant to treat obesity due to a known medical cause).
Benzphetamine is approved for short-term use (a few weeks), along with an appropriate diet for obesity treatment in people 12 years old and over. For this use, benzphetamine works mostly as an appetite suppressant, although it may also help to increase metabolism. After a few weeks, the appetite suppressant effect of benzphetamine usually wears off. When this happens, benzphetamine should be stopped (it should not be increased or continued in any way).
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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