Precautions and Warnings With Orally Disintegrating Phentermine

There have been cases of fatal complications, such as heart valve problems and lung problems, occurring in people using orally disintegrating phentermine. Warnings for this weight loss product also include precautions for people with a history of drug or alcohol abuse, as this medicine can lead to physical dependence or addiction if used in high doses or for long periods.

What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to using orally disintegrating phentermine (Suprenza™) if you have:
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
You should also tell your healthcare provider about all other medications you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Specific Orally Disintegrating Phentermine Precautions and Warnings

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to using this medicine include the following:
  • There have been reports of life-threatening heart valve problems and a lung problem known as primary pulmonary hypertension (PPH) occurring in people who took phentermine, the active ingredient in the medication, in combination with fenfluramine or dexfenfluramine (other weight loss medicines). There have also been rare reports of these problems occurring in people who took phentermine without the other medicines. Let your healthcare provider know right away if you experience symptoms of PPH, such as:
    • Shortness of breath
    • Chest pain
    • Dizziness or fainting
    • Swelling of the legs or ankles
    • An inability to tolerate exercise like you used to.
  • Orally disintegrating phentermine should only be used for a short period of time (no more than a few weeks). It should also only be used in combination with diet, exercise, and behavior changes.
  • The body will eventually become accustomed to the appetite-suppressing effects of this medication. When this happens, the medicine should be stopped. Higher doses should not be taken to overcome this anticipated effect. Taking higher amounts can be dangerous and may lead to physical dependence and addiction.
  • In general, you should avoid drinking alcohol while using orally disintegrating phentermine.
  • Orally disintegrating phentermine is chemically similar to amphetamines, which are highly abused. Using orally disintegrating phentermine for a long period of time, or taking higher doses than recommended, could lead to dependence or addiction. Orally disintegrating phentermine should only be used short-term (a few weeks), and only at the lowest effective dose. Because it has the potential to be abused, there are special rules and regulations for prescribing and dispensing this medication.
  • This medication may increase your blood pressure, and should be used with caution if you already have high blood pressure before beginning treatment.
  • Orally disintegrating phentermine may affect your ability to perform complex tasks requiring mental and motor skills, such as driving a car or operating heavy machinery. You should avoid doing activities such as these until you know how the medicine affects you.
  • If you have diabetes, your healthcare provider may need to lower the dose of your diabetes medications after you start orally disintegrating phentermine. This is because orally disintegrating phentermine suppresses your appetite, so you won't be eating as much.
  • Orally disintegrating phentermine is a pregnancy Category X medication. This means that the drug is dangerous for use during pregnancy (see Suprenza and Pregnancy for more information).
  • It is unknown if orally disintegrating phentermine passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, make sure to talk with your healthcare provider about using this medication (see Suprenza and Breastfeeding).

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Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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