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What Is Phendimetrazine Used For?

The primary uses of phendimetrazine include helping people who are exogenously obese (meaning obesity is not caused by a medical condition) lose weight. Phendimetrazine works by suppressing the appetite and possibly increasing metabolism. The medication has been approved for use in adults and children age 17 and older. There are no off-label phendimetrazine uses at this time.

What Is Phendimetrazine Used For? -- An Overview

Phendimetrazine tartrate (Bontril®) is a prescription medication approved as a short-term weight loss aid. It is not intended for long-term use or for use without an appropriate diet plan.
With obesity on the rise (see Obesity Statistics), many people are looking 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.
Obesity can be divided into two categories: endogenous obesity and exogenous obesity. Endogenous obesity is caused by an identifiable medical condition, such as hypothyroidism. Exogenous obesity is caused by eating too much and exercising too little. Phendimetrazine is meant to treat exogenous obesity. It is not meant to treat obesity due to a known medical cause.
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 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.
Phendimetrazine is approved for short-term use only (a few weeks), along with an appropriate diet, to treat obesity in people 12 years old and over. For this use, phendimetrazine works mostly as an appetite suppressant, although it may also help to increase metabolism. After a few weeks, the appetite suppressant effect of phendimetrazine usually wears off. When this happens, the medication should be stopped; it should not be increased or continued in any way.
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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