Weight-Loss Medicine Harmless, also Effective for Treatment in Long-term

Allow-cost weight-loss medication which was permitted for short term use 60 years ago might also be effective for a larger treatment, according to a research at Wake Forest Baptist Health and Patient Outcomes Research to Advance Learning (PORTAL) network.

Phentermine is presently FDA-approved for up to 3 months use.

“Although diet and exercise are critical components of any weight-loss program, up to half of the patients don’t have long-term success with lifestyle changes alone,” first author Kristina H. Lewis, M.D., stated. She is the assistant professor of epidemiology and prevention, at Wake Forest Baptist.

“In those cases, medications or surgery can help. Generic phentermine is an effective and affordable option, but now that we view obesity as a chronic disease, it’s important to have medications that can be used indefinitely. Most new weight-loss drugs are approved for long-term use, but unfortunately the newer drugs can be expensive if they are not covered by insurance.”

Lewis along with her team studied data from the health records of about 14,000 adults who were given phentermine for use in short-term against long-term use, year or more. The researchers analyzed/compared weight loss and fluctuations in blood pressure for two years. The risk of heart attack, stroke, death for three years, corresponding to a patient’s period of drug use.

The research discovered that people who used phentermine longer went through greater weight loss as compared to those who took the drug for short term. Long-term usage was not linked with rises in blood pressure or greater danger of a stroke, heart attack or death.

“In general, the longer patients were on the medicine the more weight loss they had,” stated Lewis. “Not surprisingly, when patients stopped taking the medicine weight regain was common.”

But Lewis warned that phentermine must not be utilized by people with a past of heart diseases, stroke or fluctuating blood pressure.

“For patients who respond to and tolerate it, phentermine may be a safe and affordable way to achieve greater and longer lasting weight loss, but we need clinical trials to provide more certainty,” told Lewis. “At the moment, there is no change to the FDA labeling so doctors should use caution with the decision about prescribing it longer-term.”