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Phentermine Use and Pulmonary Hypertension

Phentermine and Pulmonary Hypertension

Did you know that there is an association between Phentermine use and pulmonary hypertension? So, even though you might have a lot of weight to lose, and you would benefit from the use of Phentermine, which is a prescription diet pill, there are side effects—some of which are very serious—to consider before you start taking these pills.

What is the link between Phentermine use and pulmonary hypertension? We cover the basics below, but just keep in mind that your doctor is the best person to decide if a prescription diet pill like Phentermine is right for you, based on your health, your weight loss needs, and the other medications and supplements that you are currently taking.

Things You Should Know About Phentermine Use

Phentermine, a highly effective diet drug available by prescription only, it should not be used alongside some other types of medication. Like other prescription drugs, it does have its side effects and its conflicts with other prescription and over-the-counter medications. Some medications, such as fenfluramine or dexfenfluramine, for example, or in more rare cases, MAO inhibitors, can cause a rare lung disorder that can often be fatal, called pulmonary hypertension when combined with Phentermine use.

For this important reason alone, it is exceptionally important that you discuss any medications that you are taking or intend to take – whether they be prescription, non-prescription, or even dietary supplements – with a doctor before you receive a prescription for Phentermine.

What Is Pulmonary Hypertension That Can Occur from Phentermine Use? 

According to Mayo Clinic, pulmonary hypertension is actually a form of high blood pressure. Seems weird, right? Well, this is a high blood pressure that ends up adversely affecting arteries that are found within the right side of the heart, as well as in the lungs—hence the name “pulmonary” hypertension.

Pulmonary hypertension can cause arteries and capillaries in the lungs to become blocked or narrowed, and they might even be destroyed. This translates to your body having more difficulty when moving blood through the lungs, thereby increasing the pressure in those arteries. The more pressure, the harder your heart has to pump, and that can lead to the heart muscle weakening and eventually failing. Yikes!

Is this condition serious? Yes! There are certain forms of this disease that can continue to worsen until they become fatal. Other forms of the disease, however, might be manageable with the right treatments from your doctor.

The Symptoms of Pulmonary Hypertension 

What are the symptoms of pulmonary hypertension that may occur if Phentermine use causes this condition? Well, they include:

  • Fatigue
  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • A bluish color to the skin and lips
  • Heart palpitations or a racing pulse
  • Swelling in the legs, ankles, and abdomen

Note that these symptoms might not be noticeable until the condition becomes worse over time. That might take months or years.

The Research Behind Phentermine Use and Pulmonary Hypertension

In the New England Journal of Medicine (August 29, 1996 issue), a study was published by a research group called the International Primary Pulmonary Hypertension Study Group from the University of McGill and several American and European institutions, showed that there can be a danger if Phentermine use is combined with the use of some other obesity treatment drugs and – on rarer occasions – the antidepressants of the monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors type – can lead to instances of pulmonary hypertension.

Since obesity can be effectively treated through the use of drugs such as Phentermine that contain appetite suppressing ingredients, they are being prescribed much more frequently in order to help the millions of people across the nation in their attempts to bring their body mass index (BMI) into its healthy range. This being said, the phentermine chemical is one that is related to amphetamines, therefore also having the possibility for people to experience some unpleasant side effects related to amphetamines such as dependence and the worsening of pre-existing cardiovascular issues.

Neither fenfluramine nor dexfenfluramine are like amphetamines, though they have been connected with some rare instances of pulmonary hypertension. With this risk already present, combining those drugs with Phentermine only makes the risk of this lung condition even higher, and the potential for fatality greater.

How to Ensure Safe Phentermine Use and Avoid Pulmonary Hypertension

All this considered, Phentermine is a drug that is considered safe to use for the majority of people, and it has achieved FDA approval for use as an obesity treatment drug. However, combining Phentermine with other prescription medications has not been approved by the FDA.

Should your doctor prescribe Phentermine to you, as long as you have divulged all of your health conditions and anything you are already taking, you should be able to decide together whether or not Phentermine is safe for you and the right drug to meet your needs.

Bottom Line on Phentermine Use and Pulmonary Hypertension

Phentermine use can lead to a variety of side effects, some of which could be serious. One example is pulmonary hypertension. Disclose all of your current health conditions and symptoms with your doctor before taking Phentermine and be sure to let him or her know about all of the supplements and medications that you are taking as well. Then, if Phentermine is prescribed, take it only as directed. This is the best way to protect yourself from serious side effects.

1 comment to Phentermine Use and Pulmonary Hypertension

  • Martha

    Having HBP from last 5 years,I’s on medication for it.I’m taking Phentermine now for losing weight alongside whenever I feel HBP I used to take that medication as well.Would it be harmful?,otherwise I really losing weight with Phentermine

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