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A generic weight-loss drug may be safe and effective for long-term treatment

Source: Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center


An inexpensive weight-loss drug approved 60 years ago for only short-term use also may be safe and effective for longer-term treatment, according to a new study.



  • The drug, phentermine, is currently FDA-approved for use of up to three months.

  • Although diet and exercise are critical components of any weight-loss program, up to half of patients don't have long-term success with lifestyle changes alone.

A study found that people who stayed on phentermine longer experienced greater weight loss than those who took the drug for three months or less, and longer-term use was not associated with increases in blood pressure or increased risk of heart attack, stroke or death
  • The study did not examine the most effective dose of the drug or potential side effects such as anxiety or insomnia.

  • In addition, the people in the study did not have evidence of pre-existing heart disease and most were young or middle-aged women.


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