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Skypist 05-20-2019 10:56 PM

Has anyone been prescribed and taken phentermine?
I need to lose a bunch of weight and am suffering from pretty bad depression and lack of motivation. Everything in my life and in the US right now is really dragging me down. I would love to look for a better job, but I have 20-plus years of experience in ONE thing only and it is in very low demand and very poorly paid and I don't see how any of my "skills" could be parlayed into something else. No STEM background, not a computer whiz. No social skills. No idea what to look for. I am almost 50 and have fucked up my life so bad.

I went to the doctor to talk to him about my depression, which I do think is in large part situational because my life is crap. I thought maybe a change in antidepressant was in order. He surprised me by suggesting I try phentermine. He said it would give me an energy boost to get out of bed in the morning, but when I looked online and it's supposed to be mainly for losing weight and you should take it for a short time only. Okay, well, I need to lose weight too, true enough, but I'm scared to take this. I lost 100 lbs years ago (gained it back obviously) without any surgery or pills, but I was in a much better place mentally/emotionally and had the mental capacity left over to put in the intense effort it required. Now there's no way I have that, but I feel that nagging feeling that pills are "wrong" to use for weight loss.

Plus I'm deathly afraid of side effects. A little extra energy and a little help resisting my cravings would be GREAT but don't want to feel weird or anxious or like I'm going to jump out of my skin while I'm just trying to work. I'm already extremely anxious and bored and ready to run out the door screaming. Oh and then there's the possibility, however slight, that it could cause pulmonary hypertension.

Anybody got any negative or positive experiences with it?

Chimera 05-20-2019 11:03 PM

I was. Entirely negative experience.

Look up Phen Rage.

I took half a pill for three days on the ramp-up to a full dose. On the third day, I was standing in line at the grocery store when a woman walked up and just butted in front of me and refused to back off.

I legitimately wanted to kill her. My face turned beet red, my blood pressure soared, people around me became frightened. It was all I could do not to just straight out murder her right then and there in a berzerker fury. Scared the living shit out of me too.

I stopped taking it right then and there, switched doctors and gave the new doctor the leftover pills for disposal.

"Phentermine affecting mood is a common side effect of this medication, with almost 40% of users experiencing phen rage, low mood or anxiety during weight loss treatment"

"Among this medication's reported side effects, phentermine anger issues are one of the most common with over 23% of patients reporting dysphoria at some point during treatment. This seemingly uncontrollable, sometimes irrational anger and frustration is colloquially referred to as “phen rage”."

RivkahChaya 05-20-2019 11:16 PM

Mt brother needed to lose 80lbs ASAP before he could have a hernia surgery he desperately needed, so he tried it. It worked for him, as far as losing the weight, and getting the surgery, and having his life vastly improve from having the surgery, but he had to "detox" from the phentermine. He was on high dose of it, though. He could have been on a lower dose, but his doctor decided that as long as they were going that way, they should go for the short-term loss. The doc figured the post-surgical state itself would keep the weight off immediately, and then they would have a chance to teach my brother new eating skills.

My brother lived with his wife and MIL, and they were all willing to participate in lifestyle change classes.

His detox from the the phentermine was rougher than anyone had guessed (he had 0 history of iliicit drug use), but it happened, and he's fine. Had the hernia surgery, and two years later continues to remain at 6'0 & 220lbs, rather than 290lbs, so all is well. Has had 0 desire for illicit drugs.

Sunny Daze 05-21-2019 12:08 AM

I used it many years ago. No issues to report. I'd say try it, but I'd also get some more details on why no anti-depressant. It sounds like you do need that.

Skypist 05-21-2019 01:20 AM

I do take an antidepressant (duloxetine), but it doesn't seem to be doing anything lately. Maybe I'd be worse without it. Not sure how to tell about that. Have been on several others in the past at various times, so it's kind of hard to find something I haven't tried.

Now the phen rage sounds scary too! I do have anxiety and get PO'd pretty easily anyway. I keep going back and forth. I guess I have to either shit or get off the pot! I have a 3-day weekend and a short vacation coming up soon so could try it then in case of anxiety or angry outbursts.

teela brown 05-21-2019 11:43 AM

I took it many years ago for weight loss, and it worked. I also experienced the "phen rage", but not as dramatically as posted upthread. I remember having to go out into the parking lot where I worked and pace around until I could control myself, after some very minor office disagreement.

Like I said, it worked, and I lost weight successfully. However, you can't keep taking it forever, and as soon as I stopped taking it the weight came right back.

Why can't they invent an appetite suppressant that isn't also a form of speed?

digs 05-21-2019 02:50 PM

Just two days ago at a family reunion, I talked to a relative who just got put on it.
She's lost almost 30 lbs so far, no reported side effects.

Skypist 05-21-2019 03:15 PM

Thanks so much for the replies. Experience seems to be all over the map with this one!

Zyada 05-21-2019 03:53 PM

I took phentermine way back in the day when it was part of the phen-fen regimen.

It was just a basic upper for me - at the time, I couldn't take it much after 10 AM or so, or I wouldn't be able to sleep that night. The other half of the equation tended to make me a little sleepy, so together I was able to function. Don't recall any phen-rage, but I've got ADHD, so a stimulant is beneficial to me.

The appetite effect wears off after a few months, so the FDA won't let you take it for more than 3 months at a time now. (I was looking into getting on it again, because the regulations around stimulants that are for ADHD are problematic for people who have ADHD... *sigh*)

Sunny Daze 05-21-2019 07:27 PM


Originally Posted by Skypist (Post 21653737)
I do take an antidepressant (duloxetine), but it doesn't seem to be doing anything lately. Maybe I'd be worse without it. Not sure how to tell about that. Have been on several others in the past at various times, so it's kind of hard to find something I haven't tried.

Maybe ask about adjusting your dose or switching to another med? I'm switching to Fetzima, which is to say there is new stuff coming along.

Skypist 05-21-2019 09:37 PM

He suggested doubling my dose of the duloxetine, which I have not started yet.

Wesley Clark 05-22-2019 11:03 AM

As a word of warning, combining a drug like phenterimine with a drug that increases serotonin can make the phenterimine much more intense.

The drug combo phen-fen combined phenterimine with a serotonin drug which was pulled. People like Dr Michael anchors have promoted phenterimine and Prozac (phen-pro) as a safer alternative to phen fen.

But either way, combining it with a serotonin anti depressant may make the drug feel much more intense.

SmartAleq 05-22-2019 11:37 AM

May I ask what alternatives you've tried to taking pills? Because going on a restricted carb diet and increasing your exercise levels will take off the weight AND help quite a lot with the situational depression--and without any deleterious side effects too. Make that a lifestyle change and I predict you'll be feeling much better in fairly short order--about as long as it would take for a change of anti-depressant to affect you.

slalexan 05-22-2019 11:56 AM

I was on phentermine for a while. It didn't help me lose weight but I also had other issues. Namely, my thyroid wasn't working and I ended up being diagnosed with Hashimoto's thyroiditis. The stimulant effects were very unpleasant for me and definitely not worth the only 15 lbs I was able to lose. Put my vote in the "NO" column.

I have found that I really cannot lose weight in any meaningful way if I am depressed, as being depressed completely kills all motivation and self control I might have. I'd look into better treatment for that instead of uppers. IANAD and YMMV and all that.

Zyada 05-22-2019 02:08 PM

slalexan - I think you missed that Skypist is not looking to lose weight. They are looking to get help for their depression.

Skypist, I wish you luck. You might want to ask your Dr why he wants to put you on a phentermine. If it's for the stimulant properties, I could see where it could help, but if he just thinks "Meh, they'll feel better about themselves if they lose a little weight", it's time to find another doctor.

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