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Ask the Medical Expert Archives 2000-2004

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June 2002

Q. Have there been any studies on Phentermine and whether it has a helpful effect on fibromyalgia? Can Phentermine help with underactive thyroid by keeping the numbers within normal range?

A. Phentermine is marketed as an appetite suppressant and found in several different preparations. As a group, these compounds are called sympathomimetic amines, they mimic the actions of the sympathetic nervous system which causes the "flight or fight" response to a threatening situation. Physical effects include a rise in heart rate and blood pressure, nervousness, jittery muscles, and insomnia. They can interact with many other drugs in unpredictable ways, so a person taking regular medications should be cautioned. As weight loss products, they can cause appetite suppression for short periods of time, but none of these compounds has been shown effective for long-term weight loss. Even when used, they must be combined with good diet and exercise habits. The stimulant effect, like caffeine, gives a brief boost to energy, but is not a treatment for fibromyalgia or thyroid problems.



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