Stuff that occurs to me

All of my 'how to' posts are tagged here. The most popular posts are about blocking and private accounts on Twitter, also the science communication jobs list. None of the science or medical information I might post to this blog should be taken as medical advice (I'm not medically trained).

Think of this blog as a sort of nursery for my half-baked ideas hence 'stuff that occurs to me'.

Contact: @JoBrodie Email: jo DOT brodie AT gmail DOT com

Science in London: The 2018/19 scientific society talks in London blog post

Friday, 20 July 2012

What's the difference between Phentermine and Phen375 weight loss pills?

As you may know I've been intrigued by the product Phen375 (see further reading, below) which touts itself as a weight loss supplement / pill although I've not found good quality evidence on any of the websites that sell it to say if it's safe or that it works. Plenty of customer testimonials but of course they're utterly useless as evidence.

I still haven't worked out what's in Phen375 and am not sure if it contains phentermine or not. There are references on the main Phen375 website to both phenTERMine and phenTEMine and I can't make sense of it.

Phentermine is a real prescription medicine for weight loss, however according to the British National Formulary
"Phentermine and diethylpropion are central stimulants; they are not recommended for the treatment of obesity. Phentermine has been associated with a risk of pulmonary hypertension." 
so I'm not sure that it's currently prescribed in the UK at least, or perhaps only in the very short term. I couldn't find any reference to phentermine (or phentemine) as a drug product on the electronic Medicines Compendium, the only references are where it's not recommended in combination with another drug.

According to PubMed Health (US based) phentermine "is used for a limited period of time to speed weight loss in overweight people who are exercising and eating a low-calorie diet. Phentermine is in a class of medications called anorectics. It works by decreasing appetite."

PubMed also notes its side effects:
Phentermine may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
dry mouth
unpleasant taste

Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
increased blood pressure
heart palpitations
shortness of breath
chest pain
swelling of the legs and ankles
difficulty doing exercise that you have been able to do

Wikipedia says that "Phentermine, a contraction of "phenyl-tertiary-butylamine", is a psychostimulant drug of the phenethylamine class, with pharmacology similar to amphetamine. It is used medically as an appetite suppressant."

Basically phentermine appears to be a not very nice drug that isn't recommended for weight loss in the UK but it is prescribed in the US (see bit on Qsymia below) - I presume this means that people are using it under the care of a doctor, they're not just buying it off the internet.

According to the website that sells this product
"Phentemine375 uses a combination of cyclic AMP enzyme boosters such as , 1,3,7-Trimethylxanthine, and a Sympathomimetic Amine, LongJack Tongkate ALI,Capsaicin-1.12, l-carnitine to get the job done. Each of the five main ingredients are highly refined and produced in a pharmaceutical environment. This provides you with the strongest and purist product humanly possible to produce."
I think trimethylxanthine is just caffeine, LongJack Tongkate ALI would appear to be an extract from Eurycoma longifolia, capsaicin's from peppers and carnitine's a standard supplement. I don't know what the 'sympathomimetic amine' is though and it's not clear from this page either (I'm afraid you'll have to copy and paste into a browser page if you want to visit there).

I don't understand the spelling differences and from what I can gather the terms phentermine and phentemine are used pretty interchangeably on the site (do a Google search for phentermine or phentemine - the hits are fairly similar).

Phen375 doesn't appear to contain phentermine (does it?? I really can't tell) which as mentioned above is probably not something you'd want to muck about with unless under medical supervision.  

Oddly the affiliates forum where the people who do the affiliate marketing for products such as these are encouraging members to add content to their websites, mentioning a new FDA approved drug (Qsymia) that does contain phentermine. This would seem to be confusing a phentermine-containing pharmaceutical product with a weight loss supplement pill (that doesn't appear to contain phentermine but I could be wrong) in order to increase traffic. All very peculiar.

Is it the same thing or completely unrelated?

Further reading

1 comment:

  1. As a pharmacist, I just want to say that Phen375 contains synephrine (the sympathomimetic amine), which is very chemically similar to ephedra which was banned from the market by the FDA due to side effects of stroke, seizure, heart attacks, etc. Synephrine and ephedrine are both stimulants similar to phenteramine, except that phenteramine is a perscription product, regulated by the FDA for efficacy and safety as well as quality. Phen375 is not as potent or effective as phenteramine because it simply has "bitter orange" which is a source of synephrine. That's it, and there is no regulation by the FDA on whether the product actually even contains what it says it does. Bottom line: Unsafe because you don't know what's in it, not regulated by the FDA, and nearly identical to ephedra which caused stroke, seizure, heart attacks, etc and was banned by the FDA. Exercise, eat right, and if you think you need medication, see your doctor.


Comment policy: I enthusiastically welcome corrections and I entertain polite disagreement ;) Because of the nature of this blog it attracts a LOT - 5 a day at the moment - of spam comments (I write about spam practices,misleading marketing and unevidenced quackery) and so I'm more likely to post a pasted version of your comment, removing any hyperlinks.

Comments written in ALL CAPS LOCK will be deleted and I won't publish any pro-homeopathy comments, that ship has sailed I'm afraid (it's nonsense).