Phentermine is a drug that has been used to treat obesity for a very long time. You may not know this drug by the name Phentermine, but chances are that you have heard of it at some point. Phentermine history is a colorful one that goes back further than many know. It has been used in many forms to help those who are obese to lose weight. It is considered a short term drug that should be combined with proper diet, exercise and lifestyle changes. If you are seeking help with weight loss, you may run into this drug at some point.
Phentermine has been used as a prescription weight loss medication since 1959.
Phentermine history begins many years ago when this drug was first approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) in the year 1959. It was approved as a treatment for obesity used only for short term help. For the most part, it is considered an appetite suppressant. In the early 1970s, Phentermine Hydrochloride was introduced. This is the most prescribed diet and weight loss medication (up to 50% of all medical prescriptions) because it is fairly effective and also because it is much cheaper than the other drugs for weight loss on the market today – Xenical and Meridia.
Phentermine is used and has been used in quite a few different brand name prescriptions for weight loss. An important part of Phentermine history was Fastin, which was one such incarnation. This was a drug developed by King Pharmaceuticals (for SmithKline Beecham). This was used until it was taken from the market in the year 1998 as withdrawn by the company. Today one form called Ionamin is market by a company called Medeva Pharmaceuticals. The other and most popular version, Adipex-P, is sold by Teva Biologics & Specialty Products. As with other drugs, it also goes under the generic name of Phentermine.
One of the most recognizable incarnations in Phentermine history was when it was used in the prescription drug Fen-Phen. This drug was eventually pulled from the market. Part of the reason may have been that there have not been any safety trials for a very long time until one was done in the early 1990s when Fen-Phen was tested. Fen-Phen was a powerful drug that did not have the jittery/speed effect that many diet pills before it had. That made it a great alternative in the treatment of obesity. Once it hit the market with FDA approval, prescriptions skyrocketed.
In a rather dark part of Phentermine history, it was found that the combination drugs in Fen-Phen lead to problems with heart valve disease. As time went on, more and more cases were reported and the drug was eventually discontinued due to health and safety issues. However, as it turned out, Phentermine was not the problem in the drug Fen-Phen. Rather, it was the Fenfluramine part of the cocktail that was the problem. The FDA did not request that Phentermine be pulled from the market. It is still around, considered safe, and going strong today.