Among the number of diet pills available in the market, sympathomimetic amines or anorectics comprise perhaps the biggest category. Tenuate falls under this class of stimulants.

What is Tenuate?

Tenuate® and Tenuate Dospan® are brand names of an appetite depressant known as diethylproprion, also called amfepramone. This class of prescription weight loss drugs are chemically related to amphetamines and phenethylamine compounds which work on the central nervous system to increase the production of certain neurotransmitters for appetite suppression and other functions. In other words, Tenuate decreases appetite. It may also increase metabolic action. Tenuate is available in both long-acting and short-acting tablet forms. Short-acting tablets are taken thrice a day while long-acting ones are taken only once daily. Long-acting tablets should be taken whole, not crushed, broken or chewed, as the drug is supposed to dissipate slowly in the digestive system.

How Does Tenuate Work?

Just like other drugs in the sympathomimetic amine class, Tenuate stimulates the brain to release norepinephrine, epinephrine and dopamine, a group of neurotransmitters known as catecholamines that prepare you for a “flight-or-fight” response to a stressful situation. This very action suppresses hunger and appetite while the body is primed to deal with a perceived “threat.” This drug is only for the short-term treatment of exogenous obesity. The maximum allowable prescription time is three months. By this time, the patient should have learned to adhere to the tenets of healthy behavioral patterns in order to continue losing weight and maintain their desired weight. Only those diagnosed as exogenously obese may qualify for a Tenuate prescription. This cannot be prescribed for people who have a body mass index lower than 30. Tenuate must be taken while the dieter is under a low-calorie diet and exercise plan.

The Side Effects

Like all drugs, Tenuate has its share of side effects. The common reactions one may expect are: • Dry mouth • Dizziness • Drowsiness — patients on Tenuate should not drive or operate heavy machinery • Insomnia • Nausea and vomiting • Diarrhea or constipation • Lowered libido or impotence These reactions should be short-lived and should gradually cease after a few weeks. Some may not even feel any side effects. If these occurrences persist or intensify, let your physician know immediately. There are other side effects that are more serious, although they are rare. In any case, stop the medication and seek immediate medical care if faced with: • Hallucinations • Agitation; Anxiety • Uncontrolled anger • Uncontrolled muscle movements • Rapid or irregular heartbeat • High blood pressure • Severe headache • Slurred speech • Seizures • Weakness on one side of the body • Blurred vision • Allergic reactions such as hives; swelling of the face, mouth, eyes, and tongue; difficulty breathing

The Bottom Line:

As long as Tenuate is taken strictly as per prescription, there shouldn’t be many problems. Be sure to let your doctor know of your complete medical history along with all medications and supplements taken. Tenuate is contraindicated to a number of drugs such as certain antihistamines; pain relievers; drugs to treat depression (ex. paroxetine, fluoxetine, duloxetine); diabetes medication (ex. insulin, glipizide); even cough and cold medicines which contain pseudoephedrine; and other diet aids that may contain ma huang or ephedra. Tenuate or diethylproprion is as good as phentermine. They are of the same class and so more or less work the same way — effectively suppressing appetite and raising metabolic processes.

Weight Comment’s Rating: 5 / 5

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