Phentermine is used for treating exogenous obesity. The short-term weight-loss medication, which should be used in combination with an appropriate diet and moderate exercise, works by suppressing the appetite and possibly increasing the metabolism. At this time, there are no approved phentermine uses for obese children under the age of 16.
Phentermine is a prescription medication approved as a weight-loss aid for short-term use only. It is approved for individuals with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater or a BMI of 27 or greater if you have other risk factors, such as high cholesterol or diabetes (click BMI Calculator to find your BMI).
Obesity can be divided into two categories: endogenous obesity and exogenous obesity. Endogenous obesity is caused by an identifiable medical condition, such as hypothyroidism. Exogenous obesity is caused by eating too much and exercising too little. Phentermine is meant to treat exogenous obesity (meaning it is not meant to treat obesity due to a known medical cause).
Obesity is on the rise (see Obesity Statistics), and many people are looking for products to help with weight loss. Although the ideal weight-loss plans focus on gradual weight loss by healthy eating and exercising (see How to Lose Weight), many people have difficulty following such plans (or feel they need extra assistance in their efforts). Before turning to drastic measures such as weight-loss surgery, many people consider using weight-loss pills, especially if they have unsuccessfully tried to control their obesity (and exercise and diet have been ineffective).
Phentermine is approved for short-term use (a few weeks) along with an appropriate diet, exercise, and behavior modification for obesity treatment in adults. For this use, phentermine works mostly as an appetite suppressant, although it may also help to increase metabolism. After a few weeks, the appetite suppressant effect of phentermine usually wears off. When this happens, phentermine should be stopped (it should not be increased or continued in any way).