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Health Dangers of Phentermine

By Lisabetta DiVita ; Updated July 18, 2017

Phentermine is a supplement medication used along with diet and exercise to reduce weight when you are obese. The National Library of Medicine says that typical dosage is 37.5mg of phentermine (1 capsule) daily prior to breakfast or 1 to 2 hours after breakfast. There are specific health dangers associated with phentermine of which users should be aware.

Pulmonary Hypertension

The National Library of Medicine says that pulmonary hypertension is a condition in which the force of blood pressing against the blood vessels in your lung is very high. This condition has been reported with phentermine use. Symptoms of this condition include shortness of breath, intermittent chest pain (angina pectoris), fainting (syncope) and leg or feet swelling. The Mayo Clinic says you can develop fatigue, a blue hue (cyanosis) to your skin and a very fast pulse (tachycardia), as well.

A variety of medications are able to treat pulmonary hypertension. Blood vessel dilators such as epoprostenol widen your narrowed vessels to allow more blood flow through your vessels. Endothelin receptor antagonists such as bosentan block the ability of endothelin (substance that constricts your blood vessels) from binding to its specified receptor. Abrisentan, like bosentan, also promotes blood vessel dilation.

Heart Valvular Diseases

Phentermine can increase your risk of developing heart valve diseases. Your heart valves' job description is to regulate the blood flowing through your heart. Sometimes, this valve may become calcified. In other cases, it can become weak and disrupt the direction of your heart's blood flow. According to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, symptoms of heart valve disease include fatigue, trouble breathing and swelling of your stomach, ankles and feet. Sometimes, you may experience chest pain, an irregular heartbeat, dizziness or fainting.

Your doctor can prescribe medications to treat or prevent heart failure, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and irregular heartbeats. In severe cases, your doctor may recommend that your heart valve be repaired or even replaced.

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Other Health Dangers

The National Library of Medicine says that phentermine can also cause dry mouth, tremors, trouble sleeping, restlessness, a headache and dizziness. Phentermine's other health risks include diarrhea and constipation.

It is important to know that phentermine is related to amphetamines, a stimulant medication that acts on your brain and spinal cord (central nervous system). Like amphetamines, there is a potential for addiction and abuse. Trouble sleeping and irritability are a few signs of phentermine abuse.

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