I’ve written elsewhere that I don’t prescribe Adipex. I get at least one request a week from someone desperate for some kind of help. I try to refuse gently and reasonably, but I still see the frustration and disappointment.
“Adipex isn’t safe,” I say. “It isn’t safe, it doesn’t work and I have to carry extra malpractice insurance just to prescribe it.”
That’s the best answer I could hope for — it means someone just listened! There is very little proof of phentermine (Adipex) working in the short-term and none at all that it works over the long-haul. If it works, most people lose 10-15 pounds over 3-6 months.
Once it is stopped, my experience is that everyone goes right back to their old eating habits and gains all that weight right back. Nothing really changed. If a person won’t change their attitude and approach to food, if they keep eating like an American, they should expect every fad diet and diet pill to fail, Adipex too.
The safety part of phentermine is my biggest problem with it. That whole “Do no harm” vow sure can slow a doctor down. There may not be much proof that it works but I think there’s plenty of proof that phentermine can cause mental problems and permanent heart damage. That’s why my first insurance company after graduation required me to pay for a policy rider if I prescribed medicine for diet and weight loss. They were so sure I would be sued for prescribing these medicines they wanted me to pay more ahead of time!
That’s actually when I started looking in-depth at these drugs and came to my decision not to prescribe them. The drugs in this family work by the same effect on the brain and all have the same risks to the brain and the heart. Two of the drugs have already been taken off the market: Fen-phen and Meridia. I think that phentermine should have been withdrawn too, but it is so old the FDA rules that apply to it are a little hazy about safety so it has stayed around.