• 03 JUN 13
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    Does abrupt cessation of phentermine treatment for obesity induce amphetamine-like withdrawal?

    Objective: To determine if patients taking prescribed phentermine long-term who quit taking the drug develop any signs of an amphetamine-like withdrawal syndrome.

    Date of Research Idea: December 2007.

    Collaborator: Frank L. Greenway, M.D., Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Louisiana State University.

    Description: A retrospective observational study of patients who had chosen to cease taking phentermine. The patients were examined for signs or symptoms characteristic of amphetamine-like withdrawal. All subjects were from my practice.

    Funding: Hendricks for Health


    ·      Patients had no withdrawal symptoms other than a return of hunger and poorly controlled eating.

    ·      Patients did not crave phentermine. (Drug craving is a hallmark symptom of addiction).

    Presented at:

    ·      Hendricks EJ. Is Phentermine Addicting? 59th Annual Obesity & Associated Conditions Symposium. Costa Mesa: American Society of Bariatric Physicians, 2009.

    ·      Hendricks EJ, Greenway FL. Symptoms Observed after Abrupt Phentermine Cessation. 27th Annual Scientific Meeting. Washington, D.C.: The Obesity Society, 2009.


    ·      Hendricks EJ, Greenway FL. A Study of Abrupt Phentermine Cessation in Patients in a Weight Management Program. American Journal of Therapeutics 2011; 18(4): 292-9.

    Elapsed time: ~ 3 years, 5 months.

    Significance: After no reports of abuse or addiction appeared during 50+ years of widespread use the FDA and DEA still maintain phentermine is potentially addicting. This was the first-ever post-marketing report concerning phentermine addiction potential. We found no evidence that phentermine is an addicting substance.

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