Does Duromine Work for Weight Loss?

  • Phentermine (the active ingredient in Duromine) is a TGA-approved drug intended for the treatment of obesity in Australia
  • Its chemical structure is similar to the stimulant drug amphetamine
  • Duromine has a list of potential serious side effects including disruption to sleep patterns, nausea and cardiovascular risks
  • Duromine is not a quick fix solution to weight loss but can produce clinically significant weight loss when combined with a reduced calorie intake and increased physical activity
  • The most effective approach to weight loss is eating regular nutritious meals, incorporating regular exercise and approaching any psychological barriers to incorporating healthy changes

What is Duromine?

Duromine is a prescription weight loss drug used as a short-term adjunct to suppress appetite as part of a medically monitored weight regime. Duromine’s active ingredient is phentermine which is chemically similar to the stimulant amphetamine. Phentermine is one of the most popular and well known weight loss drugs in the world. It works by directly affecting the area of the brain that controls your appetite making you feel less hungry, which can lead to weight loss. Duromine is taken orally in slow-release capsule form given as a single daily dose early in the day. It costs approximately $3.70 per unit at the time this article was written.

Does Duromine work for weight loss?

Duromine is not a quick fix solution to weight loss but can produce clinically significant weight loss when combined with a reduced calorie intake and increased physical activity.

In a Korean study where individuals took Duromine or a Placebo alongside behavioural therapy for weight loss those individuals that took the Duromine had more weight loss than those that did not. In 68 relatively healthy obese adults they found that those individuals who took Duromine lost an average of 7.5kg over a 14 week period, while those in the placebo group lost an average of 3.1kg. The most reported side effect for this study was dry mouth and insomnia.

Another study of 13,972 adults between 2010 and 2015 found that patients using Duromine continuously for more than 12 months lost 7.4% more weight than the reference group at 24 months.

Another study conducted in the US of electronic medical records found that duromine was the most effective weight loss medication with individuals (n=155) prescribed this medication losing up to 12% of their Body weight at 12 months. However 22.4% of patients reported adverse side effects including insomnia and paraesthesia (tingling/numbness in parts of the body) and as a result 9% of patients decided to discontinue the medication.

What are the risks?

While Duromine can be an effective drug to assist with weight loss, using phentermine for weight loss is not without risks and side effects. These include (but are not limited to):

  • Nausea,
  • Dry mouth,
  • Diarrhoea or constipation,
  • Sexual dysfunction,
  • Headaches,
  • Nervousness and
  • Disruptions to sleeping patterns.

Cardiovascular risks have also been associated with Duromine because of the similarity in pharmacology between Duromine and Amphetamines. However an observational study of 266 bariatric physicians in America indicated that the benefits of Duromine use and the associated weight loss outweighed the cardiovascular risks of the drug1,2.

Despite this, the company that manufactures Duromine still recommends that individuals with the following medical conditions should not take Duromine:

  • Pulmonary artery hypertension;
  • Existing heart valve abnormalities or heart murmurs;
  • Moderate to severe arterial hypertension;
  • Cerebro-vascular disease;
  • Severe cardiac disease including arrhythmias, advanced arteriosclerosis;
  • Concomitant treatment with Monoamine Oxidase (MAO) Inhibitors or within 14 days following their administration

Other contraindications include anxiety disorders, hyperthyroidism, history of drug or alcohol abuse or dependence, concomitant treatment with monoamine oxidase inhibitors, pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Can you take Duromine, do nothing else & still lose weight?

Taking Duromine in isolation is a band aid solution for weight loss. Losing weight long term requires assistance with behaviour changes, education around eating healthy and the right mix of exercise to be truly successful. Duromine is designed to work as a short term appetite suppressant and to be used alongside weight loss counselling, a reduced calorie diet and exercise. Whilst Duromine has been shown to produce clinically significantly weight loss, if it is not accompanied with lifestyle change you may gain back any weight you’ve lost (or more) once you stop taking it.

Our LifeShape clinical recommendations for weight loss

The LifeShape Clinic recommendations for weight loss is focused on utilising the combined expertise of our team of health care professionals that include Dietitians, Exercise Physiologist, Psychologists and Medical Doctor so that we take care of your overall health status. Our team can help individualise a plan to help you achieve your weight loss goals while building sustainable long term changes that add to your health such as eating regular nutritious meals, incorporating regular exercise and approaching any psychological barriers to incorporating healthy changes.

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4011567/
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1038/oby.2009.69



 

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