General Practice 2022

Amfepramone: what it is for, how to take it and side effects

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Amfepramone: what it is for, how to take it and side effects
Amfepramone: what it is for, how to take it and side effects

Amfepramone is an anorectic drug indicated for weight loss, as it acts directly on the center of satiety in the brain, decreasing hunger, which causes the person to eat fewer calories during the day, which leads to loss of weight.

Amfepramone, or amfepramone hydrochloride, was withdrawn from the market in 2011 by the National He alth Surveillance Agency (ANVISA), and in 2017 its sale was authorized again. However, due to the risk of developing serious side effects such as heart or psychiatric problems, in 2021 amfepramone was again withdrawn from the market.

Therefore, it is recommended to consult the doctor, so that the treatment can be reassessed and another medication that can replace amfepramone is indicated, if necessary.

What is it for

Amfepramone is a weight-loss drug indicated for overweight or obese people with a BMI above 30, and should be used together with a low-calorie diet and physical exercise.

How to take it

The way to use amfepramone varies according to the dose of the tablet and, generally, the treatment is done for a short period of time, for a maximum of 12 weeks, as this drug can cause dependence.

  • 25 mg tablets: take 1 tablet 3 times a day, one hour before meals, with the last dose taken 4 to 6 hours before bedtime to avoid insomnia;
  • Slow-release tablets 75 mg: take 1 tablet daily, taken mid-morning.

If you forget to take a dose at the right time, take it as soon as you remember and then continue the treatment as scheduled. It is not recommended to take two tablets at once to make up for a missed dose.

The dose of amfepramone can be adjusted by the doctor according to the needs of each person and the treatment must be monitored by the doctor.

Possible side effects

Some of the most common side effects that may occur during treatment with amfepramone are palpitation, rapid heartbeat, increased blood pressure, chest pain, pulmonary hypertension, agitation, nervousness, insomnia, depression, headache, dry mouth, altered taste, decreased sexual desire, irregular menstruation, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.

While using amfepramone, caution should be exercised or avoid activities such as driving, using heavy machinery or performing dangerous activities, as it may cause dizziness or drowsiness. In addition, it is important to avoid consuming alcoholic beverages, coffee and teas as they can increase side effects and cause dizziness, lightheadedness, weakness, fainting or confusion.

Furthermore, allergic reactions may occur that cause symptoms of itchiness throughout the body, redness, or small blisters on the skin. In this case, you should immediately notify the doctor or look for the nearest emergency room for care.

When not to use

Amfepramone should not be used by children under 12 years of age, during pregnancy or lactation, and also in case of hyperthyroidism, glaucoma, arteriosclerosis, states of agitation, psychosis, myasthenia gravis, cardiovascular disease, cerebral ischemia, hypertension lung disease or people with a history of drug abuse

In addition, amfepramone may interact with monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) drugs such as isocarboxazid, phenelzine, tranylcypromine, or pargyline, or antihypertensive drugs such as clonidine, methyldopa, or reserpine.

Diabetes medications such as insulin or metformin, for example, may require dose adjustment by your physician during treatment with amfepramone.

It is important to inform the doctor and pharmacist of all medications that are used to avoid increasing the effect of amfepramone and intoxication.

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