Pulmonary Hypertension Associated with Use of Phentermine

Cardiology Division, Yonsei Cardiovascular Hospital, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
Yonsei medical journal (Impact Factor: 1.29). 11/2010; 51(6):971-3. DOI: 10.3349/ymj.2010.51.6.
Source: PubMed


Weight-control drugs (known as anorexigens) such as fenfluramine have been linked with pulmonary hypertension in previous reports. In our case, a 29 year old woman was admitted for shortness of breath and was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension. Three months ago, she had been taking phentermine for five weeks. Other factors that might have contributed to the development of pulmonary hypertension were excluded. With treatment, her symptoms improved. This is the first case that can suggest a possible connection between phenermine single medication with pulmonary hypertension. Phentermine has been considered a relatively safe drug to treat obesity, and further investigation is needed to decide the safety and dosage of phentermine.

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    ABSTRACT: Weight loss can reduce the increased cardiovascular risk associated with obesity. Pharmacotherapy is a recognized weight loss treatment option; however, cardiovascular safety issues with some previous weight loss drugs raise concerns for newly approved pharmacotherapies. Phentermine is approved for short-term obesity treatment in conjunction with lifestyle modifications, but is commonly used chronically. Topiramate, approved for treating epilepsy and preventing migraines, also induces weight loss. A single-dose combination of low-dose phentermine and topiramate extended-release was recently approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration as an adjunct to lifestyle intervention for the chronic treatment of overweight/obese adults. This review summarizes and evaluates the cardiovascular risk/benefit profile associated with phentermine and topiramate, individually and in combination. Cardiovascular data associated with long-term use of phentermine and topiramate extended-release indicate that this combination may be a safe and effective option for reducing weight in overweight/obese patients at low-to-intermediate cardiovascular risk.This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivitives 3.0 License, where it is permissible to download and share the work provided it is properly cited. The work cannot be changed in any way or used commercially.
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