Fenfluramine is an extremely dangerous drug that was once prescribed to patients in combination with Phentermine under the brand name Fen-Phen. Initially Fenfluramine was an obscure medication that was not prescribed to a large number of patients because they felt that they were unable to achieve lasting weight loss results. Still, it would eventually experience a brief resurgence in the United States in combination with Phentermine as part of the “Fen-Phen” combination prescription drug. before being banned in 199 During the 1990s, Fen-Phen became extremely popular as a result of research indicating that it could produce excellent weight loss results when combined with Phentermine. However, as will be detailed below, many patients taking the combination drug suffered severe health consequences, leading the FDA to ban Fenfluramine in 1997. Phentermine itself was not banned because the negative effects of Fen-Phen – including heart valve damage – were attributed almost entirely to Fenfluramine.
The history of Fenfluramine in the United States began when it was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1973. Although it could now be legally prescribed for the treatment of overweight or obese patients, the drug had little popularity in the first fifteen years after it entered the market. One of the primary reasons for this unpopularity was that patients found that they gained back the weight they had lost after stopping use of the drug.
Fenfluramine is a type of drug known as a Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor. Reuptake is the term used in the medical field for the removal of a hormone or neurotransmitter from circulation in your body. Meanwhile, Fenfluramine also triggers the release of Serotonin which causes you to feel less hungry. Thus, you crave less food and you lose weight.
Fenfluramine’s journey from obscurity to promise to tragedy continued in 1984. That year, a study conducted by Dr. Michael Weintraub of the University of Rochester determined that by taking Fenfluramine and Phentermine together someone could lose a greater amount of weight. He hypothesized that Phentermine boosts serotonin levels while Fenfluramine reduces their reuptake, reducing hunger even more. These results were not wrong, but they overlooked a fundamentally tragic side effect of Fenfluramine: the heart valve damage the drug caused. In fact Weintraub later admitted he did not check the subjects’ heart valves because no other medication had ever caused such a complication. Furthermore, the FDA had already issued its stamp of approval to both Phentermine and Fenfluramine, so he assumed that the drugs would be safe, and a large number of prescriptions for Fen-Phen were written over the following several years.
In the 1990s Fen-Phen became very popular as a weight loss aid, but the patients taking it were unaware of the damage it was causing to their heart valves. Subsequently, more and more patients started having serious complications and heart valve damage. This led the FDA to order the withdrawal of Fen-Phen from the market in 1997. Later research found that a significant proportion of those who took Fen-Phen were affected by heart valve damage of a similar type. Eventually Wyeth, the pharmaceutical company that marketed Fen-Phen would pay about $20 million to those affected and their families.
While Fenfluramine is not legal in the United States anymore, it is still sometimes found in pills that purport to be Phentermine. This means that you have to be extremely careful when you decide to buy Adipex online. The best bet is to choose an online pharmacy that offers consultations so you can be assured that the Phentermine you are purchasing is the genuine article rather than something that is potentially harmful to your health.