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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Pondimin

These comments are made for the purpose of discussion and should NOT be used as recommendations for or against therapies or other treatments. An individual patient is always advised to consult their own physician.

Pondimin and Weight Loss [posted 7/30/98]
Question: I am a healthy 35 year old woman and have recently gained 33 pounds as a result of taking Paxil (I discontinued use 1 month ago). A doctor friend told me that Pondimin could help me to lose the weight. What is tour advice

Answer: It works somewhat. It worked better when used in conjunction with Phenteramine, but this combination is no longer available. I would wait until March, April when Merida becomes available. There is also another drug coming out this summer (not aware of the brand name), which has great promise in losing weight. Current risks of these drugs are not clear. Also, sometimes St. John's Wort will not cause the weight gain and will help the depression.

General Information
Question: What is pondimin?

Answer:Pondimin(fenfluramine hydrochloride) is an anorectic drug. It has recently been used extensively with lonamin(phenteramine) in the so called fen-fen combination. This recieved credahility after a very good article in JAMA and subsequent articles documenting weight loss with relatively minor side effects. Pondimin should not he used in patients with glaucoma, alcoholism, psychiatric disorders and before general anesthesia. There have been some reports of pulmonary hypertension-a potentially fatal disorder of the lungs-which has been the biggest red flag in this drugs use. Common side effects include dry mouth, diarrhea or constipation, drowsiness and nausea. I have used this combination in several patients with favorable results about 75% of the time. I have a major concern about pulmonary hypertension-research in this area is ongoing.

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