Diethylpropion is a diet pill in Colorado and an appetite suppressant known in the amfetamine class of medications. Its brand name is Tenuate. Clinicians have observed successful weight loss in patients taking diethylpropion. This is similar to the effects of other stimulate-type drugs such as phentermine (Adipex, Lomaira) and phendimetrazine (Bontril).
Diethylpropion also has a similar adverse effect and weight loss profile to phentermine. However, for some reason, doctors prescribe it much less frequently. According to industry reports, only 1 million prescriptions were dispensed between 2008 and 2011. This is surprising because I have found diethylpropion to be a beneficial drug for patients. Additionally, I have found it to have the fewest side effects of all weight loss drugs.
The fact that it is short-acting (about 5 hours) permits the individualization of the drug. For example, patients can take up to three times. This controls appetite for over 12 hours. This is especially helpful in the evening when many people need appetite suppression and control of their cravings. Standard dosages include 25mg tablets and 75mg extended-release tablets.
How Does Diethylpropion Work?
Diethylpropion increases the amount of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. These chemicals act on the brain’s appetite center in the hypothalamus to reduce appetite. It has a very similar chemical structure to bupropion (marketed as Wellbutrin and Zyban). With success, healthcare professionals can prescribe bupropion to diminish compulsive behaviors, including smoking, alcohol, and cravings.
Is Diethylpropion Safe and Effective?
Diethylpropion studies in nine small studies ranging from 6–52 weeks found that patients taking 75mg of diethylpropion per day had a mean additional weight loss relative to a placebo of 3.0 kg, with a mean total weight loss of 6.5 kg.
The few side effects noted in clinical trials and throughout years of patient usage are dizziness, dry mouth, difficulty sleeping, irritability, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation.
Diethylpropion is not for everyone. First, do not take diethylpropion if you are allergic to it or any other sympathomimetic amines such as phentermine. Second, you should not take this medication if you have glaucoma, uncontrolled high blood pressure, heart problems, kidney disease, mood or personality disorders, overactive thyroid, or a history of seizures or stroke. Additionally, do not take diethylpropion if you take MAO inhibitors or for 14 days after discontinuing treatment with MAO inhibitors. Most importantly, do not take this medication if you are pregnant, trying to conceive, or breastfeeding.
Each individual needs to discuss the use of these medications with their physician to see which drugs will be safe and effective.