Benzphetamine

Generic Name: benzphetamine (benz-FET-ah-meen)
Brand Name: Didrex

Benzphetamine is used for:

Short-term (few weeks) management of obesity, as part of a weight-loss plan including a reduced-calorie diet. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Benzphetamine is an anorectic. Exactly how it works is not known. It may work in part by acting on the appetite center in the brain to cause a temporary reduction in hunger or craving for food.

Do NOT use benzphetamine if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in benzphetamine
  • you have had a bad reaction to a sympathomimetic amine (eg, pseudoephedrine)
  • you are in an agitated state
  • you are pregnant or may become pregnant
  • you have glaucoma, an overactive thyroid, moderate to severe or uncontrolled high blood pressure, severe heart blood vessel problems, irregular heartbeat, or certain other heart problems (eg, murmur, heart valve problems)
  • you are taking furazolidone, guanadrel, or guanethidine, or you have taken a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) (eg, phenelzine) in the past 14 days
  • you take other anorectic medicines (eg, amphetamine) or have taken anorectic medicines within the past year
  • you have a history of alcohol or other substance abuse

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

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Before using benzphetamine:

Some medical conditions may interact with benzphetamine. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have a history of heart problems, blood vessel problems, lung or breathing problems, high blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid problems, or mental or mood problems

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with benzphetamine. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Furazolidone or MAOIs (eg, phenelzine) because side effects, such as headache, elevated body temperature, or severe high blood pressure, may occur
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) (eg, fluoxetine) because the risk of side effects, such as mental or mood changes, may be increased
  • Urinary acidifiers (eg, ascorbic acid) because they may decrease benzphetamine's effectiveness
  • Stimulants (eg, amphetamine) or urinary alkalinizers (eg, sodium bicarbonate) because they may increase the risk of benzphetamine's side effects
  • Tricyclic antidepressants (eg, amitriptyline) because actions and side effects may be increased by benzphetamine
  • Guanadrel, guanethidine, or other medicines for high blood pressure because their effectiveness may be decreased by benzphetamine

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if benzphetamine may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use benzphetamine:

Use benzphetamine as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Benzphetamine may be taken with or without food.
  • If you miss a dose of benzphetamine, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use benzphetamine.

Important safety information:

  • Benzphetamine may cause drowsiness or dizziness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use benzphetamine with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Do not take more than the recommended dose of benzphetamine or take for longer than prescribed without checking with your doctor. Doing so may cause serious side effects, including severe heart or lung problems.
  • Do not suddenly stop taking benzphetamine without first talking with your doctor.
  • Do not take other prescription medicines, over-the-counter medicines, or herbal supplements to treat obesity without first talking with your doctor.
  • Do not use benzphetamine for any reason or condition other than the one for which it was prescribed.
  • Benzphetamine may cause sleeplessness. If you have trouble sleeping, you may need to take benzphetamine earlier in the day. Talk to your doctor before adjusting your dose of benzphetamine.
  • Diabetes patients - Benzphetamine may affect your blood sugar. Check blood sugar levels closely. Ask your doctor before you change the dose of your diabetes medicine.
  • Benzphetamine should not be used in CHILDREN younger than 12 years old; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Do not use benzphetamine if you are pregnant. If you think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor right away. Benzphetamine is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking benzphetamine.

When used for long periods of time or at high doses, some people develop a need to continue taking benzphetamine. This is known as DEPENDENCE or addiction. When used for long periods of time or at high doses, benzphetamine may not work as well and may require higher doses to obtain the same effect as when originally taken. This is known as TOLERANCE. Talk with your doctor if benzphetamine stops working well. Do not take more than prescribed.

If you suddenly stop taking benzphetamine, you may experience WITHDRAWAL symptoms, such as extreme fatigue, mental depression, or sleep changes.

Possible side effects of benzphetamine:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Changes in sex drive; diarrhea; dizziness; dry mouth; headache; nausea; restlessness; sleeplessness; tremor; unpleasant taste.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); blurred vision; chest pain; fainting; fast or irregular heartbeat; mental or mood changes; new or unusual shortness of breath; pounding in the chest; severe excitability; severe or persistent dizziness or headache; swelling of the feet or legs.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include confusion; depression; high fever; irregular heartbeat; loss of consciousness; panic; rapid breathing; restlessness; seizures; severe nausea or diarrhea; severe tiredness; stomach cramps; tremor; vomiting.

Proper storage of benzphetamine:

Store benzphetamine at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Store away from heat, light, and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep benzphetamine out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about benzphetamine, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Benzphetamine is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take benzphetamine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about benzphetamine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to benzphetamine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using benzphetamine.

Issue Date: July 2, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.001
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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