benzphetamine

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

What is benzphetamine?

Benzphetamine is a stimulant that is similar to an amphetamine. Benzphetamine is an appetite suppressant that affects the central nervous system.

Benzphetamine is used together with diet and exercise to treat obesity (overweight).

Benzphetamine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about benzphetamine?

Benzphetamine can harm an unborn baby or cause birth defects. Do not use benzphetamine if you are pregnant.

Do not use benzphetamine if you have used an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine, and others.

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Taking benzphetamine together with other diet medications (including medicines available over the counter) can cause a rare fatal lung disorder called pulmonary hypertension. Do not take benzphetamine with any other diet medications without your doctor's advice.

Benzphetamine may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. Never share benzphetamine with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep track of the amount of medicine used from each new bottle. Benzphetamine is a drug of abuse and you should be aware if anyone is using your medicine improperly or without a prescription.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking benzphetamine?

Do not use benzphetamine if you have used an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine, and others.

Taking benzphetamine together with other diet medications (including medicines available over the counter) can cause a rare fatal lung disorder called pulmonary hypertension. Do not take benzphetamine with any other diet medications without your doctor's advice.

You should not take benzphetamine if you are allergic to it, or if you have:

  • coronary artery disease (hardening of the arteries);

  • heart disease, heart rhythm disorder;

  • severe or uncontrolled high blood pressure;

  • overactive thyroid;

  • glaucoma;

  • if you are pregnant;

  • if you have a history of drug or alcohol abuse; or

  • if you have used any other diet pills within the past year.

To make sure benzphetamine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • high blood pressure;

  • diabetes; or

  • a thyroid disorder.

Benzphetamine may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. Never share benzphetamine with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a place where others cannot get to it.

FDA pregnancy category X. This medication can harm an unborn baby or cause birth defects. Do not use benzphetamine if you are pregnant. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant during treatment. Use effective birth control while you are using this medication.

Benzphetamine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while taking benzphetamine.

Do not give this medication to a child younger than 12 years old.

How should I take benzphetamine?

Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Benzphetamine is usually taken once each day, mid-morning or mid-afternoon.

Talk with your doctor if you have increased hunger or if you otherwise think the medication is not working properly. Taking more of this medication will not make it more effective and can cause serious, life-threatening side effects.

Benzphetamine should be taken only for a short time, such as a few weeks. Tell your doctor if you have not lost any weight after 4 weeks of treatment.

Benzphetamine is only part of a complete program of treatment that may also include diet, exercise, and weight control. Follow your diet, medication, and exercise routines very closely.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

Keep track of the amount of medicine used from each new bottle. Benzphetamine is a drug of abuse and you should be aware if anyone is using your medicine improperly or without a prescription.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An overdose of benzphetamine can be fatal.

Overdose symptoms may include confusion, panic, feeling hostile or aggressive, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, fever, muscle pain or weakness, dark colored urine, irregular heartbeat, weak pulse, slow breathing, feeling light-headed, seizure, or fainting.

What should I avoid while taking benzphetamine?

Drinking alcohol can increase certain side effects of benzphetamine.

To prevent sleep problems, avoid taking this medication late in the afternoon.

Benzphetamine may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.

Benzphetamine side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using benzphetamine and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • shortness of breath (even with mild exertion), swelling, rapid weight gain;

  • chest pain, feeling like you might pass out;

  • pounding heartbeats or fluttering in your chest;

  • confusion or irritability, unusual thoughts or behavior; or

  • dangerously high blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision, buzzing in your ears, anxiety, confusion, chest pain, shortness of breath, uneven heartbeats, seizure).

Common side effects may include:

  • feeling restless or hyperactive;

  • headache, dizziness, tremors;

  • sleep problems (insomnia);

  • increased sweating;

  • dry mouth or an unpleasant taste in your mouth;

  • nausea, diarrhea upset stomach; or

  • skin rash.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

Benzphetamine dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Obesity:

Initial dose: 25 to 50 mg orally once a day in the midmorning or midafternoon

Maintenance dose: 25 to 50 mg orally one to three times a day; dose or frequency should be individualized based on the patient's needs and response

A single daily dose is preferably given in midmorning or midafternoon, according to the patient's eating habits. It may be desirable to avoid late afternoon administration in some patients.

What other drugs will affect benzphetamine?

Tell your doctor about all medicines you use, and those you start or stop using during your treatment with benzphetamine, especially:

  • an antidepressant--citalopram, escitalopram, desvenlafaxine, duloxetine, fluoxetine, paroxetine, sertraline, venlafaxine, vilazodone, and others; or

  • a stimulant or ADHD medication such as Adderall or Ritalin.

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with benzphetamine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about benzphetamine.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 4.04. Revision Date: 2013-11-19, 11:40:48 AM.

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