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Diethylpropion Side Effects

Not all side effects for diethylpropion may be reported. You should always consult a doctor or healthcare professional for medical advice. Side effects can be reported to the FDA here.

For the Consumer

Applies to diethylpropion: oral tablet, oral tablet extended release

In addition to its needed effects, some unwanted effects may be caused by diethylpropion. In the event that any of these side effects do occur, they may require medical attention.

You should check with your doctor immediately if any of these side effects occur when taking diethylpropion:

  • Seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there
  • severe mental changes
  • shortness of breath
Incidence not known
  • Black, tarry stools
  • blurred vision
  • burning while urinating
  • chest pain
  • chills
  • convulsions
  • cough or hoarseness
  • decreased ability to exercise
  • depression
  • difficult or labored breathing
  • difficult or painful urination
  • dizziness
  • fainting
  • false or unusual sense of well-being
  • fast, slow, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or pulse
  • fear or nervousness
  • fever with or without chills
  • frequent urination
  • general feeling of tiredness or weakness
  • headache
  • inability to speak
  • increased volume of pale, dilute urine
  • lower back or side pain
  • nosebleeds
  • numbness or tingling in the face, arms, or legs
  • restlessness
  • severe or sudden headache
  • shakiness in the legs, arms, hands, or feet
  • slurred speech
  • sore throat
  • sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
  • swelling of the feet or lower legs
  • swollen glands
  • temporary blindness
  • tightness in the chest
  • trembling or shaking of the hands or feet
  • trouble with breathing
  • twitching, twisting, or uncontrolled repetitive movements of the tongue, lips, face, arms, or legs
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • vision problems
  • weakness in the arm or leg on one side of the body, sudden and severe
  • wheezing

If any of the following symptoms of overdose occur while taking diethylpropion, get emergency help immediately:

Symptoms of overdose
  • Abdominal or stomach cramps
  • bigger, dilated, or enlarged pupils (black part of the eye)
  • change in consciousness
  • confusion
  • diarrhea
  • dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
  • increased sensitivity of the eyes to light
  • loss of consciousness
  • nausea
  • overactive reflexes
  • panic
  • physical attempt to injure
  • restlessness
  • sweating
  • violent actions
  • vomiting

Some of the side effects that can occur with diethylpropion may not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine during treatment these side effects may go away. Your health care professional may also be able to tell you about ways to reduce or prevent some of these side effects. If any of the following side effects continue, are bothersome or if you have any questions about them, check with your health care professional:

Incidence not known
  • Abdominal or stomach discomfort
  • bruising
  • difficulty having a bowel movement (stool)
  • drowsiness
  • dry mouth
  • general feeling of discomfort or illness
  • hair loss
  • headache
  • hives or welts
  • indigestion
  • itching
  • large, flat, blue, or purplish patches in the skin
  • loss of appetite
  • muscle pain
  • passing of gas
  • redness of the skin
  • skin rash
  • sleeplessness
  • stomach fullness or discomfort
  • trouble sleeping
  • unable to sleep
  • unpleasant taste

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to diethylpropion: oral tablet, oral tablet extended release


Cardiovascular side effects including precordial pain, arrhythmia, ECG changes, tachycardia, elevation of blood pressure, and palpitation have been reported. Pulmonary hypertension has been reported rarely. Valvulopathy has been reported very rarely.[Ref]

A causal relationship between diethylpropion and valvulopathy has not been reported. Valvular heart disease has been reported with the use of other anorectic agents.[Ref]

Nervous system

Nervous system side effects including dyskinesia, blurred vision, overstimulation, nervousness, restlessness, dizziness, jitteriness, insomnia, anxiety, euphoria, depression, dysphoria, tremor, mydriasis, drowsiness, malaise, headache, and cerebrovascular accident have been reported. Psychotic episodes have rarely been reported (at recommended doses). An increase in convulsive episodes has been reported in a few epileptics.[Ref]


Respiratory side effects including dyspnea have been reported. One study has reported that the use of anorectic agents including diethylpropion for longer than three months was associated with a 23-fold increase in the risk of developing pulmonary hypertension.[Ref]


Psychiatric side effects including psychological dependence and psychosis have been reported.[Ref]


Gastrointestinal side effects including vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal discomfort, dryness of the mouth, unpleasant taste, nausea, constipation, and other gastric disturbances have been reported.[Ref]


Dermatologic side effects including urticaria, rash, ecchymosis, erythema, hair loss, and increased sweating have been reported.[Ref]


Endocrine side effects including impotence, changes in libido, gynecomastia, and menstrual upset have been reported.[Ref]


Hematologic side effects including bone marrow depression, agranulocytosis, and leukopenia have been reported.[Ref]


Genitourinary side effects including dysuria and polyuria have been reported. Two cases of gynecomastia have also been reported.[Ref]


Musculoskeletal side effects including muscle pain have been reported.[Ref]


1. "Product Information. Tenuate (diethylpropion)" Aventis Pharmaceuticals, Swiftwater, PA.

2. Carney MW "Diethylpropion and psychosis." Clin Neuropharmacol 11 (1988): 183-8

3. Khan SA, Spiegel DA, Jobe PC "Psychotomimetic effects of anorectic drugs." Am Fam Physician 36 (1987): 107-12

4. Bridgman JF, Buckler JM "Letter: Drug-induced gynaecomastia." Br Med J 3 (1974): 520-1

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