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(dye eth il PROE pee on)

Index Terms

  • Amfepramone
  • Diethylpropion HCl
  • Diethylpropion Hydrochloride
  • Tenuate
  • Tenuate Dospan

Dosage Forms

Excipient information presented when available (limited, particularly for generics); consult specific product labeling.

Tablet, Oral, as hydrochloride:

Generic: 25 mg

Tablet Extended Release 24 Hour, Oral, as hydrochloride:

Generic: 75 mg

Pharmacologic Category

  • Anorexiant
  • Central Nervous System Stimulant
  • Sympathomimetic


Diethylpropion is a sympathomimetic amine with pharmacologic properties similar to the amphetamines. It is also structurally similar to bupropion. The mechanism of action in reducing appetite appears to be secondary to CNS effects, including stimulation of the hypothalamus to release norepinephrine


Forms active metabolites via N-dealkylation and reduction



Half-Life Elimination

Aminoketone metabolites: ∼4-6 hours

Use: Labeled Indications

Short-term (few weeks) adjunct in the management of exogenous obesity

Pharmacotherapy for weight loss is recommended only for obese patients with a body mass index ≥30 kg/m2, or ≥27 kg/m2 in the presence of other risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes, and/or dyslipidemia or a high waist circumference; therapy should be used in conjunction with a comprehensive weight management program.


Hypersensitivity or idiosyncrasy to diethylpropion or other sympathomimetic amines; advanced arteriosclerosis, severe hypertension; pulmonary hypertension; hyperthyroidism; glaucoma; agitated states, history of drug abuse; during or within 14 days following MAO inhibitor therapy, concurrent use with other anorectic agents

Dosing: Adult

Obesity (short-term adjunct): Oral:

Immediate release: 25 mg 3 times daily

Controlled release: 75 mg once daily at midmorning

Dosing: Geriatric

Refer to adult dosing.

Dosing: Pediatric

Children >16 years: Refer to adult dosing.

Dosing: Renal Impairment

No dosage adjustment provided in manufacturer’s labeling; use with caution.

Dosing: Hepatic Impairment

No dosage adjustment provided in manufacturer’s labeling.


Dose should not be administered in evening or at bedtime.

Immediate release: Administer 1 hour before meals.

Controlled release: Do not crush tablet; administer at midmorning.

Dietary Considerations

Most effective when combined with a low calorie diet and behavior modification counseling. Take immediate release tablet 1 hour before meals or food.


Store at room temperature, below 30°C (86°F).

Drug Interactions

Acebrophylline: May enhance the stimulatory effect of CNS Stimulants. Avoid combination

Alcohol (Ethyl): May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Diethylpropion. Monitor therapy

AtoMOXetine: May enhance the hypertensive effect of Sympathomimetics. AtoMOXetine may enhance the tachycardic effect of Sympathomimetics. Monitor therapy

Cannabinoid-Containing Products: May enhance the tachycardic effect of Sympathomimetics. Exceptions: Cannabidiol. Monitor therapy

Cocaine: May enhance the hypertensive effect of Sympathomimetics. Management: Consider alternatives to use of this combination when possible. Monitor closely for substantially increased blood pressure or heart rate and for any evidence of myocardial ischemia with concurrent use. Consider therapy modification

Doxofylline: Sympathomimetics may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Doxofylline. Monitor therapy

Iobenguane I 123: Sympathomimetics may diminish the therapeutic effect of Iobenguane I 123. Avoid combination

MAO Inhibitors: May enhance the hypertensive effect of Diethylpropion. Avoid combination

Sympathomimetics: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of other Sympathomimetics. Monitor therapy

Adverse Reactions

Frequency not defined.

Cardiovascular: Cardiac arrhythmia, cerebrovascular accident, ECG changes, heart valve disease, hypertension, palpitations, tachycardia

Central nervous system: Anxiety, depression, dizziness, drowsiness, dysphoria, euphoria, headache, insomnia, jitteriness, malaise, nervousness, overstimulation, precordial pain, psychosis, restlessness, seizure

Dermatologic: Alopecia, diaphoresis, ecchymoses, erythema, skin rash, urticaria

Endocrine & metabolic: Changes in libido, gynecomastia, menstrual disease

Gastrointestinal: Abdominal distress, constipation, diarrhea, dysgeusia, nausea, vomiting, xerostomia

Genitourinary: Dysuria, impotence

Hematologic & oncologic: Agranulocytosis, bone marrow depression, leukopenia

Neuromuscular & skeletal: Dyskinesia, myalgia, tremor

Ophthalmic: Blurred vision, mydriasis

Renal: Polyuria

Respiratory: Dyspnea, pulmonary hypertension

Miscellaneous: Tachyphylaxis


Concerns related to adverse effects:

• CNS effects: Amphetamines may impair the ability to engage in potentially hazardous activities (eg, driving or operating machinery).

• Heart failure: In a scientific statement from the American Heart Association, diethylpropion has been determined to be an agent that may cause direct myocardial toxicity (magnitude: major) (AHA [Page 2016]).

• Primary pulmonary hypertension (PPH): A rare, frequently fatal disease of the lungs, PPH has been found to occur with increased frequency in patients receiving some anorexigens, including diethylpropion; use of anorexigens for >3 months has been associated with a 23-fold increase in risk of pulmonary hypertension. If the patient develops signs or symptoms of pulmonary hypertension (eg, exertional dyspnea, angina, syncope, lower extremity edema), discontinue use immediately and evaluate.

• Valvular heart disease: The use of some anorexigens, including diethylpropion, has been associated with the development of valvular heart disease. The risk may be increased with extended use, higher than recommended doses, or concomitant use with other anorexigens. Avoid stimulants in patients with known serious structural cardiac abnormalities, cardiomyopathy, serious heart rhythm abnormalities, or other serious cardiac problems that could increase the risk of sudden death that these conditions alone carry.

Disease-related concerns:

• Diabetes: Use with caution in patients with diabetes mellitus; antidiabetic agent requirements may be altered with anorexigens and concomitant dietary restrictions.

• Hypertension: Use with caution in patients with hypertension and other cardiovascular conditions that might be exacerbated by increases in blood pressure or heart rate; avoid use in patients with severe hypertension.

• Psychiatric disorders: Use with caution in patients with preexisting psychosis or bipolar disorder (may induce mixed/manic episode). May exacerbate symptoms of behavior and thought disorder in psychotic patients; new-onset psychosis or mania may occur with stimulant use; observe for symptoms of aggression and/or hostility.

• Seizure disorders: Avoid or use with caution in patients with history of seizure disorders (Apovian, 2015).

• Tourette's syndrome: Use with caution in patients with Tourette's syndrome; stimulants may unmask tics.

Concurrent drug therapy issues:

• Anorexigens: Safety and efficacy have not been established for use with other weight loss medications, including over-the-counter or herbal products. Not recommended for use in patients who have used other anorectic agents within the past year.

• Sedatives: Effects may be potentiated when used with other sedative drugs or ethanol.

Special populations:

• Elderly: Use caution in this age group due to the risk for causing dependence, hypertension, angina, and myocardial infarction.

Other warnings/precautions:

• Abuse potential: Diethylpropion is pharmacologically related to the amphetamines, which have a high abuse potential; prolonged use may lead to dependency. Prescriptions should be written for the smallest quantity consistent with good patient care to minimize possibility of overdose.

• Discontinuation of therapy: Abrupt discontinuation following high doses or for prolonged periods may result in symptoms for withdrawal. Discontinue if satisfactory weight loss has not occurred within the first 4 weeks of treatment, or if tolerance develops.

Monitoring Parameters

Baseline cardiac evaluation (for preexisting valvular heart disease, pulmonary hypertension); echocardiogram during therapy; weight, waist circumference, blood pressure; renal function in elderly patients

Pregnancy Risk Factor


Pregnancy Considerations

Adverse events have not been observed in animal reproduction studies. Crosses the human placenta; spontaneous reports of congenital malformations have been reported, but an association with diethylpropion has not been established. Withdrawal symptoms may occur in the neonate following maternal use of diethylpropion.

Patient Education

• Discuss specific use of drug and side effects with patient as it relates to treatment. (HCAHPS: During this hospital stay, were you given any medicine that you had not taken before? Before giving you any new medicine, how often did hospital staff tell you what the medicine was for? How often did hospital staff describe possible side effects in a way you could understand?)

• Patient may experience dry mouth, lack of appetite, insomnia, bad taste, constipation, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, agitation, tremors, or abdominal pain. Have patient report immediately to prescriber signs of severe cerebrovascular disease (change in strength on one side is greater than the other, difficulty speaking or thinking, change in balance, or vision changes), angina, tachycardia, abnormal heartbeat, behavioral changes, mood changes, severe dizziness, passing out, severe anxiety, severe headache, vision changes, sexual dysfunction, decreased libido, chills, pharyngitis, bruising, bleeding, seizures, shortness of breath, swelling of arms or legs, abnormal movements, severe loss of strength and energy, enlarged breasts (males), or dysmenorrhea (HCAHPS).

• Educate patient about signs of a significant reaction (eg, wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat). Note: This is not a comprehensive list of all side effects. Patient should consult prescriber for additional questions.

Intended Use and Disclaimer: Should not be printed and given to patients. This information is intended to serve as a concise initial reference for healthcare professionals to use when discussing medications with a patient. You must ultimately rely on your own discretion, experience and judgment in diagnosing, treating and advising patients.