Phentermine for ADHD: Does It Work And Is It Approved?

In this blog, we will explore the symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and understand whether phentermine, a drug primarily used for weight loss, can be used to treat ADHD. Keep reading to find out!.
Frederika Malichová

Frederika Malichová

Neuroscientist at the University Of Cambridge.

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Phentermine and ADHD Treatment

There is no scientific evidence suggesting the potential of Phentermine to treat ADHD. However, although there is ongoing research, current scientific literature does not conclusively establish phentermine as a treatment for ADHD. For ADHD treatment, it is best recommended to either use stimulant or non-stimulant drugs.

What Is ADHD?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder affecting both children and adults [1, 2].

People with ADHD show symptoms like difficulties with focusing, hyperactivity, impulsivity, or problems with doing just a singular task [2, 3]. Such individuals may have problems at work or school as the disease may impair educational achievement and also social development [2, 3].

Another symptom of ADHD is excessive impulsivity which may trigger problems with your peers as well as contribute to difficulties with work or school [1, 3].

Typically, ADHD is diagnosed in children and lasts into adulthood. However, sometimes people who don’t get diagnosed with ADHD as kids may get diagnosed as adults [4].

It is one of the most common mental disorders [5, 6, 7]. The American Psychiatric Association estimated 2-5% of the adult population in the US to have ADHD [3, 8].

People Also Ask

Alternative treatments for ADHD include neurofeedback, homeopathy, herbal medicines, iron supplements, dietary modifications or supplements, essential oils, omega-3 fatty acids, meditation, yoga, acupuncture, massage, and chiropractic care. However, the efficacy of these treatments varies, and more research is needed to determine their effectiveness and safety. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any alternative treatment for ADHD. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11]

Phentermine is an appetite suppressant that helps with weight loss. It primarily works by increasing the release of certain chemicals in the brain that control appetite. It can also increase heart rate and blood pressure. Common side effects include dry mouth, insomnia, and changes in mood. Rarely, it can cause more serious side effects such as pulmonary hypertension and valvular heart disease. It is important to use phentermine under the guidance of a healthcare professional. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]

What Is Phentermine?

Phentermine is a prescription drug [9]. It belongs to the group of drugs known as anorectics.

Phentermine works by increasing the release of chemicals in the brain to help reduce appetite. This leads to a decrease in food intake and thereby aiding in weight loss [9].

Normally, it is used as an appetite suppressant aiding in weight loss in individuals who are overweight or obese or have health risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes [9].

Phentermine being a prescription drug, its use needs to be closely monitored by healthcare professionals.

In addition to having phentermine prescribed, changes in lifestyles like low-calorie diet, exercise, and behavioral changes promoting weight loss should also be implemented [9].

Phentermine is accessible in various forms like oral capsule, an oral tablet, or an orally disintegrating tablet. Additionally, it is also available as a generic drug under a brand name Adipex-P [9].

Can We Use Phentermine To Treat ADHD?

The choice of medication for ADHD should be personalized based on individual’s physiological markers [10]. However, phentermine is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat ADHD.

Typically, ADHD is treated with either stimulants or non-stimulant medications [11, 12, 13]. In some rare cases, antidepressants can be used using noradrenaline or dopamine enhancers [13].

Stimulant medications used to treat ADHD include amphetamines such as lisdexamfetamine [12, 13] and methylphenidate [14, 15].

From non-stimulant medications, atomoxetine, clonidine extended-release, and guanfacine extended-release are also used to treat ADHD [11].

In summary, phentermine is not an approved or recommended medication for the treatment of ADHD. The standard pharmacological treatments for ADHD include stimulants like methylphenidate and amphetamines, as well as non-stimulant options like atomoxetine.

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Frederika Malichová

Frederika Malichová

Frederika is a postgraduate researcher at the University of Cambridge, where she investigates new biomarkers for Frontotemporal Dementia and other tauopathies. Her research has been published at prestigious conferences such as the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference 2023. She obtained her BSc in Biomedical Sciences from UCL, where she worked closely with the UK Dementia Research Institute.