Phen-fen was a combination of two medicines, Phentermine and Pondimin (fenfluramine). Also, a derivative of fenfluramine called Redux (dexfenfluramine) was sometimes used.

Current studies show the following:

Patients who took fenfleuramine or dexfenfluramine have a 5.4% risk of developing heart valve abnormalities. Obese patients have a 4.8% risk of having the heart valve abnormalities whether they took the medicines or not.

We now know the problem was caused by the fenfluramine medicines overstimulating serotonin receptors (specifically the 5 HTP 2B) on the heart valves causing thickening of the valves.

Phentermine, Tenuate, Phendimetrazine, Avandia, Actos, Glucophage, Zenical, Meridia, all the medicines we may use do not work in the serotonin system and therefore are at no risk to develop the same problem that fenfluramines caused.

Sometimes patients are started on or are already taking a class of medicines called SSRI’s or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. These are antidepressants such as Prozac, Celexa, and others. Current studies suggest these medicines do not affect the serotonin receptors on the heart valves. Dr. Rader along with other physicians have publishes a paper in medical literature to show any risk of phentermine class medicines and SSRI meds are extremely low.

If you have any questions or if your primary MD has any questions, we are happy to help answer or help you in any manner possible.

With over half-a-million pounds lost and counting, Idaho Weight Loss offers safe and effective ways to lose weight affordably. Call us at 208.343.3652 (Boise office), 208.420.9310 (Twin Falls office) and 208.739.5679 (Fruitland office) or fill out our online Request an Appointment form to schedule your consultation with us.