According to many, phentermine is the most popular prescription diet medication in America. It is a pharmaceutical weight loss tablet and not without risk and availability issues. With this in mind we look at some of the over the counter alternatives.
A Guide to Phentermine and OTC Alternatives
This article is about Phentermine and its relation to weight loss. There are natural alternatives available that can provide weight loss benefits and we recommend you explore this avenue (natural) before taking anything of a chemical nature.
Phentermine is a prescription medication used for treating obesity. It’s sold under a variety of different brand names.
It belongs to a class of drugs known as “anorectics”, but its a name the average person is unlikely to encounter. Substances of this type are generally referred to as appetite suppressants.
Phentermine is the most commonly prescribed weight management medication in the United States. It’s held that position for nearly 60 years.
It’s also one of the most sought after weight control products in the world. Many people who want to lose weight see it as the holy grail of weight loss.
In reality, it’s very few people qualify for a prescription. In order to be eligible to use this medication, people need to be extremely obese.
Because the restrictions make it unavailable to most dieters via conventional channels, a lot of people try to obtain it illegally. This is a foolhardy practice.
The restrictions are there for a reason. Phentermine can be addictive. It’s also capable of causing a range of nasty side effects, some of them dangerous. Its use requires correct medical supervision.
A lot of people who seek it out are aware of the negative aspects it can present, but try to obtain it anyway.
Dieters who succeed in obtaining it illegally are risking their health unnecessarily.
Phentermine is not a magic pill. Not everyone who uses it will lose weight. As with any other weight loss aid, it has to be used alongside a low-calorie diet and an exercise regime or sorts.
Why is Phentermine So Popular?
It’s hard to say why this particular medication is so popular. In reality, very few products are approved for use within the healthcare system. It could be the fact that doctors are permitted to prescribe it gives it extra credibility.
It’s also possible that people have friends or relatives who have lost weight using Phentermine and see this as being solely due its prowess.
However, the reality is the people who do lose weight with Phentermine will do so due to their diet. The medication may help them achieve this but only by keeping their hunger under control.
Losing weight is hard. It requires determination and commitment. Many dieters are more interested in finding a short cut or a way to cheat. None exist, but the quest for an easy way to lose weight may play a big part in its popularity.
Why Appetite Suppression Is Important
Medicines and supplements that provide appetite suppression tackle the hunger that can make weight loss such hard work.
Although many of the best dietary supplements combine appetite suppression with other abilities that can accelerate fat loss, Phentermine does not.
However, appetite suppression is very important. When you are trying to lose weight, hunger can be a powerful foe.
Apart from being extremely unpleasant, hunger can be very distracting. When your attention is constantly being drawn to a nagging stomach it makes other things in life more difficult.
A lot of dieters cannot stand this constant battle with hunger and simply throw in the towel. By controlling hunger, appetite suppressants support existing efforts to eat less. They are supportive, not active.
Any weight loss will be due to the low-calorie diet and eating appetite suppressing foods, not the pills. By suppressing appetite, the pills only make it easier to eat less.
How a Low-Calorie Diet Works
A low-calorie diet is a diet that contains so few calories the body does not have enough to fuel its needs. This forces it to begin burning the energy it stored as fat when the daily calorie intake was too high instead of too low.
How Phentermine Compares to Other Appetite Suppressants
When used alongside a low-calorie diet, Phentermine can help dieters stick with the program and get the job done. But so can many natural appetite suppressants.
There is no evidence to show the hunger-reducing ability is superior to natural alternatives.
Although natural products that provide hunger control are easy to buy, Phentermine is not. In the USA and most other countries of the world, If you don’t have a prescription you cannot buy it. At least not via legal channels.
In the UK it’s not available at all. British regulatory bodies don’t feel the benefits it offers are sufficient to justify the risks it can present to the health. So it’s not something doctors in the UK are allowed to prescribe.
In the countries where Phentermine is available as a prescription medication, it’s still incredibly hard to obtain.
The laws in most countries only permit doctors to prescribe to patients who have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or higher.
If the patients in question have other health issues that may be aggravated by their obesity, the law usually permits doctors to issue a prescription to people with a BMI of 25+, but that’s as far as the flexibility goes.
Does Not Provide Ongoing Support
It’s also worth noting that it is not deemed suitable for long-term use. The maximum prescription period is just 12 weeks.
In reality, many patients do not use for that long. If the prescribing doctor does not notice any improvement in condition the prescription stops.
Twelve weeks is not long. Phentermine is not something that can offer dieters long-term support.
The best natural appetite suppressing ingredients can offer that kind of ongoing support. Furthermore, they can do so without risk of addiction or side effects.
How Does Phentermine Work
There a few different ways appetite suppression is made possible.
For instance, glucomannan is a water-soluble fiber that swells inside the stomach and makes it feel full.
Certain other ingredients, such as nopal cactus extract, also work by creating a feeling of satiety.
Phentermine influences appetite in a very different way. After it enters the blood, it causes the body to go into a state of fight or flight.
Flight or Flight: The Good and Bad
Fight or flight is a stress reaction. The body falls into this state naturally during times of danger.
By initiating a number of chemical and hormonal changes, it preps the body to fight hard or flee the scene of danger as quickly as possible. It’s a survival mechanism.
Around 30 different hormones are released during fight or flight .
This flood of hormones causes numerous specific psychological, physiological, and emotional changes that make the body more capable of dealing with the perceived threat.
One of the things the fight or flight hormones do is suppress appetite. This is not so strange when you think about it. In a life or death situation, a nagging stomach could be a fatal distraction.
Other changes fight or flight brings about include:
- Dilated pupils
- Faster heart rate
- Higher blood pressure
- Higher blood glucose
Again, when you think about it these changes make sense.
Dilated pupils allow the eyes to see the “danger zone” more clearly. The other changes help prep the muscles for the extra exertion to come.
So, one of the things the flight or flight does is take away the distraction of hunger. However, as you can see, it does a lot more as well.
Experts at Harvard University claim activating this survival mechanism can impair the health. 
Phentermine places the body into such a state for long periods of time, so it’s not surprising that people using it can be hit by so many different side effects.
Does it Cause Side Effects?
The range and intensity of side effects experienced will vary from one user to the next. Those who are really lucky may encounter little or no side effects at all.
Unfortunately, some of the side effects can be extremely dangerous. That’s why the correct medical supervision is so important.
When doctors feel the risks presented are too great they stop the prescription.
Drinking alcohol while using the medication is inadvisable. Doing so will only serve to increases the likelihood of side effects.
On a chemical level, Phentermine is very similar to amphetamine and poses a similar threat of addiction.
What is the History
The American FDA approved Phentermine for use as an appetite suppressant in 1959. It was later combined with fenfluramine or dexfenfluramine and marketed under the name Fen-Phen.
The addition of the other drugs was intended to increase fat burning capabilities. The combination caused a number of health issues. At the request of the FDA, the manufacturer took Fen-Phen off the market in 1997.
Phentermine continues to be available in the USA and most other countries of the world.
Phentermine is available under a number of different brand names.
The most common brands are:
Potency Options and Dosage
Prior to 2016, it was only available in 15 mg, 30 mg, and 37.5 mg versions. However, in 2016 the FDA approved an 8mg tablet version called Lomaira.
All the higher potency versions are only taken once per day, one to two hours after breakfast.
Because it provides a lower dose, Lomaira can be taken up to three times per day, 30 minutes before meals.
Affect on the Diet Pill Market
The addictive nature and potential to cause side effects has created a market for safer options.
Many supplement manufacturers have tried to cater for this market. Some of the options available are very good. Others either don’t work or fail to live up to the promise of weight loss without side effects.
Whatever the motives behind the creation of such products, the supplement market is flooded with “Phen” type diet pills.
In reality, the best ones can outperform the drug they are meant to replace. They do so by providing a broader range of benefits though. They do not rely on appetite suppression alone.
Why Phentermine Alternatives Could Be a Better Choice
Phentermine only suppresses the appetite. It does not boost the metabolism or offer support in additional areas.
This is an anti obesity tablet created over 60 years ago. Back then it may have been a big cheese but there was not a lot of other options available.
During the last few decades, supplement technology has improved in leaps and bounds.
There are some incredibly potent and advanced diet pills available. The best ones even have a money back guarantee. Try getting one of those with a prescription medication. It’s simply not going to happen.
Nobody’s saying this blast from the past does not work. It does what it’s supposed to do and provides results for most users—though not all.
The problem is the risk of addiction and side effects makes it one of the less desirable options.
Due to the dangers it presents, the risks often outweigh any benefit it may provide. That’s why most people cannot get a prescription.
At best, those who can obtain a prescription only get a helping hand for the first few steps of their weight loss journey. After a maximum of 12 weeks, they are on their own.
Hopefully, during the prescription period, they will have been able to go some way towards developing healthier eating habits. If they have not they are back to square one.
Thanks to the aforementioned advances in supplement technology, there are safer options available.
Options that offer a greater and more varied level of support and can go on doing so for as long as each individual dieter needs.
Some Good OTC Phentermine Alternatives
Here are some alternatives that can be bought over the counter without a prescription. All of the products below are natural and safe to use.
When a diet pill helps more than 190,000 people to lose weight during its first three years on the market, someone somewhere has got something right. That’s exactly what happened with PhenQ.
PhenQ contains a powerful combination of natural ingredients that provides dieters with an unrivaled level of support.
The formulation provides appetite suppression and accelerates fat burning. It also provides its users with extra energy and even elevates the mood.
Apart from being one of the best Phentermine alternatives, it’s also one of the most respected weight loss pills in the world.
Anyone looking for a safe Phentermine alternative won’t find a better option than PhenQ. It’s powerful, it gets the job done, and it’s backed by a 60-day money back guarantee.
This diet pill may not have been around as long as the drug it’s meant to replace, but it’s been on the market or longer than any of other top alternatives.
Phentaslim slim helps people get slim by combining Phentermine-like appetite suppression with powerful fat burning. It boosts energy and helps in other important areas as well.
Customer reviews show Phentermine is capable of providing very credible levels of weight loss in a safe and natural way. There are no known side effects but there is a 60-day money back guarantee.
Although it’s one of the first substitutes to hit the market, Phentaslim continues to be one of the best and should never be dismissed due to a belief it may be too long in the tooth.
Phen375 is another popular Phentermine alternative sold with a 60-day money back guarantee. Like Phentaslim, this one has been around for a while.
Since its launch, over a decade ago, it’s helped a crazy number of people to lose weight.
The range of benefits it offers is not that different to those of Phentaslim. The manufacturer states Phen375 suppresses hunger and helps people to lose weight and customer reviews suggest the same.
Dieters who buy this product also get a lot of extra support. Instead of just providing their customers with a bottle of pills and leaving it at that, the manufacturer also provides meal plans and exercise videos.
So, instead of being just a run-of-the-mill Phentermine alternative, Phen375 is more of a weight loss package.
Phen24 is a Phentermine substitute product with a difference. It’s a big difference as well. Phen24 is a two-part weight loss system that consists of two separate products.
On pill provides daytime support, the other works at night. Together they provide 24-hour weight loss support. Hence the name Phen24.
Phen24 controls hunger and helps people to burn extra calories and fat. The formulation is also designed to increase energy levels. More than 90,000 dieters say the product delivers the goods.
Apart from the fact that two formulations are involved, Phen24 differs from other Phentermine substitutes in another important way. The nighttime formula also contains ingredients that promote better quality sleep.
Some users complain it makes them feel angry. However, a problem of this nature is more likely to come into play if you use alongside other medications.
This is a matter you would need to discuss with your doctor.
There are reports of this happening, but the scientists have yet to determine the mechanisms involved.
This is a common problem after ceasing usage. The exact cause if not understood.
It used to be available via prescription, but it was pulled from the market in 2000.
Regulatory bodies made the decision based on the findings of a European Commission safety review. Officials felt the risks to the heart were too great and the level of benefit too small. 
Possibly, but the side effect is seldom listed. This largely due to the fact that any hair loss could also be the result of nutritional deficiencies due to dieting.
The maximum prescription period is 12 weeks, but doctors do not always prescribe the drug for that long.
As with any other medication, you have to take according to the instructions provided by your doctor.
Most forms of the drug are taken in the morning. Lomaira is generally taken three times per day, but your doctor is unlikely to advise you to take it too late at night. Phentermine is a stimulant that may interfere with sleep.
Using with alcohol is inadvisable. It increases the chance of side effects and may endanger the health.
Alcohol is also a source of useless calories. If you are used to drinking it regularly it may be one of the reasons you gained weight. So apart from presenting an increased danger of side effects, drinking alcohol would also be counterproductive.
Exercise always helps with weight loss. Depending on your present state of health and any limitations that may apply, your doctor may make exercise recommendations. You should follow these recommendations because it will improve your chances of success.
It may be possible, but doing so would be unwise unless your doctor tells you this is okay
This is a side effect that some men experience, but others do not. As with any other medication, it can affect people in different ways.