With a lack of medical research and reported side effects, is Duromine a safe phentermine alternative?

duromineDuromine is a controlled C5 drug, available on prescription in Australia and New Zealand. Its generic name is phentermine and is licensed to be used for the short term treatment of obesity.

Manufactured and distributed by iNova Pharmaceuticals, in 2002 the European Commission withdrew the license for the distribution of Duromine, followed by the FDA in the US in 2010 due to the lack of medical research showing its efficacy and safety.

It is a slow release form of phentermine, its resin coating means the drug dissolves slowly in the bloodstream so the effects last all day. Duromine is prescribed as part of a weight management plan to instigate rapid, considerable weight loss.

Forms and Dosage

Duromine is available in three strengths in Australia, 15mg, 30mg and 40mg and just the two lower strengths in New Zealand. In capsule form the 15mg capsules are grey and green with ‘Duromine 15’ marked on them; the 30mg are grey and reddish brown marked ‘Duromine 30’; and the 40mg are grey and orange and marked ‘Duromine 40.’

All Duromine capsules are available in packs of 30s or packs of 7, and are licensed to be used for a maximum of 12 weeks, but the average course of treatment is between 3-6 weeks. One capsule should be taken daily before or within two hours of breakfast.

Conditions of Prescription

Duromine is licensed to be prescribed to treat obesity where the patient’s BMI is 27 or above and where there is a higher than normal medical risk of high cholesterol, blood pressure or diabetes. All other weight reduction options must have been fully explored before Duromine is prescribed, as it is seen as a last resort due to its risks to health and side effects.

Doctor-writing-a-prescriptionA full medical consultation based on the patient’s weight, age and medical condition will allow the doctor to determine which dose should be prescribed and for how long.

The benefits of the three strengths of Duromine allows the doctor to start the patient on the lower dose with fewer health risks and side effects, and only increase the strength if the patient is unresponsive.

The 40mg dose is the strongest prescription dose of phentermine anywhere in the world, and is intended for only the most severe cases of obesity where health and quality of life is severely compromised if significant, immediate weight loss is not achieved.

What does Duromine contain?

The active ingredient in Duromine is phentermine, part of the sympathomimetic amines class of drugs known as anoretics when used as a treatment of obesity. The resin coating means Duromine also contains lactose, liquid parafin, magnesium stearate, gelatine, titanium dioxide, iron oxide black and different colourings depending on the dose.

Duromine’s slow release formula means that the risks of side effects are slightly lower than with immediate release formulas, and is more suitable for those with stomach sensitivities or who have had adverse reactions to immediate release forms of phentermine.

Due to the addictiveness of phentermine, the lower dose poses a slightly lower risk of withdrawal, as phentermine is known to create withdrawal effects similar to some of its side effects when treatment is stopped.

How exactly does Duromine work?

Duromine, like all phentermine drugs, is intended to initiate rapid weight loss which can then be continued through a healthy eating and exercise plan.

The strong appetite suppressing qualities of Duromine mean that it can positively affect the eating habits in those where uncontrolled portion control has led to obesity and a sedentary lifestyle.

Even a short term reduction in appetite will help shrink the stomach, allowing for long term reduction in calorific intake, which when coupled with increased activity will lead to a positive cycle of weight loss and general improvements in health.

Duromine is not suitable for those with high blood pressure, heart disease, thyroid problems, alcohol or drug dependencies, psychiatric illness or glaucoma, pregnant and nursing women and the under 12s. Prescription from 12 onwards does allow Duromine to be used in severe cases of adolescent obesity.

Duromine can react with certain medications including migraine, cold remedies, thyroid hormones, high blood pressure medication, MAOI inhibiters and other medication for depression and mental illness. The medical consultation will assess the suitability of taking Duromine with any of these other medications.

Continued Medical Supervision

Once the length of treatment has been established, the doctor will monitor the patient to assess responsiveness to the drug and to alter the dose if necessary.

Side effects of Duromine are similar to other phentermine drugs (see the full list here) and include feeling more awake than usual, trouble sleeping, heart palpitations, raised blood pressure, chest pain, restlessness, extremes of mood, tiredness, nervousness, shaking, headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, constipation, stomach cramps, difficulty breathing, fainting, swelling, skin rashes or impotence.

Any instances of these side effects need to be reported to the doctor as soon as possible. The course of treatment will be terminated in a controlled fashion to limit withdrawal symptoms; the higher the dose of Duromine the more control will need to be extended.

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