Here at phentermine.com, we hear a lot of current phentermine users wondering if it’s okay to change phentermine pills mid-treatment. Whether you’re thinking about switching from brand name to generic, capsules to tablets or between individual brands, it can be confusing to understand the differences. Here we’ll explain a little about the distinctions between individual phentermine pills and what you should think about before making a change. Regardless, your prescribing doctor and pharmacist should be highly-involved in any possible phentermine change mid-treatment. Keep reading to find out why!
Adipex to Generic Phentermine (or Vice Versa)
One of the most popular phentermine changes is from brand-name Adipex-P (often called just “Adipex”) to generic phentermine HCl tablets. This is a common switch because the pills are practically identical and generic phentermine is significantly cheaper. Based on recent estimates, a 30-day supply of Adipex-P costs about $75-90 (USD), while that same quantity of generic phentermine tablets costs around $20-35 (USD). So, if you’re paying out-of-pocket, generic phentermine is definitely the more economical option.
However, some people also switch back from generic phentermine 37.5 tablets to Adipex-P because they feel that the Adipex worked better for them. How can this be the case if both pills have identical active ingredients? The answer could involve inactive ingredients.
For the FDA to consider a generic an alternative to a brand-name drug, the generic medication must prove “bioequivalent” to its brand-name counterpart. So, the generic drug must have the same active ingredient, use, form (e.g. tablet vs. capsule), strength, dosage and route of administration. Generics are also held to the same high standards of quality in manufacturing, packaging and testing. Generic drugs can, however, have different colors, shapes, labels and inactive ingredients. Inactive ingredients include binding agents (fillers), flavors, dyes and preservatives.
Medical professionals agree that there’s no notable difference between brand-name and generic versions of the same medication. Still, some patients report that one or the other works better for them – be it the generic or the brand-name version. This effect may be related to how your body in particular interacts with the inactive ingredients contained within the pill, and in turn the utilizes the medication. Although it’s not proven exactly why, it’s definitely not unheard of to prefer one version over the other.
Qsymia to Phentermine (or Vice Versa)
Another common phentermine change is to switch between Qsymia and straight phentermine. Qsymia is appealing because it’s approved for longer-term use and many users experience significant weight loss, but some worry about the side effects or don’t like taking two separate pills. As a result, it’s common for phentermine users to wonder about switching back and forth between Qsymia and phentermine.
Qsymia is a combination of phentermine and topiramate. Phentermine suppresses appetite and boosts energy, while topiramate (originally an anti-seizure/anti-migraine medication) makes food less palatable and promotes fullness. The combined pill is available in four different doses. Patients on the lowest possible dose, and then gradually increase daily dosage. Qsymia (as a single pill) is not currently available as a generic, but some doctors will prescribe generic phentermine and topiramate together if you would prefer a cheaper alternative. Unfortunately, this means you would be taking two pills instead of just one.
Under a doctor’s supervision, Qsymia can be taken for longer than 12 weeks, unlike phentermine. Still, that doesn’t mean Qsymia is risk-free. Serious potential side effects of Qsymia include rapid heart rate, suicidal thoughts, eye damage, kidney problems and increased risk of birth defects (cleft palate) if taken while pregnant. Less serious reactions are similar to those caused by phentermine alone. Despite these side effects, many users report very positive results and experiences with Qsymia.
If you’re already taking Qsymia and considering a switch off, remember that this medication should not be stopped abruptly. Due to the inclusion of topiramate, it can cause seizures if you quit taking a high dose of Qsymia all of a sudden.
Whether you’re interested in switching from phentermine to Qsymia or vice versa, it’s important that you speak with your doctor and pharmacist. If you’re approaching the 12-week mark of treatment, now may be the perfect time discuss a phentermine change with your doctor. The three-month mark is a suggested evaluation point for doctors prescribing Qsymia, as well as the maximum approved treatment period for phentermine. So, if your twelve weeks are almost up, it could be a good time to bring up your interest in changing phentermine treatment.
Tablets to Capsules (or Vice Versa)
The final category of popular mid-treatment switches is from tablets to capsules, or vice versa. While tablets are widely-popular among new users, some people prefer capsules as they progress through their phentermine treatment.
The most popular phentermine tablets are white ovals with blue specks and a scored line across the middle. Tablets are available in either 8mg (e.g. Lomaira) or 37.5mg (e.g. Adipex-P) doses. Phentermine is formulated as extended-release tablets so that the medication’s effects are felt all day. However, as a result of this formulation, tablets are not always completely absorbed. The possibility of expelling un-absorbed phentermine is a disadvantage of taking tablets. On the other hand, tablets are cheaper to make so they’re usually cheaper to buy. They’re also uniform and scored in the middle, so you can break them in half if you would like. For this reason, tablets are popular with new users since you can easily take a half (or lower) dose while your body adjusts to the medication.
Phentermine capsules are available in a wider variety of dosages and colors. Generic phentermine capsules com in 15mg, 30mg or 37.5mg doses, each in a different color. Qsymia also comes in capsules. One benefit of capsules is that many people think they are easier to swallow than tablets. Also, the capsule’s exterior is dissolved in your stomach to release the interior contents. As a result, the phentermine in capsules is generally more fully absorbed than the same medication contained in tablets. Still, capsules are also made with substances to ensure that the phentermine is released over time and remains effective all day. Unfortunately, capsules cost more to manufacture and that cost is passed on to the consumer, so capsules are typically more expensive.
If you’re thinking about switching between tablets and capsules, consider the available dosages and how your body uses the different pills. Even though the active ingredient is the same (assuming you remain on unmixed phentermine), tablets and capsules are digested and absorbed differently. For this reason, it’s likely that you would feel different on tablets vs. capsules – even if the doses were identical.
Change Phentermine Brands
You may also consider a change between other phentermine brands. For example, some people prefer generic tablets at the beginning, but then switch to Suprenza later in treatment. Although a 30-day supply of Suprenza is significantly more expensive, if you have trouble swallowing pills the orally disintegrating tablet (ODT) that dissolves directly on your tongue may prove appealing.
If you find the 15mg dose too strong, or want to take phentermine three times per day, Lomaira is another option. This relatively-new phentermine tablet comes in an 8mg dose so it’s a good option for people who are highly sensitive to the medication and/or struggle with nighttime cravings.
Regardless of the change in phentermine, you should always speak with your prescribing doctor and pharmacist before taking action. Given the drug’s potency and its status as a controlled substance, it’s important to always take phentermine exactly as prescribed. If you’re interested in changing anything about your pill or your dosage, you need to speak with a medical professional first.
In the end, you need to speak with your prescribing doctor if you would like to change phentermine pills. Don’t hesitate to bring up your interests and concerns at the next appointment. Whether it’s cost, side effects, effectiveness or a combination of various problems, don’t be shy about speaking to your doctor. He or she wants you to succeed in losing weight and it’s much easier to make that happen if you’re being open and honest about your feelings towards phentermine.
If you’re interested in changing phentermine pills, just ask! This is especially true if you walked in and directly requested Adipex (or Qsymia or another weight loss drug) at your initial consultation. It’s surprisingly common for doctors to simply prescribe you the exact brand you asked for – even if a different pill would have worked too. So, if you bring up a change now your doctor has the option to either adjust your prescription or talk to you about why he or she thinks you need to stay on the pill you’re currently taking. Either way, it certainly can’t hurt to ask!
Have you changed phentermine pills mid-treatment? If so, how did you feel and was it worth it? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!