Why You NEED To Take a Break from Phentermine

Why You NEED To Take a Break from Phentermine

Phentermine is the most widely prescribed and frequently encountered weight loss medication on the market, now accounting for more than 50% of prescriptions. 

While phentermine is very useful and effective in assisting weight loss, it is important to remember that it is recommended for short-term use only.

This is because it puts pressure on the heart and can increase blood pressure; plus, it can be addictive and becomes less effective over time as your body becomes accustomed to its effects.

Here we explain more about why phentermine is only prescribed for limited periods of time and the importance of taking a break from phentermine.

Recommended Phentermine Prescription

Phentermine has been available on prescription for the short-term management of obesity since it first received FDA approval in 1959.

It is recommended that phentermine only be prescribed short-term, typically interpreted as up to 12 weeks.

To monitor patients, doctors will insist on monthly consultations, or sometimes even fortnightly or weekly appointments, to check that the patient is losing weight at a healthy rate and is not experiencing side effects or additional problems due to taking phentermine.  

In most cases, if the patient continues to meet the doctor’s criteria and follows the guidelines they have been given, then they will then be provided with a further prescription.

This is often up to a maximum of three months, as is the case in many states across the US, although this time period can vary depending on the specific laws of the state and the practices of doctors within that state.

Following the 12-week prescription, patients are often instructed to take a 4-week break and may then be prescribed phentermine for a further 12-week period if it is deemed necessary.

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How Phentermine Affects the Body

Phentermine is only available on prescription due to being classified as a controlled substance, recognized as having a structure similar to amphetamine.

Like amphetamine, phentermine acts on the central nervous system to stimulate the neuron bundles in our brain, including dopamine, epinephrine (adrenalin), and norepinephrine (noradrenaline).

This causes phentermine to increase alertness and energy levels, reduce hunger and minimize cravings.

For many patients taking phentermine, the initial effects can be quite aggressive, including feeling ‘wired’ and unable to sleep, with little to no appetite and a variety of side effects.

Over time these side effects reduce, as do the effects of appetite suppression and energy boosting. This is because the sustained use of many drugs causes adaptation within the body that tends to lessen the drug’s original effects over time, known as drug tolerance.

Many phentermine users experience a reduction in the effectiveness of the medication over time, which indicates that tolerance is occurring within the body.

As a stimulant, phentermine also causes the heart to work faster as a means to enable the body to work more efficiently.

Over time this can put stress on the heart, which can, in turn, result in symptoms such as chest pains and an increase in blood pressure, amongst other heart-related side effects.

The Importance of Taking a Break

How Phentermine Affects the Body

Due to the addicting nature and side effects that phentermine can produce, it is important that phentermine is used for a limited period, ideally until the patient has established a healthy routine that includes a balanced diet and regular exercise.

Phentermine is a weight loss aid and, therefore, will work only in conjunction with a healthy diet and exercise if long-term weight loss is desired.

When prescribing phentermine, your doctor should also stress the importance of taking this opportunity to use phentermine as a tool to restructure your life into a healthy way of living.

This doesn’t mean a fad diet or working out 3 hours a day; this means changing bad habits for good ones, aiming to eat fresh and clean food, and incorporating more activity into your day in a way that is manageable and sustainable in the long term.

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It is important to stress that phentermine is used to aid weight loss in obese patients and that relying solely on this medication to make you lose weight will only result in long-term disappointment.

Phentermine is prescribed to suppress your appetite on a short-term basis, with three months of continuous use being the maximum advised.

It is the patient’s responsibility to use this pill as a tool to help control appetite while following a sensible diet and exercise program.

If phentermine is taken without any effort to change the lifestyle in other ways, then it is to be expected that weight gain will occur once the phentermine prescription finishes.

To avoid this, while still taking phentermine, you should build yourself up towards the inevitable end of your prescription by using phentermine as a tool to help you achieve a maintainable healthy lifestyle.

As well as eating healthily and exercising, it is important to establish a good sleeping routine and to take time to relax and look after your own well-being and emotional needs to create a balanced routine whereby weight loss can be continued or maintained without phentermine.

A great way to continue this balanced routine is to use a weight loss supplement such as PhenQ to manage the end of your phentermine prescription.

Like phentermine, PhenQ suppresses appetite, reduces cravings, and increases energy, making the withdrawal symptoms of fatigue, low mood, and weight gain less likely.

Furthermore, you will benefit from further assistance with weight loss management, which will extend the likelihood of successfully reaching your weight loss goals following the end of your phentermine prescription.

It is important for patients to take a break from phentermine to avoid withdrawal symptoms as much as possible, as well as to ensure that the body is not put under undue pressure while taking phentermine for extended periods.

Furthermore, phentermine is intended to be a short-term aid to help obesity, which, if used correctly, should ensure long-term weight loss by incorporating healthy lifestyle habits.

During the phentermine break, doctors can also monitor whether patients can continue or sustain weight loss without phentermine, which is key for long-term success following the end of their phentermine prescription.

Are you on your phentermine break? Do you have to take a break soon, or have you taken a break from phentermine recently? If so, we’d love to hear from you if you have any feedback or questions, so please comment below!

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  1. I don’t like the side effects of taking this Med. Will I have withdrawals if I’ve only taken it for 4 days?

    1. Hi Alice,

      That’s highly unlikely since you’ve only been taking the medication for a couple of days. If you are apprehensive about stopping phentermine cold turkey, speak with your doctor. He or she knows your case best and is most suited to help you navigate how to stop taking phentermine.

      Sarah, Phentermine.com

  2. I’ve used phentermine on and off for years with great results. However, the last time I started having issues with high anxiety, resulting in panic attacks. I stopped use for awhile (about 6 months) and started back 4 days ago. I only take a half pill. I noticed on day 4 that my anxiety increased and I’m getting a tingling sensation in my left arm and head. Should I discontinue use?

    1. Hi Kara,

      Thank you for reaching out.

      Please consult with your prescribing doctor. Many phentermine users report that this medication amplifies emotional reactions in all directions. Also, stimulant medications like phentermine can raise heart rate and blood pressure well above normal ranges. Seek immediate medical attention if you show any signs of abnormally high heart rate or blood pressure while taking phentermine.

      You are welcome to join our official Facebook support group so you can connect with other phentermine users today: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1069871763087734

      Best regards,

      Sarah, Phentermine.com

  3. I have been on Phentermine for 6 months and have a prescription for 1 more month only. My doctor says I can take it again in about 5 months. I have lost 38 lbs over the last 6 months. I feel I am already developing a tolerance to it. I am hungrier than at first.

  4. Hey guys.
    I had taken duromine before, years ago and has amazing results. Now I am in month 3 and I have lost nothing at all. I’ll add this time around I do have to take methadone everyday and methadone was a drug that made me become quite overweight in the first place. I’d love some advice because I’m more miserable than I have ever been. 🙁 please help! I’m 26 and wanting the gastric sleeve but that’s a last resort. 🙁

  5. Hi,
    I was on 37.5 mg of Phentermine about 2-2.5 years ago. I went down from 170 to 151 and then stopped losing. I was Ok with my weight at that time since i am very tall.
    Eventually I gained all of it back despite my regular exercising. I just started taking it again. Both times I developed skin rash. Suddenly part of my body gets red and bumpy and half an hour later all gone. is that a normal side effect? Also can i take a break every few days to have a good night sleep and start again?

    1. Hi Susan,

      Perhaps you are having an allergic reaction to some of the inactive ingredients found in the pills. Here we explain more: https://www.phentermine.com/phentermine-side-effects/rash/

      Make a doctor’s appointment if you have any rash that is persistent, severe or worsening.Go to the hospital right away if the rash is on your neck or face, or if your tongue or throat feel itchy.

      Hope that helps! We wish you a speedy recovery.

      Rebeca, Phentermine.com

  6. Does phentermine cause hair loss? I was also on topiramate and I believe it caused hair loss and word finding problems.

    1. Hi Lori 🙂 It’s normal to plateau for a few days, but if your weight won’t budge for multiple weeks at a time, it’s a good idea to chat with your doctor about potentially taking a break from phentermine. Best wishes!
      Rachel, phentermine.com

  7. I have been on Phentermine since Sept 1. My doctor says she will continue to prescribe it for 1 year, at which time I will have to take a 1 month break. Currently I have loss exactly 50LBS which I feel is great since I have only been on it just a little under 4 months. But I am also sticking to a super low carb. My carbs normally stay under 15 carbs per day. And my calories are staying under 1000. For a while my calories were staying around 400, so I am trying to increase that somewhat. I have had absolutely zero side effect from the medication, and feel great. My goal is 50 additional LBS over the next 8 months, which I feel is definitely doable. I am still not up to the full dose of Phentermine, I am at 30 mgs, right now. Hoping to stay at this for a couple more months before maxing out at the 37.5

  8. I’m 42 and my starting weight was 165 lbs. I started Phentermine beginning in September of last year for 4 months taking half of a 37.5mg pill per day. I lost 10lbs I then took two months off with no weight gain and in March of this year started taking Phentermine again. I took the full dose of 37.5 mg until August 3rd. Getting down to148lbs. Unfortunately now that I have been off of it for 4 months I’ve gained all of the weight back. Even with tracking my meals, cutting sugar and reducing carbs. It’s been very frustrating. I was concerned about my health due to the length of time I spent on Phentermine which I guess is total of off and on for about 8 months, so I went to my doctor and I had an EKG done as well as blood test to check my cardiac enzymes and Luckily everything was okay. I have had no long-term side effects from the Phentermine use. However I am still leery of starting it again. I know that I need to do something because my metabolism just will not kick start no matter what I do. Any advice is appreciated.

    1. I would try the HCG diet. The nurse who prescribed it for me said that it works as a reset for the metabolism and that you won’t regain the weight as long as you eat properly in the maintenance phase. I lost 13 pounds doing the 20 day diet and haven’t regained it. I would recommend actually going to a clinic for it rather than ordering it online. I did the diet once with a local clinic and a second time I ordered the hcg online to save money. It was very easy to follow from the local clinic but when I ordered it online I felt too hungry to follow the eating plan. I just started using Phentermine this week because I want to lose more weight before I go on vacation at the end of the month, and it’s too early for me to start hcg again. If I need to lose more weight after this round of Phentermine, I plan to alternate between Phentermine and hcg since they’re both effective but both require you to take breaks.

  9. I’m 56 and lost 38 pounds in 8 months on half a pill a day … tons of water and eating 5 small meals a day mostly proteins and vegetables I ride my bike everyday and some gym time it’s amazing to take this and without it I could not have been so successful.. I took a 2 week break from it because of developing high anxiety and 2 weeks later I restarted it … it’s a wonderful aid to losing weight but use it responsible… and eat and drink water and change your lifestyle and it works incredibly

    1. Hi Lisa, congratulations on your weight loss success with phentermine! Thanks so much for sharing your story 🙂

      Rachel, phentermine.com

  10. I have been on Phentermine off and on over the years . I will say you do need to take breaks from it or it will no longer work as well . I am a gastric bypass patient , and I had weighed 309 back in 2001 after surgery I got down to 156 . But in the last couple years after have a novasure surgery which seems to have put weight on from hormone shift? I have gained back up to 204. I am currently on 37.5 it definitely helps with energy and I’m not hungry at all. But getting ready to take a break from it . This pill will not just melt weight off , you have to do the work ! Exercise, diet , etc . Back in 1996 it was used with another med I think pondumon which worked miracles ! That was until people abused and said it caused heart issues . People obesity causes heart problems , take this medicine responsibley and you will be fine . Had they never pulled it back in 1997 I would have never needed gastric bypass .

  11. I was on 37.5 mg for 3 months..I lost a total of 20 pounds, 194 to 174….I have been on a break for 3 weeks and have not lost or gained any weight… This makes me happy…. I am picking up my new prescription and starting for another 3 months hoping to lose and maintain another 20lbs….I had no withdrawal symptoms the 1st time around so hopefully I won’t this round…

  12. I am on the end of my 4 week break from phentermine 30 mg. I have taken this product one other times in my 57 yrs. I lost 30 pounds over 3 months and had minimal side effects,(sleeplessness and some skin crawling). At 57 I finished 2 months and a week and decided to take my break. I had a few nights of insomnia the first week and then have been fine. My no 1 side effect is dry mouth. I dropped 10 pounds the first week and then have lost another 10 lbs over a month and a half. Slower loss is better. I will be asking my doctor for 2 more months as I would like to lose another 10 lbs and then work on maintaing my weight. During my 4 week break I have maintained all of my weight loss. It is important to know it is not a miracle pill and you have to change your lifestyle to keep the weight off. What works for me may not work for you and vice versa. Keep trying and good luck

    1. Thanks so much for your comment, Bri! Your positive and realistic attitude towards phentermine is awesome 🙂 Keep up the great work!!
      Rachel, phentermine.com

  13. Was taking phentermine for 6 months and decided to stop the withdrawal i do have is anxiety attacks it’s a day by day process from doctor to doctor everything f is fine i just have to work out to lost that extra energy. But I’m NEVER getting on it again ! Very terrified .

  14. I recently had been on Phentermine to help in my weight loss goals. I recently suffered a ministroke and was advised by the hospital doctor to stop taking Phentermine.

  15. I have been on phentermine 30 mg since 2012, with no breaks the last two years or so. I have developed an irregular heart rhythm… but nothing the cardiologist is concerned about. I want to take a break for a few weeks and start working out and eating healthier. My question is if I want to go back on in a month or so would that be ok?

    1. Hi Lysa! Your medical team (doctors) would be the best people to ask about this. They are familiar with your specific case and history and will be able to best assess if going back on phentermine after a break is a wise decision for you.
      Rachel, phentermine.com

  16. I started taking 30mg Phentermine 10 days ago 236lbs; now I’m 227. Almost 1lb a day. Now here’s what I’m doing:
    200 calories porridge for breakfast
    400 calories low fat low carb lunch, (varies but never more than 400)
    150 calorie snack in the evening (forced down)
    6-8x 30ml espresso coffees throughout and the day minimum (1 flat teaspoon of sugar in each coffee)
    Half a gallon of water throughout the day minimum.
    1 hour excersise every day alternate cable weights, power walking 4.5 miles, jogging and 5 a side indoor soccer.
    Day 1 and 2 I can’t even describe how dry my mouth was; I drank about a gallon of water (no exaggeration) mouth was still dry!!!
    First few days had a ‘smoke’ before bed (2200) to encourage sleep but wide awake at 0300 every morning so far but have so much energy it doesn’t really become an issue.
    No anxiety, occasional mood swings; I mean a conversation can make me see red and literally scream then moments later I’m all like sorry guys…… Mouth been fine since day 3, I take the pill every morning 45 mins after porridge around 0930 but day 11 I’m going to take on an empty stomach around 0700 in the hope of getting a long nights sleep (not that I need it, just had 10 days of 4 hours a night, as it takes around an hour to get to sleep once lying down) Headaches like my mother in law has a voodoo doll first 3 days despite drinking so much water I went over a gallon on day two. I cannot stress how much energy I have during the day. Yes I still yawn throughout the day as anyone would but never EVER feel tired.
    So I’m going to take them daily for a total of 20 days and hit you back with an update.
    40 year old male 5 foot 10
    Peace out!!!!

  17. Old thread, but anyway.. I’ve been on 15mg Phentermine for 7 months, I’ve lost nearly 40lbs and have hit a plateau. I will purchase Phen Caps right now and will taper off the Phentermine because suddenly I’m worried about withdrawal. My brain is lucid, I have energy and don’t seem to need much sleep. Today is my first day not taking it, it’s 9pm and I feel awful, I’m also a little under the weather so who knows which is to blame. I will say that my brain often tells me the following: You won’t get much sleep tonight but that’s okay, you’ll be fine a few minutes after you take Phentermine. My doctor wasn’t concerned about me staying on it for so long, but she is cutting me off next month. I’ve had no side effects and can’t believe I’ve lost so much weight. My eating habits have changed drastically. I’m worried to take a break, but I think I’ll break for a month or two and then go back on for 12 week periods until I reach my goal. Wish me luck!

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