Constipation is one of the most common side effects of phentermine. In addition to the day-to-day discomfort and pain, ongoing phentermine constipation can also slow weight loss.
Medically, constipation is evidenced by either infrequent or difficult-to-pass stools. A person is typically considered constipated if he or she has fewer than three bowel movements in a week. Change in routine, increased stress, some medications and certain medical conditions can all cause constipation .
Thankfully, most cases of phentermine constipation resolve without medical intervention within a few days.
Yes, phentermine causes constipation in many users. In fact, it proves the third most common side effect with just under 50% of users experiencing phentermine constipation .
This unpleasant reaction is related to the medication’s stimulant effects, as well as the fact that many patients dramatically change their diet and exercise routines just after starting phentermine. Low mood, stress, physical inactivity and dehydration can also exacerbate phentermine constipation .
So, when is it considered constipation?
Many people think that it is necessary or healthy to have a certain number of bowel movements per day or week, but the truth is that everyone is different. Most people have at least one bowel movement per day, but if you go less that’s okay too. As long you feel okay, it is perfectly fine to go a couple of days without a bowel movement.
As well as problems passing stools, phentermine constipation can result in a swollen abdomen, stomach pain, nausea and vomiting. Given that it also causes of build-up of waste in your body, this side effect can also cause bloating and temporary weight gain.
Duromineis a popular brand of phentermine weight loss pills in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Like other brands of phentermine, these capsules commonly cause constipation in regular users. Phentermine resin (the active ingredient in this medication) acts as a stimulant, which – in combination with dietary changes and potential stress – puts patients at increased risk for Duromineconstipation.
If you are taking Duromineand bowel movements remain irregular (e.g. infrequent or hard to pass) for more than a couple of days, contact your prescribing doctor to discuss potential treatment options.
Phentermine causes constipation because:
Phentermine is thought to stimulate the central nervous system, prompting the release of neurotransmitters that increase energy and suppress appetite. However, in addition to these intended effects, elicitation of this “fight or flight” response can also cause unwanted side effects like phentermine constipation.
The same neurotransmitters the reduce appetite also signal the body to divert resources away from digestion, which slows peristalsis: muscle contractions that move food through the digestive tract . Constipation can emerge as a side effect of a prolonged decrease in gastric motility, which is why many users taking phentermine or similar stimulant-medications complain of problems passing stool.
Stimulants can also cause or worsen dehydration . Many people feel extremely thirsty while taking phentermine weight loss pills, which helps them remember to sip on fluids throughout the day.
However, if you grow dehydrated it can lead to phentermine constipation, in addition to exacerbating dry mouth and headaches. If there is not enough water in the body available to help expel waste products through stools, which are typically 75% water, it may cause constipation .
Constipation can also occur as a result of changes in routine, stress, depression or anxiety.
Phentermine is a strong appetite suppressant, so people eat a lot fewer calories after starting the medication. This drop in food intake can also slow digestion and contribute to phentermine constipation .
The effect is especially common in patients whose diets limit the intake of certain food groups, especially those that contain fiber. For example, popular low-carb diets like carnivore and keto pose a particular threat given followers’ tendency to eliminate fiber-rich foods like whole grains and whole fruits and vegetables out of their diets.
Stress, depression and anxiety can also cause or worsen constipation . Major weight loss is inherently stressful and phentermine can cause depression, anxiety and other mood changes. As a result, for many users, emotional distress may also contribute to phentermine constipation.
Going a day or two without a bowel movement might have you reaching for the laxatives if you are usually as regular as clockwork, but try a natural phentermine constipation remedy before you run to the drug store. Better yet, many behaviors that help relieve phentermine constipation naturally boost weight loss as well.
Here are five practical and effective phentermine constipation remedies:
The easiest phentermine constipation remedy is to increase fluid intake. Yourorgans need water to function properly, and the digestive system is no exception. When there is not enough water, the body pulls more and more fluid from stool, which can make it dry and hard to pass.
Aim for at least eight glasses of water or other calorie-free, caffeine-free beverages each day, which is about two liters of fluid.
Many people also find phentermine constipation relief with a glass of warm water with lemon in the morning. Warm water increases the tightening of the intestines, which then facilitates bowel movements. The lemon helps as its high acid content stimulates the digestive system to get things moving .
While working hard to hydrate, avoid dehydrating drinks such as coffee, colas, energy drinks and alcohol.
Skimping on whole grains & produce, or following a low-carb, high protein diet, is a common cause of phentermine constipation. Adult women need 25g of fiber per day, while men require 38g on average .
While all fiber is important, different types of fiber play different roles. Soluble fiber helps decrease cholesterol levels and makes stools easier to pass, while insoluble fiber helps facilitate regular bowel movements .
To fight phentermine constipation, eat more fiber-rich foods like whole fruit and vegetables with edible skins, whole grains, legumes (e.g. lentils, beans or peas).
When increasing fiber intake, take care to drink plenty of water as well. Eating too much fiber can actually make you more constipated if there you there is not enough water to keep things moving.
Inactivity makes constipation worse, so incorporate regular exercise to promote healthy bowel movements. This is because exercise increases blood flow to the intestines and promotes increased abdominal muscle tone to keep stool moving.
Aerobic exercises like walking, running, swimming or cycling provide the most benefit, but even a little gentle stretching or yoga can help .
Given that stress, depression and anxiety worsen constipation, and phentermine is known to exacerbate these negative moods, stress management proves critical for both weight loss and phentermine constipation relief. Reduce stress through yoga, meditation, deep breathing, reading a book, or whatever helps you relax.
No, it is not just an old wives’ tale that prunes provide powerful relief for constipation. Prunes, or dried plums, are rich in insoluble fiber and contain sorbitol, which acts as a natural laxative.
In a 2018 study, subjects experienced significant increases in both stool frequency and stool weight after consuming 80g or 120g of prunes per day . This equates to about 10 or 14 prunes per day.
Yes, most people can take a laxative with phentermine to help relieve short-term constipation, but double-check with your doctor and pharmacist first.
If none of the at-home remedies above work to relieve your phentermine constipation, you may consider a mild over-the-counter stool softener such as Doculase or Colace. Stool softeners can be purchased with or without an added laxative.Try stool softeners without a laxative at first to see if that is enough to resolve your phentermine constipation.
ALWAYS ask your doctor and pharmacist before combining any medication or supplement with phentermine.
Members in the Facebook support group also recommended magnesium citrate, which can be taken as either a liquid or pill, to relieve phentermine constipation. However, this supplement is not safe for everyone and acts quickly, so check with your doctor and pharmacist before taking it and never exceed the advised dosage.
Learn more about phentermine!
1. Mayo Clinic Staff. (2018, January 10). Constipation.
3. NHS. (2017, December 20). Constipation.
5. Martin, E. B., Jr., & Hammerness, P. G. (2014, August). Thirsty: ADHD, Stimulant Medication, and Dehydration. Attention, 26-27.
6. The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. (2002, June 14). Feces. In Encyclopaedia Britannica.
7. Towers, A. L., Burgio, K. L., Locher, J. L., Merkel, I. S., Safaeian, M., & Wald, A. (1994). Constipation in the elderly: Influence of dietary, psychological, and physiological factors. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 42(7), 701-706. doi:10.1111/j.1532-5415.1994.tb06527
8. Baucom, M. (2017, April 3). Do This and That: Taking Proven Chronic Constipation Remedies to the Next Level (E. K. Luo MD, Ed.).
9. Dahl, W. J., & Stewart, M. L. (2015). Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Health Implications of Dietary Fiber. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 115(11), 1861-1870. doi:10.1016/j.jand.2015.09.003
10. UCSF Medical Center. (n.d.). Increasing Fiber Intake.
11. Smith, M. W. (Ed.). (2018, June 25). Exercise for Constipation Relief: Which Exercises to Do.
12. Lever, E., Scott, S. M., Louis, P., Emery, P. W., & Whelan, K. (2018). The effect of prunes on stool output, gut transit time and gastrointestinal microbiota: A randomised controlled trial. Clinical Nutrition. doi:10.1016/j.clnu.2018.01.003