Phentermine is only prescribed as a short-term treatment for obesity, so as patients reach the end of their 12 weeks, many wonder how to stop taking phentermine properly. Concerns about phentermine withdrawal are especially common.
How to Stop Taking Phentermine
Taking the time to transition off phentermine properly gives you a better chance of keeping the weight off and feeling successful in the long-run.
If you are nervous about stopping phentermine, make an effort to establish healthy routines, develop a strong support system and slowly decrease daily dosage as you come to the end of your prescription.
1. Establish Routines
During the final weeks of your phentermine prescription, make a point to establish positive routines. Healthy habits like eating breakfast, staying active each day, weighing regularly and getting enough sleep will help you keep the weight off after stopping phentermine (
Start developing these routines now. If you are already accustomed to eating healthy meals and snacks, working out and sleeping at the same time each day, it will be much easier to control your appetite and energy levels post-phentermine!
Phentermine suppresses appetite and reduces cravings, the combination of which allows you to concentrate on eating healthier.
However, the key to not gaining weight post-phentermine is to transition this temporary change into a long-term habit. Consistent repetition of healthy habits while taking phentermine makes sticking to them much easier after stopping phentermine.
Exercise speeds weight loss and many people think it’s the most important habit for achieving long-term weight loss success. Daily workouts also improve mood, sharpen your mind, help you sleep better and play an important role in chronic disease management (
Luckily, phentermine famously boosts energy, which helps patients establish a more consistent workout routine. Take advantage of this extra energy to make your daily workout into a regular routine.
If you have trouble with consistency, look for activities that you genuinely enjoy. Whether it’s yoga, weight-lifting, running, or dancing, you will be more motivated to keep going if you find something you like (
You are your most powerful weight loss weapon, so it is important to recognize your strength of mind and body.
Focus inwards by taking time to meditate, practice yoga or read a book can also help calm and motivate the mind, plus strengthen resilience. Building these productive self-care activities into your routine now will help you cope better after stopping phentermine.
2. Seek Support
Did you know that obesity is considered a chronic condition?
That’s because doctors, nurses, dietitians and the rest of the medical community understand that weight loss and maintenance is a life-long activity.
None of us are 100% motivated all of the time, so find a strong support system that will celebrate the victories and brave the lows with you over the years. This support can either be found in-person or online.
Here are two ways to establish that much-needed network:
Reach-Out to Existing Friends
If you have a friend, coworker or partner that will keep you accountable and help you navigate challenges of losing weight, that’s wonderful! Check-in regularly with this person about your meals, workouts and life in general. Swap healthy recipes, explore new fitness classes, and offer each other emotional support when life gets tough.
Find Motivation and Accountability Online
If you do not have that person in your life (or if you’re keeping phentermine a secret), Phentermine.com maintains a number of lively communities! If you’re looking for weight loss support, motivation and tips online, check out one or more of these awesome communities!
3. Slowly Decrease Dosage
If you’re concerned about withdrawal symptoms and currently taking a high dose of phentermine (e.g. 30 mg or 37.5 mg per day), talk to your doctor about tapering daily dosage in the final weeks of treatment. A gradual taper reduces or entirely eliminates phentermine withdrawal symptoms in many cases.
Stopping Phentermine Cold Turkey
If possible, do not stop phentermine “cold turkey”, or all-of-a-sudden.
Even though not all doctors taper patients’ dosage at the end of treatment, doing so is often beneficial because the gradual step down of stimulant minimizes patients’ risk of unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.
In a 2014 study by Hendricks et. al, researchers found that stopping phentermine suddenly does NOT produce withdrawal symptoms, even after extended periods of use (
Unfortunately, many ex-phentermine users continue to report withdrawal symptoms in online forums and support groups.
If you are apprehensive about stopping phentermine cold turkey, speak with your doctor now about gradually decreasing your daily dose in the final weeks of your scheduled treatment. He or she knows your case best and is most suited to help you navigate how to stop taking phentermine.
- McGuire, M., Wing, R., & Hill, J. (1999). The prevalence of weight loss maintenance among American adults. International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders, 23(12), 1314-1319.
- US National Library of Medicine. (2018, August 22). Benefits of Exercise.
- Matthews, J. (2009, September 02). What is cross training and why is it important?
- Hendricks, E. J., Srisurapanont, M., Schmidt, S. L., Haggard, M., Souter, S., Mitchell, C. L., … Greenway F.L. (2014). Addiction potential of phentermine prescribed during long-term treatment of obesity. [Abstract]. International Journal of Obesity, 38(2), 292-298. doi:10.1038/ijo.2013.74