Benzphetamine is a stimulant drug that triggers the central nervous system to suppress appetite. It is prescribed to help grossly obese patients lose weight, typically along with a diet and exercise plan. The composition of benzphetamine resembles amphetamines and carries the potential risk for physical or psychological dependence. This drug is considered a controlled substance recommended for short-term use.
In addition to a moderate risk of abuse, benzphetamine might lead to psychosis if used for a long period of time. It is a powerful drug sometimes abused by illegal drug users. Drug manufacturers warn that tolerance of this medication might develop within a few weeks, and the drug should not be stopped abruptly because depression might set in.
The medication consists of oral tablets that should be taken in the morning or early afternoon. Doctors typically prescribe between 25 and 50 micrograms of benzphetamine a day for weight loss in adults and teens. If taken in the late afternoon, this drug might cause sleeplessness and restlessness. It is not recommended for children under the age of 12.
Pregnant women also should not use this medication. Studies link the use of the stimulant to birth defects and abnormal fetal conditions. Women who take this medication should use a dependable form of birth control during treatment. It is not known if benzphetamine passes through breast milk to a nursing child.
The most common side effects of the drug include changes in sexual desire or performance. Patients might become more interested in sex or lose interest in intimacy. Men might have trouble achieving or maintaining an erection while using this weight loss drug. Some patients report an odd taste in the mouth and dry mouth as side effects of the medication.
Other patients experience confusion, irritability, or nervousness when using the drug. It might also cause a person to become faint and dizzy because it increases the heart rate and blood pressure in some patients. Extreme effects might include hallucinations and convulsions that lead to seizures. Some of these reactions may go away once the body adjusts to the medication.