Is It Safe To Use Phentermine During Pregnancy?

Phentermine And Pregnancy

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Are you apprehensive about weight gain during your pregnancy? Thought of taking weight loss drugs, but the doubt of possible side effects stopped you?

Well, weight loss drugs during pregnancy have a purpose that is mostly different from what most of us think. To know more about phentermine and pregnancy, read this post.

What Is Phentermine?

Phentermine is a prescription drug that suppresses appetite. It comes under the classification of drugs known as sympathomimetic amines. Phentermine is used in conjunction with an exercise and low-calorie diet program along with behavioral changes for the purpose of weight loss.

Phentermine is prescribed to people with obesity or who have health problems due to their excessive weight. Doctors recommend phentermine for only short-term use. [1]

[ Read: Diet Pills During Pregnancy ]

Is It Safe To Use Phentermine During Pregnancy?

It is not safe to use phentermine while pregnant. Phentermine can harm fetal health. [2] [3]

  • First, weight loss during pregnancy is not ideal. Your baby needs proper nutrition to grow well and any weight loss drug you might take during pregnancy may interfere with your baby’s health and well being. If you are obese and get pregnant, the ideal thing to do is to practice holistic weight management through diet and exercise and not through weight loss medicines. [4]
  • U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has classified phentermine as a category X drug. Category X drugs are those medicines that can cause fetal health harm when taken during pregnancy. It also means that risks of the drugs outweigh its benefits for pregnant women. [5]
  • Phentermine use during pregnancy can lead to fetal birth defects such as cleft palate and cleft lip. These birth defects occur early in the pregnancy. Therefore, you should take precautions to not become pregnant while using phentermine. [6]

Side Effects Of Phentermine:

Phentermine use can cause many side effects. These side effects may be harmful to anyone taking phentermine during pregnancy. And these symptoms during pregnancy can put the health of the mother and baby at even more risk. [7]

Side Effects:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Dry mouth
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Irritability
  • Trouble sleeping

Serious Side Effects:

The use of Phentermine in pregnancy can cause some serious side effects requiring urgent medical attention. [8]

  • High blood pressure
  • Restlessness
  • Heart palpitations
  • Tremors
  • Trouble breathing
  • Swollen legs and ankles
  • Chest pains

[ Read: Raspberry Ketones During Pregnancy ]

Use Of Phentermine And Pregnancy:

So, what do you do if you are taking phentermine and find out that you are pregnant? Is this a cause of worry? Could this harm your baby?

These are valid concerns for those who have been using phentermine and become pregnant. This can occur if your pregnancy is unplanned. If this has happened to you or if you want to know what to do in such a situation then you may find the following guidelines helpful. [9]

  • If you become pregnant while using phentermine, immediately consult your doctor. Your doctor can then guide you about your health and your baby’s health depending on your gestational age. Your doctor may conduct some routine or additional tests to check if there are any health problems to you or your baby due to your phentermine use.
  • If you are planning your pregnancy but want to lose weight before you conceive, talk to your doctor about drugs you can use. Phentermine is only prescribed for people who are obese and have serious weight problems that may threaten their health. Long-term use of phentermine is harmful. It can also cause withdrawal symptoms after certain weeks of use. So, you may not want to use this drug if you plan to conceive in the near future.

Weight Problems And Pregnancy:

Excess weight can cause many health problems during pregnancy. [10] [11]

  • If you are obese and become pregnant, you may suffer from many health problems such as hypertension, gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, macrosomia (baby with size larger than what is normal), placental abruption (separation of placenta from the uterine wall) and birth defects. Obese women are also at increased risks for C-section deliveries, premature births and even pregnancy loss. [12]
  • Many pregnant women suffer from gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes is diabetes during pregnancy in women who didn’t have this condition before they got pregnant. Now, gestational diabetes carries a lot of health risks to the baby. Your newborn can have excess birth weight, respiratory distress syndrome and other health issues. Women who are obese are at risk of gestational diabetes. But even this can be managed through diet and exercise and without weight loss drugs. [13]
  • Preeclampsia is elevation in blood pressure after the 20th week into your pregnancy. It can be life-threatening to both the mother and the unborn baby. It can also cause kidney failure. The only option is to deliver the baby if you have preeclampsia. [14] [15]
  • If you are obese and pregnant, it also increases your baby’s chances of getting diabetes and heart problems later in life. [16]
  • If you are overweight when pregnant, the best course of action for you to is to follow your doctor’s recommendations about your diet and exercise. Excessive weight loss during pregnancy is not safe for you or your baby. [17]

[ Read: Overweight During Pregnancy ]

Managing Weight During Pregnancy:

So, now you know that drugs like phentermine are not the answer to maintain weight during pregnancy. So what can you do to keep to a healthy weight throughout your pregnancy?

You can take a number of measures for healthy weight gain during your pregnancy. [18]

  • Ask your doctor about week-by-week weight gain that is healthy for you. Your ideal number may differ from another pregnant woman. So, follow your own doctor’s recommendations as your weight gain will depend on several factors such as your health and your weight before pregnancy. You will also gain more if you are carrying twins or multiple babies.
  • If you are obese when pregnant, your doctor may ask you to follow a strict diet of healthy fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products and whole grains along with moderate exercises. You will also need to avoid processed foods and sweetened drinks.

Not all medicines are harmful to use during pregnancy. But use medications during pregnancy only when your doctor approves of it. And, know that taking phentermine when pregnant is absolutely unsafe. [19]

So, plan your pregnancy only after you have stopped using phentermine. And if you get pregnant while using it, stop immediately and inform your doctor about it.

Did you have weight concerns during or after your pregnancy?

[ Read: Tips To Maintain Healthy Weight During Pregnancy ]

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