The search for a miracle weight loss drug has always been the driving force of a market obsessed with svelte bodies and lean muscle mass. While diet pills have come a long way in the last forty years, the quest for a more effective, effortless slimming miracle is as relentless as ever. The current offerings such as phentermine and orlistat have not seemed to work out as adequate solutions for some. In consequence, this partially unsatisfied market has spurred a few health care providers to come up with their own “cocktails,” a melange of drugs carefully combined to facilitate greater and more rapid weight loss. One of these promising combinations is Phen-Pro.
Phen-Pro is a combination of two prescription drugs: phentermine (the “Phen” part of the name) and Prozac (constituting the latter “Pro” part). Phentermine is an appetite suppressant which works on the central nervous system by increasing the “fight-or-flight” neurotransmitters which curb hunger and increase energy as their secondary functions. With the rise of norepinephrine, serotonin and ephinephrine in the brain, the body is poised to deal with stress and is therefore not put in any mood to chow down. Prozac is an anti-depressant generically known as fluoxetine. Its use in Phen-Pro is considered “off-label” as its approved function is not weight loss.
The “Phen” component, phentermine, reduces appetite and the “Pro” part, Prozac, prolongs the presence of the appetite curbing neurotransmitters promoting the longevity of satiety. The combination is also known to reduce the side effects of either drug in the mix. With the increased period of appetite suppression, fewer calories are taken in so that weight loss occurs sooner than what can be expected from other pound reduction aids.
Phen-Pro is an offshoot of the mistake that was Phen-Fen, the combination of phentermine and fenfluramine. The U.S. FDA banned fenfluramine in 1997 after a ton of reports linking the Phen-Fen cocktail to the lethal valvular heart disease or primary pulmonary hypertension. Dr. Michael Anchors, the main proponent of this cocktail and author of a 1997 publication titled, “Safer than Phen-Fen,” asserts the effectivity and safety of the Phen-Pro drug mix with clinical trials involving 2,630 obese patients over the course of eight years. Not one developed PPH or any serious side effects. In combination with a healthy, reduced-diet and exercise regimen, Phen-Pro has been known to hasten weight loss by an average of two pounds per week for the first six weeks, followed by a pound per week afterwards. Eli Lilly, a global pharmaceutical company responsible for the creation of Prozac, carried out a study in 1999 on Phen-Pro cocktail. A combination of phentermine and fluoxetine were administered to 711 patients in 1999. These patients lost an average of 11% of their weight after 18 months while 20% of the patients were reduced to a BMI of 25. None developed any serious cardiac abnormalities or pulmonary hypertension.
Although the mix of phentermine and Prozac (fluoxetine) has not spawned serious side effects, there are common ones to expect. These are:
- Dry mouth
- Rapid heartbeat
Caffeine is known to enhance these side effects. Dieters on Phen-Pro would do well to steer clear of substances containing this stimulant.
The Phen-Pro cocktail is a drug mix prescribed at the discretion of your health care provider. Phen-Pro is not an FDA-approved combination, although the drugs by themselves have the FDA stamps of approval for their own specific uses. Much as Phen-Pro seems to be a rising star, caution must still prevail as this is a relatively new mix and an unregulated one at that. Nevertheless, if you trust your health care provider, you may just be getting a very good means to combat those unwanted pounds.