When it comes to weight loss supplements, one of the most common questions is, “How does phentermine work?” Phentermine is one of the most popular and most powerful diet pills on the market today. It’s sold in pharmacies in the US with a valid prescription from a licensed doctor, and it belongs to a class of medications known as anorectics. Its main purpose is to suppress your appetite, which allows you to consume fewer calories, but how does phentermine for weight loss work?
Phentermine works by affecting substances within your brain called neurotransmitters. A neurotransmitter is essentially a chemical signal that affects your brain’s ability to regulate processes within your body. These substances affect everything from your mood to your appetite, and some of them even keep you alive at the most basic level. Phentermine affects a specific class of neurotransmitters called catecholamines, which play a very important role in your mood and your body’s ability to respond to (and deal with) very stressful situations.
What are Catecholamines?
The catecholamines that are affected indirectly by phentermine are norepinephrine, adrenaline, serotonin, and dopamine. The phentermine actually binds to certain receptors within the brain, and when those receptors are filled, they tell your adrenal glands to make more of these neurotransmitters. The result is that your body enters a state that is known as the “fight-or-flight” response. This provides you with energy, but it also suppresses your appetite by completely stopping the hunger signal in its tracks. In turn, you consume fewer calories, but still feel satisfied throughout the day.
How Does Phentermine Work? – Timeframes
Many people want to know how long it will actually take phentermine to suppress their appetites and facilitate weight loss. However, although phentermine is an oral product, it does not have much effect on the liver. The medication is designed in such a way that it is very fast-acting. With that in mind, you should feel the effects of phentermine within 20 to 40 minutes after taking it. It typically causes a surge of energy and increased heart rate, though these are well-tolerated in most people. The appetite suppressant action begins within an hour of consuming your dose.
Part of answering the question, “How does phentermine work?” involves laying out the proper dosages. Too little phentermine will not provide the anticipated results, and too much can lead to unwelcome side effects. The chart below shows average phentermine doses based on your experience and your needs. It is always a good idea to start with a low dose of phentermine and work your way up to the maximum recommended dosage.
Phentermine comes in capsules and tablets in doses of 8mg, 15mg, and 37.5mg. It is also available in resin form in 15mg and 30mg strengths. The doses below are for those using capsules or tablets.
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Some bodybuilders will use more than 37.5mg of phentermine daily during their cutting cycles, but this is not recommended. Because phentermine is a stimulant, it can cause serious side effects. There is also evidence to suggest that phentermine has addictive properties, so taking a high dose for only a few weeks could lead to withdrawals. As always, it is important to take the lowest effective dose for the shortest period of time possible.
How Long does Phentermine Work?
Because phentermine is relatively fast-acting, it is also short-lived. The vast majority of the effects wear off within eight hours of consuming the dose. For this reason, many people take it just before breakfast and allow the effects to linger throughout the day. People who find that they are hungry again before bed may divide their daily dose in half, taking half in the morning before breakfast and half in the afternoon. This can cause insomnia and difficultly sleeping if taken too late in the day, so be sure to find the right balance.
In answering the question “How does phentermine work?”, it is just as important to focus on the potential negatives as the benefits. Phentermine can produce some of the same side effects as amphetamines. You may experience symptoms such as shakiness, jitters, sleep disruptions, hyperactivity, dry mouth, headaches, dizziness, decreased libido, impotence, and even heart problems. The following guidelines will help you minimize these effects.
- Titrate your dose. Your body will develop a tolerance to phentermine over time as it acclimates to the effects of the catecholamines. You can use this to your advantage. Start out with a very low dose of phentermine – about half your ideal dose. Then, gradually work your way up to the full dose. This will help you avoid the worst of the side effects, but still enjoy all the phentermine benefits.
- Avoid caffeine and other stimulants. Things like caffeine, albuterol, and other common stimulants may increase the likelihood and severity of phentermine side effects. For the best possible results, you should avoid them, or at least strictly limit them.
- Back your dose down if the side effects become bothersome. If you experience side effects that are especially bothersome, it is likely due to your dose. In this case, back your dose down and use the highest dose your body can tolerate without bothersome effects.
- Use short cycles and take breaks between them. Again, your body will develop a tolerance to phentermine rather quickly, and you will no longer feel the energy boost or appetite suppression over time. Phentermine should be used in short cycles of about four to six weeks, and you should take a break equal to the cycle length between your cycles, too. When you start phentermine again, be sure to use the recommended starting dose and titrate upward to avoid side effects.
How does phentermine work? It stimulates your adrenal glands to produce specific neurotransmitters called catecholamines, which suppress the appetite and provide you with energy. It’s one of the most popular diet pills around the world, but because it is so similar to amphetamine in molecular structure, it is generally controlled and available only with a prescription.