benzphetamine (generic name)

Didrex (brand name)

It is used with a reduced calorie diet and exercise to help you lose weight
(benz FET a meen)
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What is this medicine?

BENZPHETAMINE (benz FET a meen) decreases your appetite. It is used with a reduced calorie diet and exercise to help you lose weight. This medicine is only meant to be used for a few weeks and should not be used with other weight loss medicines.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • are taking other medicine for weight loss
  • agitation
  • glaucoma
  • heart disease
  • high blood pressure
  • history of drug dependence or substance abuse
  • hyperthyroid
  • kidney disease
  • liver disease
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to benzphetamine, other amphetamines, other medicines, foods, tartrazine dye, other dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Do not take this medicine within 6 hours of your normal bedtime because it may cause insomnia. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Do not suddenly stop your medicine. You must gradually reduce the dose or you may feel withdrawal effects. Ask your doctor or health care professional for advice.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this medicine may be prescribed for children as young as 12 years of age for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
  • lithium
  • medicines for colds, sinus, and breathing difficulties
  • medicines for migraine headache like almotriptan, eletriptan, frovatriptan, naratriptan, rizatriptan, sumatriptan, zolmitriptan
  • medicines to decrease appetite or cause weight loss, including nonprescription or herbal weight-loss medicines
  • melatonin
  • meperidine
  • MAOIs like Carbex, Eldepryl, Marplan, Nardil, and Parnate
  • pimozide
  • procarbazine
  • selegiline

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • acetazolamide
  • medicines for high blood pressure and heart medicines
  • medicines for mental problems, depression, anxiety, or psychotic disturbances
  • methazolamide
  • sodium bicarbonate

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress.

This medicine may affect your concentration, or hide signs of tiredness. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol may increase dizziness and drowsiness. Avoid alcoholic drinks.

This medicine is intended to be used in addition to a healthy diet and exercise. The best results are achieved this way. This medicine is only indicated for short-term use. Tell your doctor or health care professional if this medicine loses its effects, or if you feel you need to take more than the prescribed amount. Do not change the dose without advice from your doctor or health care professional.

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Last Updated: February 26, 2010
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