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All about: Diethylpropion hydrochloride

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Generic name: Diethylpropion hydrochloride
Brand names: Tenuate

Why is Diethylpropion hydrochloride prescribed?

Tenuate, an appetite suppressant, is prescribed for short-term use (a few weeks) as part of an overall diet plan for weight reduction. It is available in two forms: immediate-release tablets (Tenuate) and controlled-release tablets (Tenuate Dospan). Tenuate should be used with a behavior modification program.

Most important fact about Diethylpropion hydrochloride

Tenuate will lose its effectiveness within a few weeks. When this begins to happen, you should discontinue the medicine rather than increase the dosage.

How should you take Diethylpropion hydrochloride?

Take Diethylpropion hydrochloride exactly as prescribed. Tenuate may be habit-forming and can be addicting.

If you are taking Tenuate Dospan (the controlled release formulation), do not crush or chew the tablets. Swallow the medication whole.

--If you miss a dose...

If you are taking the immediate-release form of Tenuate, go back to your regular schedule at the next meal.

If you are taking Tenuate Dospan, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If you do not remember until the next day, skip the dose. Never take 2 doses at once.

--Storage instructions...

Store at room temperature in a tightly closed container. Protect from excessive heat.

What side effects may occur?

Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue using Tenuate.

  • More common side effects may include:
    Abdominal discomfort, abnormal redness of the skin, anxiety, blood pressure elevation, blurred vision, breast development in males, bruising, changes in sex drive, chest pain, constipation, depression, diarrhea, difficulty with voluntary movements, dizziness, drowsiness, dryness of the mouth, feelings of discomfort, feelings of elation, feeling of illness, hair loss, headache, hives, impotence, inability to fall or stay asleep, increased heart rate, increased seizures in epileptics, increased sweating, increased volume of diluted urine, irregular heartbeat, jitteriness, menstrual upset, muscle pain, nausea, nervousness, overstimulation, painful urination, palpitations, pupil dilation, rash, restlessness, shortness of breath or labored breathing, stomach and intestinal disturbances, tremors, unpleasant taste, vomiting

Why should Diethylpropion hydrochloride not be prescribed?

If you are sensitive to or have ever had an allergic reaction to Tenuate or other appetite suppressants, you should not take Diethylpropion hydrochloride. Make sure your doctor is aware of any drug reactions you have experienced.

Do not take Diethylpropion hydrochloride if you have severe hardening of the arteries, an overactive thyroid, glaucoma, or severe high blood pressure, or if you are agitated, have a history of drug abuse or are taking an MAO inhibitor (antidepressant drug such as Nardil) or have taken one within the last 14 days.

Special warnings about Diethylpropion hydrochloride

Tenuate or Tenuate Dospan may impair your ability to engage in potentially hazardous activities. Therefore, make sure you know how you react to Diethylpropion hydrochloride before you drive, operate dangerous machinery, or do anything else that requires alertness or concentration.

If you have heart disease or high blood pressure, use caution when taking Diethylpropion hydrochloride.

This drug may increase convulsions in some epileptics. Your doctor should monitor you carefully if you have epilepsy.

Psychological dependence has occurred while taking Diethylpropion hydrochloride. Talk with your doctor if you find you are relying on Diethylpropion hydrochloride to maintain a state of well-being.

The abrupt withdrawal of Diethylpropion hydrochloride following prolonged use at high doses may result in extreme fatigue, mental depression, and sleep disturbances.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking Diethylpropion hydrochloride

Tenuate or Tenuate Dospan may interact with alcohol unfavorably. Do not drink alcohol while taking Diethylpropion hydrochloride.

If Tenuate or Tenuate Dospan is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important that you consult your doctor before combining Tenuate with the following:

Blood pressure medications such as Ismelin
Phenothiazine drugs such as the major tranquilizer Thorazine

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

The effects of Tenuate or Tenuate Dospan during pregnancy have not been adequately studied. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. This drug appears in breast milk. If the medication is essential to your health, your doctor may advise you to discontinue breastfeeding until your treatment is finished.

Recommended dosage


Tenuate Immediate-Release

The usual dosage is one 25-milligram tablet taken 3 times a day, 1 hour before meals; you may take 1 tablet in the middle of the evening, if you want, to overcome night hunger.

Tenuate Dospan Controlled-Release

The usual dosage is one 75-milligram tablet taken once daily, swallowed whole, in midmorning.


Safety and effectiveness have not been established in children below 12 years of age.


Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose, seek emergency medical treatment immediately.

  • Symptoms of Tenuate overdose may include:
    Abdominal cramps, assaultiveness, confusion, depression, diarrhea, elevated blood pressure, fatigue, hallucinations, irregular heartbeat, lowered blood pressure, nausea, overreactive reflexes, panic state, rapid breathing, restlessness, tremors, vomiting

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