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Weight Loss Drugs and Teenagers
Obesity Drugs May Cause Adverse Health Effects in Adolescents
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Weight Loss Drugs and Teenagers

Certain weight loss drugs may have potentially serious adverse effects in teenagers, particularly in patients with psychiatric disorders. For example, adrenergic agents, such as phentermine, phenylpropanolamine (withdrawn from US market), mazindol (withdrawn from US market), ephedra, and sibutramine, may cause dry mouth, insomnia, nervousness, diaphoresis, hypertension, nausea, and constipation. Tolerance to most adverse effects is achieved within 2 weeks of continuous treatment. Contraindications to the use of noradrenergic agents include angina and other forms of atherosclerotic disease, cardiac arrhythmias, hyperthyroidism, and/or the concomitant use of MAOIs.

The serotoninergic preparations, fenfluramine and dexfenfluramine, recently were withdrawn from the commercial market because of their association with valvular heart disease and primary pulmonary hypertension. High doses of fenfluramine and dexfenfluramine are neurotoxic in rats and monkeys, raising concerns about the long-term use of other serotoninergic preparations, such as fluoxetine, in children.

Essentially, no information exists regarding the use of anorectic agents in children. In general, anorectic drugs are not routinely used for the prevention or treatment of obesity in childhood or adolescence. Doctors are unlikely to administer anorectic drugs to prepubertal children until carefully controlled clinical studies are performed to assess their safety and efficacy. Only in certain cases will Doctors administer anorectic drugs after the patient has failed to respond to vigorous attempts to modify behavior, diet, and family interactions. Unless prohibited by a specific investigational protocol, all adolescents who are administered anorectic agents should receive concurrent nutritional and family counseling and should implement a plan of regular exercise and physical activity.

Note About Weight Loss Pills
To reduce health risks, do not buy weight loss pills or supplements without first consulting your doctor. And when taking weight loss drugs or pills, be sure to check in with your doctor regularly.

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