What is Benzphetamine (Didrex)?
Benzphetamine is in the stimulant class and similar to amphetamines. It suppresses appetite and affects your central nervous system.
Benzphetamine is taken along with exercise and a healthy diet to treat people who are overweight, or who have obesity.
Benzphetamine may be used for additional reasons not listed here.
What Is the Most Vital Information I Need to Know about Benzphetamine?
Benzphetamine can cause harm to an unborn baby and cause birth defects. If you are pregnant, don’t use benzphetamine.
Taking benzphetamine along with other medications for diet purposes, including those purchased over the counter, may cause a rare and fatal lung disorder known as pulmonary hypertension. Don’t take benzphetamine along with any other medications for diet unless your physician advises it.
Benzphetamine can impair your reactions or thoughts. Use caution if you will be driving or doing anything for which you must be alert.
Drinking alcohol may increase some benzphetamine side effects.
Benzphetamine is just one part of a treatment program that can also include exercise, diet and weight control. Follow your exercise routines and your diet and medications closely.
Benzphetamine can be a habit-forming drug and only the person for whom it was prescribed should use it. Never share your benzphetamine with others, especially if they have a history of drug addiction or abuse. Keep track of the amount you use from every new bottle. Benzphetamine can often be abused, and you must be aware if someone else is using your medication.
What Should I Ask My Physician before I Take Benzphetamine?
Do not take benzphetamine if you took an MAO inhibitor in the last two weeks. These include furazolidone (brand name Furoxone), phenelzine (brand name Nardil), isocarboxazid (brand name Marplan), tranylcypromine (brand name Parnate), rasagiline (brand name Azilect) or selegiline (brand names Eldepryl, Emsam). Serious and life-threatening side effects may occur if you take benzphetamine with the MAO inhibitor still in your system.
Taking benzphetamine along with other medications for diet purposes may cause a rare and fatal lung disorder called pulmonary hypertension.
You shouldn’t take benzphetamine if you have allergies to it, or if:
- You have heart rhythm disorder or heart disease
- You have coronary artery disease, also called hardening of the arteries
- You have uncontrolled or severe high blood pressure
- You have glaucoma
- You have overactive thyroid
- You have a past history of alcohol or drug abuse
- You are pregnant
- You have taken any other types of diet pills in the past year
If you have one or more of these conditions, your dosage of benzphetamine may need adjustment, or you may need to undergo special tests:
- high blood pressure
- thyroid disorders
Benzphetamine is in FDA pregnancy category X. It can cause harm to unborn babies or cause birth defects. Benzphetamine should not be used if you are pregnant. Tell your physician immediately if you become pregnant during benzphetamine treatment. Use an effective means of birth control if you take this medication.
Benzphetamine may be passed into breast mild and cause harm to nursing babies. Do not breastfeed if you take benzphetamine.
This medicine should not be given to children younger than the age of 12 years.
Benzphetamine is highly habit-forming and it should only be used by the person for whom it was prescribed. Do not share your benzphetamine with anyone else, especially if he or she has a drug addiction or abuse history. Store this medication in a safe place where no one can get to it.
Side Effects of Benzphetamine
Be sure to get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs of allergic reaction:
- Swelling of throat, tongue, lips or face
- Difficulty breathing
Discontinue using benzphetamine at once and call your physician if you have any of these serious side effects:
- Feeling as if you might pass out
- Chest pain
- Feeling short of breath, even after only mild exertion
- Fluttering in the chest
- Pounding heartbeat
- Swelling in feet or ankles
- Unusual behavior or thoughts
- Irritability or confusion
- Blood pressure that is dangerously high
- Uneven heartbeats
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Buzzing in the ears
- Blurry vision
- Severe headache
Some side effects that are less serious include:
- Tremors, dizziness, headache
- Feeling hyperactive or restless
- Increased sweating
- Sleeping problems, also known as insomnia
- Upset stomach, nausea or diarrhea
- Unpleasant taste in mouth or dry mouth
- Skin rash
This list is not complete, and you may experience other side effects. Speak with your physician for side effect advice. Side effects may be reported to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Interactions with Benzphetamine
Inform your physician about any other medications you use, particularly:
- Blood pressure medications
- K-Phos, vitamin C (also known as ascorbic acid), ammonium chloride
- Potassium (brand names Polycitra, Citrolith), sodium citrate, citric acid (brand names Oracit, Bicitra), potassium citrate (brand names Urocit-K, L-Lyte) or sodium bicarbonate
- insulin or oral diabetes medications
- Anti-depressants like methylphenidate (brand name Ritalin), dextroamphetamine (brand name Dexedrine), an ADHD medication like an amphetamine salt combination (brand name Adderall) or a stimulant
- Anti-depressants like nortiptyline (brand name Pamelor), imipramine (brand names Tofranil, Janimine), desipramine (brand name Norporamin), sozepin (brand name Sinequan) or amitriptylene (brand namesVanatrip, Elavil)
This is not a complete list, and there are other drugs that could interact with benzphetamine. Talk to your physician and advise him or her of any medications you are using. Include not only prescriptions, but also herbal products, vitamins and over the counter medications. Do not begin using a new medicine without letting your doctor know.
Are there Things I Should Avoid while Taking Benzphetamine?
Some benzphetamine side effects are increased by drinking alcohol.
Do not take benzphetamine late in the afternoon or evening, to prevent any problems you might have sleeping.
Benzphetamine can impair reactions or thinking. Be extremely careful if you must drive or do anything else that requires alertness, while on this medication.
Take this medication exactly as your physician prescribes it. Do not use smaller or larger amounts, or use it longer than was recommended. Closely follow all the directions on the prescription label.
Benzphetamine will usually be taken once a day, in the mid morning or the mid afternoon.
Speak with your physician if you experience increased hunger, or if you think the medication is not properly working. Taking more medication does not cause it to become more effective, and it can cause side effects that are serious and even life threatening.
Benzphetamine is only intended to be taken for a short period of time, usually for several weeks. Notify your physician if you haven’t lost weight after a month on this medication.
Benzphetamine is just one part of a program that also usually includes exercise, weight control and diet. Follow these routines closely.
Store benzphetamine only at room temperature and keep away from moisture or heat.
Keep track of the medication you use from your new bottles. Benzphetamine is often abused, and you must be aware if someone else is using your medication.
What if I Have an Overdose of Benzphetamine?
Seek out emergency medical treatment right away or call the Poison Help Line, which is at 1-800-222-1222. Overdoses of benzphetamine may be fatal.
Symptoms of overdose include fainting, seizure, feeling light-headed, slow breathing, weak pulse, irregular heartbeat, dark urine, muscle weakness or pain, fever, stomach cramps, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, aggressive or hostile feelings, panic or confusion.
What if I Miss a Benzphetamine dose?
Take a missed dose when you remember. If it is nearly time for your next dose, skip the one you missed. Never take double the prescribed medicine to make up for a missed dose.