Many people struggle with maintaining a healthy weight and body composition. When diet and exercise don’t produce the desired results, some turn to prescription medications for help. Phentermine is a prescription medication that has properties similar to amphetamine. It can reduce a person’s appetite, which can help people shed unwanted weight.
However, mixing phentermine and alcohol can cause unwanted effects. It’s important to follow your doctor’s recommendations and stop drinking if they advise you to.
Some people live with unhealthy drinking patterns, alcohol abuse, and addiction, making it very difficult to stop drinking when they choose. If you or someone you love needs professional help to stop drinking alcohol, you are not alone. Contact the Moving Mountains Recovery team to learn about our holistic substance abuse treatment programs.
What is Phentermine?
Phentermine (Adipex-P) is a prescription stimulant medication in a class of drugs called monoamine alkaloid derivatives. It is a sympathomimetic stimulant that suppresses appetite. When people take it, they may experience reduced hunger, allowing them to eat less and lose weight.
The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) classifies phentermine as a Schedule IV drug, indicating it poses a risk for addiction, although research suggests this is not a concern.
Doctors typically prescribe phentermine for up to 12 weeks. It is intended for use in people who have a significant amount of weight to lose.
Side Effects of Phentermine
Phentermine has been proven safe and effective for people who need to lose a significant amount of weight. However, like most medications, phentermine can cause side effects. The side effects of phentermine are typically mild and might include:
- Elevated heart rate
- Dry mouth
- Tingling in hands or feet
Some of the less common side effects of phentermine include:
- Blurred vision
- Pain during urination
- Hair loss
- High blood pressure
- Muscle pain
- Heart palpitations
- Nausea and vomiting
- Skin rash
- Decreased sex drive
Drinking alcohol while taking phentermine may lead to unwanted side effects and should be avoided.
The Risks of Mixing Phentermine and Alcohol
While mixing phentermine and alcohol may not be life-threatening, complications can occur if you drink while taking this drug. Alcohol can interact with phentermine and cause unwanted side effects or worsen phentermine’s side effects.
Some of the possible effects of mixing phentermine and alcohol include:
- Increased risk of heart failure
- Increased heart rate and blood pressure
- Chest pain
- Problems with focus and concentration
The effects of phentermine can last for up to 12 hours. People who take phentermine should wait 12 hours after taking phentermine before consuming alcohol to avoid potential complications.
How Does Alcohol Affect Weight Loss?
Some research suggests that moderate alcohol use may have some health benefits. However, drinking alcohol can make it much more difficult to lose weight. Research shows that people who drink alcohol are more likely to gain weight, regardless of other health factors.
Alcohol is high in calories, with just an ounce containing over 80 calories. Many drinks that contain alcohol, such as mixed cocktails, beer, and wine, are high in sugar and have a high calorie count. Drinking alcohol can also lower a person’s inhibitions, making them more likely to overeat.
Recognizing Alcohol Abuse and Addiction
Most medical experts agree that people should avoid mixing phentermine and alcohol. But what if it’s hard to stop drinking when you know you should?
Alcohol use is common and widely accepted in the United States. While moderate drinking isn’t associated with long-term risks or harm, heavy drinking can lead to serious complications, including addiction.
Heavy drinking is defined as having more alcohol than you should over the course of a week. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) advises people to drink in moderation, meaning one or fewer drinks per day for women and two or fewer drinks per day for men.
Heavy drinking is defined as:
- Eight or more alcoholic beverages per week for women
- Fifteen or more alcoholic drinks per week for men
A “drink” is defined as:
- 12 ounces of beer
- 5 ounces of wine
- 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits
- 8 ounces of malt liquor
Regular heavy drinking can lead to tolerance, meaning that someone needs to drink more alcohol to get the desired effects. In time, people who drink heavily may develop physical dependence and addiction.
People who become addicted to alcohol can not choose to stop drinking when they want to. They must drink so their body can function. Recognizing unhealthy drinking patterns, including heavy drinking, and seeking treatment before alcoholism develops is crucial.
Find Help Now
At Moving Mountains Recovery, we believe anyone can recover from alcohol abuse or addiction if they get the care and treatment they deserve. Reach out to our team of specialists to take the first step of your recovery journey. Our holistic addiction treatment programs are designed to care for your body, mind, and spirit as you work toward lifelong sobriety and a healthier, more fulfilling way of life.
- National Library of Medicine: Phentermine, Retrieved September 2023 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK547916/
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Dietary Guidelines for Alcohol, Retrieved September 2023 from https://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/moderate-drinking.htm
- National Library of Medicine: Addiction potential of phentermine prescribed during long-term treatment of obesity, Retrieved September 2023 from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23736363/