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Effect of phentermine on weight reduction in a pediatric weight management clinic


Phentermine is the most widely prescribed obesity medication in adults, yet studies of its use in the pediatric population are limited. We conducted a retrospective chart review of adolescents with obesity treated in a pediatric weight management clinic to examine the weight loss effectiveness of phentermine added to standard of care (SOC) lifestyle modification therapy versus SOC alone. All patients receiving phentermine plus SOC (n=25) were matched with a comparison group receiving only SOC (n=274). Differences at 1, 3 and 6 months were evaluated using generalized estimated equations adjusting for age, sex and baseline body mass index (BMI) and robust variance standard error estimates for confidence intervals and P-values. Phentermine use was associated with a greater percent change in BMI at 1 month (−1.6%; 95% confidence interval (CI): −2.6, −0.6%; P=0.001), 3 months (−2.9%; 95% CI: −4.5, −1.4%; P<0.001) and 6 months (−4.1%; 95% CI: −7.1, −1.0%; P=0.009) compared with SOC alone, with no differences in systolic or diastolic blood pressure between groups. Heart rate was higher at all time-points in the phentermine plus SOC compared with SOC-only group. These data suggest that short-term use of phentermine added to SOC may enhance weight loss in adolescents with obesity in the clinical setting.

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Dr Ryder is supported by an individual training grant from NIH/NHLBI (F32-HL127851). Dr Rudser and Kaizer are supported, in part, by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences/NIH (UL1TR000114). The other authors received no funding for this project.

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Correspondence to J R Ryder.

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Competing interests

Dr Kelly serves as a consultant for Novo Nordisk Pharmaceuticals, but does not receive personal or professional income for these activities. Dr Kelly receives research support in the form of drug/placebo from Astra Zeneca Pharmaceuticals. Dr Fox serves as a site principal investigator for a clinical trial sponsored by Novo Nordisk Pharmaceuticals. The other authors declare no conflict of interest. No honorarium, grant or other form of payment was given to anyone to produce the manuscript.

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Supplementary Information accompanies this paper on International Journal of Obesity website

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Ryder, J., Kaizer, A., Rudser, K. et al. Effect of phentermine on weight reduction in a pediatric weight management clinic. Int J Obes 41, 90–93 (2017).

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