Modified on 2009/10/14 21:52 by admin
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fen-phem image

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Fen-Phen is the popular name for the combination of the drugs fenfluramine (Pondimin) and phentermine.  Doctors formerly prescribed this combination of drugs, and later a related drug dexfenfluramine, to help control obesity.  Fen-Phen is said to act as an appetite suppressant, yet the long-term harmful effects of this medication far outstretch any weight loss benefits.   

Fen-Phen History


The FDA approved fenfluramine in 1973 and phentermine in 1959.  Phentermine continues to be marketed to present day under the prescription brand names Ionamin and Adipex. The FDA has never expressly approved the use of the combination of the two drugs as a weight loss treatment, but doctors are permitted to prescribe drugs in any combination that they see fit.

In 1997 the fenfluramine component of the fen-phen combination was removed from the market after the FDA discovered that the drug combination was responsible for an alarmingly high occurrence of heart valve defects and a deadly condition known as primary pulmonary hypertension (PPH).  PPH is a disease caused by narrowing of certain blood vessels in the heart and lungs. A statistically significant number of persons who took Phen-Fen also suffered from PPH (reportedly 1 in 25,000 who used Phen-Fen for more than 3 months).

Fen-phen was originally manufactured by the American Home Products Corporation (now known as Wyeth Pharmaceuticals). To date, thousands of lawsuits have been filed against former American Home Products by individuals injured by fen-phen.

During the summer of 2000, American Home Products agreed to settle the major class action lawsuit pending against the company for approximately $12 billion. Individuals harmed by fen-phen will receive between $5,000 and $1.5 million each, depending on the severity of their fen-phen related injuries.

Drug Injury

Please consult with your physician about any questions you may have concerning weight-loss treatment with Fen-Phen.  If you experienced any of the symptoms associated with PPH or valvular heart disease as a result of taking the combination Fen-Phen, it may be important for you to address these concerns with your physician.

If you have legal questions or believe that you have been injured as a result of Phen-Fen, you should contact an attorney who has experience in this area of practice.

IMPORTANT - You should never stop using any medication without first consulting with your prescribing physician. 


See Also

  1. Heart Valve Disorders: Overview
  2. Primary Pulmonary Hypertension / PPH
  3. Fen-Phen New Studies: Frequently Asked Questions
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