Pronunciation: fen-di-MEH-tra-zeen (also pronounced fen-dye-MEH-trah-zeen) Chemical Abstracts Service Registry Number: 21784-30-5 (Bontril format); 56959-5 (Plegine format); 50-58-8 (Prelu-2 format). Formal Names: Bontril, Plegine, Prelu-2 Informal Names: Pink Hearts Type: Stimulant (anorectic class). See page 15 Federal Schedule Listing: Schedule III (DEA no. 1615) USA Availability: Prescription Pregnancy Category: C

Uses. Phendimetrazine is related to phenmetrazine. Indeed, the body converts part of a phendimetrazine dose into phenmetrazine, a fact to be remembered if employment drug screening unjustly accuses someone of using phenmetrazine. Short-term weight control is the main medical use of phen-dimetrazine; one experiment found it 20 more times effective than placebo— an astonishing result for any diet pill. Effectiveness declines as administration continues, and standard practice is then to stop the drug gradually rather than increase the dosage. A derivative of the drug has been found useful for treating pyoderma gangrenosum, a skin affliction involving large sores.

Drawbacks. If dosage suddenly stops, weariness and depression can occur. A small reduction in blood pressure is observed among some users, but generally the drug raises blood pressure and is considered inappropriate for persons with hypertension (high blood pressure). The compound has been linked with hypertension in blood circulation to lungs, a potentially fatal condition causing trouble in breathing. Users have experienced edginess, disturbed sleep, headache, dizziness, lightheadedness, accelerated pulse rate, and feelings of heart tremors. Other muscle tremors can occur. Phendimetrazine can interfere with functioning needed to handle a car or dangerous tools. The compound can dry and even inflame the mouth, upset the stomach, loosen or tighten the bowels, and make urination frequent and painful. Persons should avoid the drug if they suffer from restlessness, glaucoma, excessive thyroid activity, heart disease, hardening of the arteries, or drug abuse. The substance may affect diabetics' insulin needs. Overdose symptoms are similar to those of amphetamine: hyperactivity, fear, aggression, hallucination.

Abuse factors. Phendimetrazine is a chemical relative of amphetamine and

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