Clin Psychopharmacol Neurosci.  2013 Apr;11(1):7-12.

Phentermine, Sibutramine and Affective Disorders

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Jeju Medical Center, Jeju, Korea.
  • 2Department of Family Medicine, Jeju National University School of Medicine, Jeju, Korea.
  • 3Department of Psychiatry, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. schung@amc.seoul.kr

Abstract

A safe and effective way to control weight in patients with affective disorders is needed, and phentermine is a possible candidate. We performed a PubMed search of articles pertaining to phentermine, sibutramine, and affective disorders. We compared the studies of phentermine with those of sibutramine. The search yielded a small number of reports. Reports concerning phentermine and affective disorders reported that i) its potency in the central nervous system may be comparatively low, and ii) it may induce depression in some patients. We were unable to find more studies on the subject; thus, it is unclear presently whether phentermine use is safe in affective disorder patients. Reports regarding the association of sibutramine and affective disorders were slightly more abundant. A recent study that suggested that sibutramine may have deleterious effects in patients with a psychiatric history may provide a clue for future phentermine research. Three explanations are possible concerning the association between phentermine and affective disorders: i) phentermine, like sibutramine, may have a depression-inducing effect that affects a specific subgroup of patients, ii) phentermine may have a dose-dependent depression-inducing effect, or iii) phentermine may simply not be associated with depression. Large-scale studies with affective disorder patients focusing on these questions are needed to clarify this matter before investigation of its efficacy may be carried out and it can be used in patients with affective disorders.

Keyword

Affect; Anti-obesity agents; Mood disorders; Obesity; Phentermine; Sibutramine
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