How Effective Is Phentermine for ADD?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 10 February 2019
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As of 2011, no clinical trials on phentermine for attention deficit disorder (ADD) had been conducted to determine efficacy. This medication is, however, in the same class as other drugs used to manage ADD and may be beneficial for some patients in an off-label use. When drugs are recommended in this way, it means that a doctor believes that may offer benefits, but regulators have not specifically approved the medication for such uses. Dosing recommendations are also not available because of the non-standard nature of this use.

Some patients with ADD find stimulant medications useful to help them manage their conditions. While the use of stimulants might seem counter-intuitive, since such patients may be very energetic, the drugs can actually help the patient focus by releasing dopamine in the brain. It may be easier to sit still, pay attention, switch focus between tasks, and complete projects while taking medications like phentermine for ADD.

Phentermine is an example of an amphetamine, like some other popular drugs used in ADD therapy. While not specifically approved for this use, the drug may be considered as an option if a patient doesn’t tolerate other drugs well. When a doctor starts a patient on phentermine for ADD, the dosage is typically low. This gives the patient time to adjust and respond to the medication. If the patient’s condition is still poorly controlled, the dose can be slowly increased to find the right level.


Patients taking phentermine to treat ADD need to be careful of amphetamine side effects like racing heart, high blood pressure, and dizziness. If they notice side effects, they can discuss them with a doctor. It may be possible to adjust the dosage or make diet and lifestyle changes to address the issue. In some cases, patients may not tolerate phentermine for ADD, and may need to try a different medication.

This drug has historically been used to help patients lose weight, because it suppresses appetite. Theories about the benefits of phentermine for ADD came from patients who noticed improvements in their ADD while taking the drug. Since it is designed for short term use only, some patients also observed that when they stopped taking phentermine for weight loss, their ADD became harder to control. These observations led some patients to conclude that it might be helpful. Doctors may agree, and could offer the medication or be willing to discuss it if a patient wants to talk about drug treatments for ADD.


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Post 5

I have always had a mind that is constantly thinking, and usually of many things at once. It has always taken me so much longer to complete tasks that others do in a shorter time because I must "chase many rabbits" before I am satisfied. My work, however, is top quality. So, I always just considered myself a creative and analytical type of person.

I began taking Phen for weight loss and now I think I may have ADD. I have only taken it for a week, but I have been so productive. Not in a crazy, speed demon, manic kind of way, though. I have been more focused than I can ever remember. I also have been in a

more even mood and a calmer state of mind. I still eat and I still have cravings and am hungry but it seems I have more control and make better decisions. When I am no longer taking it for weight loss, I too will find a psych and be evaluated. It is amazing how my life has improved in such a short time. I am on 15 mg.
Post 4

It works for me. So far there haven't been any side effects for me.

Post 3

Phentermine is not good for ADD. It seems to work at first, but then it causes crazy side effects like heart palpitations, anxiety and panic attacks. I think it's addictive too.

Post 2

@SarahGen-- Phentermine for ADD is an off-label use and not many doctors will actually prescribe it for ADD. You should definitely not attempt to use it without your doctor's approval first.

Based on my personal experience, phentermine works for ADD. I actually discovered this by chance when I was given phentermine for weight loss. I have had ADD since high school and had tried a bunch of different medications since then. Most of them didn't work well and the ones that did had too many side effects.

I was not on any ADD medications when I started taking phentermine and from the first week, I started noticing a significant difference with my ADD. I could actually concentrate and

get stuff done and I didn't have any negative side effects.

Phentermine is a gem of a drug for ADD in my opinion. But it shouldn't be taken without doctor supervision because it's an off-label use. Like the article said, it can have unwanted side effects, if nothing else, it will cause weight loss which is not going to be desirable by someone who is not obese.

Post 1

Phentermine seems like such an unlikely drug for ADD. My step-mom takes this for obesity. I have ADD but I've never tried phentermine for it. Does anyone here take it for ADD and does it work?

I think this will be one of the last drugs I try though.

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