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  • Tenuate (diethylpropion): An overview of this diet drug

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    Thursday, May 06, 2004 3:45 pm Email this article
    Tenuate (diethylpropion) has been shown to cause weight loss in obese patients with hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and refractory obesity. Continuous therapy causes slightly more weight loss than intermittent therapy and results in a smaller range of weight changes.


    The sustained-release form of the drug seems to be preferable to the immediate-release form for reasons of compliance.

    IN THE U.S. SINCE 1960

    Diethylpropion was introduced in the United Kingdom in 1958 (Clein, 1962) and in the U.S. in 1960.

    It was introduced as an appetite-suppressant without the undesirable CNS-stimulating effects of amphetamines.


    It was the most prescribed weight loss drug until at least 1974. (Bolding, 1974)

    In a 1976 review of diet drugs, Craddock concluded that:

    ???Diethylpropion comes out clearly as the drug of first choice for routine use as compared with fenfluramine, its main competitor.

    “It is more effective, has less side effects and is very much cheaper. It can safely be used in hypertensive patients, but should rarely be used in individuals who are already tense…

    “Mazindol has generally a greater incidence of CNS side effects than diethylpropion but is as effective in those patients who are suited to it. It is a good second choice to diethylpropion and may eventually challenge it.

    “Phentermine would appear also to be ruled out as a first-line drug by the high incidence of sleeplessness. However, it is a useful alternative drug where others have failed…??? (Craddock, 1976, p. 390)

    However, more recent studies have shown greater weight loss with phentermine and mazindol than with diethylpropion, especially during the third month of treatment.


    Bolding O. Diethylpropion hydrochloride: an effective appetite suppressant. Curr Ther Res Clin Exp. 1974 Jan, 16(1):40-48.

    Clein L, Benady D. Case of diethylpropion addiction. Br Med J. 1962 Aug 18, 5302:456.

    Craddock D. Anorectic drugs: use in general practice. Drugs. 1976, 11(5):378-93.

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