While this medication can effectively help people lose weight, it comes with the potential for side effects. It can also be easily abused.
Like other medication, phentermine can produce side effects. (Learn More)
You need a valid prescription from a doctor to purchase phentermine. Most physicians require an in-person visit to prescribe this stimulant drug. In some instances, you may be able to get a prescription after a telemedicine appointment, but laws vary on this from state to state. (Learn More)
Be wary of online sites that claim to be able to prescribe you the medication. Most of these operations are illegal and selling counterfeit forms of the drug.
What Is Phentermine?
The prescription medication phentermine is designed to be used by people who are overweight and following a healthy diet and exercise routine. It can further assist them in their weight loss goals by suppressing their appetite.
If you have type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol, you may also receive a phentermine prescription.
Phentermine should only be used as directed and in the short term. Its chemical structure is similar to amphetamine, and it can only be used with a prescription.
Due to its stimulant properties, the drug can be a target for abuse.
Scientists are still figuring out exactly how phentermine works. One theory is that it increases neurotransmitters that could reduce appetite, which eventually helps people lose weight.
Can I Get a Phentermine Prescription Online?
While it’s not common, it is possible to receive a prescription via telemedicine services in some states. Many physicians, however, require an in-person visit before they will prescribe you a stimulant like phentermine. In addition, some states don’t allow the prescription of medications via telemedicine appointments.
The Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) compiled a list of states that allow telemedicine — the practice of medicine via text, phone, apps, video, or other online communications.
Per FSMB, 49 states have determined that physicians and doctors who provide telehealth services must have a license from the state where they work. The District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the District of Columbia also require physicians engaging in telemedicine to be licensed in the area where they are practicing.
Many sites advertise that their online doctor can prescribe you any medication after you fill out a short form. These are scam sites.
- Unlicensed online pharmacies say it is possible to obtain a prescription over the internet. Instead of requiring a prescription for your doctor, they may ask you to fill out a questionnaire. Even if you receive an email with a “prescription” after filling out a questionnaire, this is not a valid prescription.
A Medscape article reported that approximately 3 percent of online pharmacies are operating legally.
- Online pharmacies outside of the U.S. operate under different laws. Do not ever purchase medication from a pharmacy that doesn’t have a physical address in the U.S.
How Telemedicine Laws Differ by State
Most states limit telemedicine doctors to certain activities.
- New Mexico state law says doctors engaging in telemedicine can educate, consult with, diagnose, treat, and transfer medical data to their patients using technology to make their services more accessible. Doctors can prescribe medication after a live video exam.
- Oklahoma state law mentions that telemedicine — that is, practicing medicine via technology — is not a separate medical specialty. The same boards that oversee regular physicians also regulate what doctors can do online.
Telemedicine doctors must adhere to certain regulations. Policies will vary by state and by doctor. Some doctors may not feel comfortable prescribing phentermine after a simple video appointment. They may want to see you in person first.
Buying Phentermine Online
With the high cost of prescription medication, many consumers turn to the internet to get their medications for cheaper.
To buy a scheduled medication like phentermine online, you must provide a prescription to the online pharmacy. After you have shown proof that a doctor prescribed you the medication, the pharmacy can fill your prescription and mail you phentermine.
If an online pharmacy does not ask you for a prescription, it is a scam site. If they claim to have their own doctor who can give you a prescription quickly after you answer a few questions, they are not a valid pharmacy.
If they don’t have a physical address in the United States, don’t purchase from them. Also, be wary of any online pharmacy that sells phentermine at an unbelievably low price; chances are they are operating unlawfully or selling a counterfeit medication.
The following are some risks of buying from unlicensed online pharmacies:
- The medication you get could be counterfeit.
- You might receive expired phentermine.
- You may suffer legal consequences if you are caught buying medication illegally.
- Even if you get the right product, you may experience side effects, or you may have a health condition that reacts poorly with phentermine. You need a doctor to manage these issues.
Common side effects of phentermine are dry mouth, vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation. The following are more serious side effects:
- Rise in blood pressure
- Heart palpitations
- Chest pain
If you have a legitimate prescription for phentermine, feel free to buy it online from a licensed pharmacy. But stay away from any scam sites that don’t require a prescription.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is phentermine?
Phentermine is a prescription medication that is similar to amphetamines. It is often prescribed to patients who are overweight and need additional assistance to lose weight. The medication works best when used alongside an exercise regimen and healthy diet.
What are phentermine’s other uses?
Doctors sometimes prescribe phentermine for patients who have type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol.
Does phentermine have any side effects?
Phentermine is known to cause various side effects, such as diarrhea, vomiting, and dry mouth. More serious side effects include shaking, an increase in blood pressure, and chest pain.
You have a higher risk of experiencing side effects if you buy phentermine from an unlicensed online pharmacy. The phentermine you get from such pharmacies might be expired, have a different formula, or be counterfeit.
Can I get a phentermine prescription online?
You can buy phentermine online from a registered U.S.-based pharmacy as long as you have the required prescription.
Some doctors may prescribe the drug after a telemedicine appointment. This is a doctor’s visit that is conducted via video. No doctor will prescribe phentermine after you fill out a basic questionnaire online.
Phentermine. (May 2017). MedlinePlus.
Does Phentermine Work for Weight Loss? A Diet Pill Reviewed. (January 2019). Healthline.
Telemedicine Policies. Federation of State Medical Boards.
Meds in the Mail: What’s in That Package? (October 2014). Medscape.
Is It Legal to Buy Prescription Drugs Online? (June 2019). Verywell Health.
New Mexico Telehealth Act. New Mexico State Legislature.
Regulation of Telemedicine. Oklahoma Hospital Association.
Know the Risks. (September 2013). U.S. Food and Drug Administration.