Can fenfluramine and dexfenfluramine (“fen-phen”) be used to treat obesity?

Updated: Feb 20, 2019
  • Author: Steven M Schwarz, MD, FAAP, FACN, AGAF; Chief Editor: Jatinder Bhatia, MBBS, FAAP  more...
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Answer

Two previously and widely used agents, the serotoninergic drugs fenfluramine and dexfenfluramine, were withdrawn from the commercial market because of their association with valvular heart disease and primary pulmonary hypertension. These drugs were also associated with drowsiness, insomnia, tremor, and short-term memory loss. High doses of fenfluramine and dexfenfluramine are neurotoxic in rats and monkeys, raising concerns about the long-term use of other serotoninergic preparations (eg, fluoxetine) in children.


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