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June 1984

A Double-blind Clinical Trial in Weight Control: Use of Fenfluramine and Phentermine Alone and in Combination

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Preventive, Family, and Rehabilitation Medicine (Dr Weintraub), and Medicine (Drs Hasday, Mushlin, and Lockwood), University of Rochester (NY) School of Medicine and Dentistry.

Arch Intern Med. 1984;144(6):1143-1148. doi:10.1001/archinte.1984.00350180055008

• We performed a double-blind, controlled clinical trial comparing phentermine resin (30 mg in the morning), fenfluramine hydrochloride (20 mg three times a day), and a combination of phentermine resin (15 mg in the morning) and fenfluramine hydrochloride (30 mg before the evening meal), and placebo. We combined low doses of the two drugs to maintain efficacy while diminishing adverse effects. Eighty-one people with simple obesity (130% to 180% of ideal body weight) participated. Individualized diets were prescribed and discussed again during the 24-week study period. Weight loss in those receiving the combination (8.4±1.1 kg; mean±SEM) was significantly greater than in those receiving placebo (4.4±0.9 kg; Scheffé's test) and equivalent to that of those receiving fenfluramine (7.5±1.2 kg) or phentermine (10.0±1.2 kg) alone. Adverse effects were less frequent with the combination regimen than with other active treatments. Thirty-seven participants dropped out of the study, 18 for reasons related to drug treatment. Combining fenfluramine and phentermine capitalized on their pharmacodynamic differences, resulting in equivalent weight loss, fewer adverse effects, and better appetite control.

(Arch Intern Med 1984;144:1143-1148)