The Athlete


Diethylpropion is an anorectic drug in a similar class as amphetamines (speed). It stimulates the central nervous system, causing rapid heartbeat and an increase in blood pressure. This drug should only be taken for a short time by those who are extremely obese, and only under strict supervision of your doctor.

This drug is widely available over the internet, but I would strongly caution anyone taking it without a doctor's recommendation. The long and short-term side effects can be extremely damaging. The risk factors must be carefully weighed before this drug is prescribed.

Side Effects

Cardiovascular: Palpitation (a strong heartbeat that you can feel), tachycardia (very rapid heartbeat), elevation of blood pressure.

Central Nervous System: In a few epileptics an increase in convulsive episodes has been reported; dyskinesia (The inability to perform voluntary movement), blurred vision, overstimulation, nervousness, restlessness, dizziness, jitteriness, insomnia, anxiety, euphoria, depression, dysphoria (an exaggerated feeling of not being well similar to depression), tremor, mydriasis (dilated pupils), drowsiness, malaise (a general feeling of fatigue or being run down), headache

Gastrointestinal: Vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal discomfort, dryness of the mouth, unpleasant taste, nausea, constipation, other gastrointestinal disturbances

Allergic: Hives, rash, ecchymosis,(bruising under the skin, black and blue marks) erythema ( reddening of the skin)
Endocrine: Impotence, changes in libido (sexual desire), gynecomastia (over development of the male breast), menstrual upset.
Hematopoletic System (blood cell formation): Bone marrow depression (reduced ability to form red blood cells), agranulocytosis (disease caused by certain drugs that reduces the number of white blood cells), leucopenia (reduction of the total white blood count)

Abuse and Dependence

Diethylpropion is classified as a Schedule IV controlled substance. This means it has a potential for abuse and addiction. Diethylpropion is related chemically and pharmacologically to the amphetamines. Amphetamines and related stimulant drugs have been extensively abused and many are now illegal.
Abuse of amphetamines and related drugs may be associated with intense psychological dependence and severe social dysfunction. There are, reports of patients who have increased the dosage to many times that recommended.

This drug must be used short-term only because long-term use can lead to psychosis, which is often clinically indistinguishable from schizophrenia.

Stopping the drug abruptly after high dosage administration, results in extreme fatigue and mental depression, as well as changes in sleep.


Tolerance is the body's ability to adjust to the drug and to need higher doses to achieve the same effect. Tolerance to the anorectic effect usually develops within a few weeks. When this occurs the recommended dose should not be exceeded in an attempt to increase the effect rather, the drug should be discontinued.


Diethylpropion should not be taken if:
* You have even mild hypertension (high blood pressure)
* You have coronary artery disease
* You have epilepsy
* You have arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)
* You have asthma or any respiratory problems
* You are taking any other stimulants
* You have kidney problems
* You have a history of drug abuse
* You are normally a nervous or easily agitated person


Acute overdosage may manifest itself by the following signs and symptoms: restlessness, tremor (shaking), hyperreflexia (a reaction of the autonomic (involuntary) nervous system to over-stimulation. This may include high blood pressure, change in heart rate, skin color changes (pallor, redness, blue-grey coloration), and profuse sweating), rapid respiration, confusion, hallucinations, panic states. Fatigue and depression usually follow the central nervous system stimulation. Cardiovascular effects include arrhythmias, hypertension (high blood pressure), or hypotension (low blood pressure) and circulatory (blood vessels) collapse. Gastrointestinal symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal cramps. Poisoning may result in convulsions, coma and death.

Pregnancy and Nursing Mothers

There have not been enough clinical tests done on pregnant women, though the drug can be passed to the fetus and infants have gone through withdrawl. Tenuate is also excreted in mother's milk, so pregnant women and nursing mothers should avoid using Tenuate.

Usage in Children

Children under 12 should not take Diethylpropion.

Geriatric Use

Clinical studies of Tenuate did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects. Other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients. In general, caution should be used in elderly patients due to the greater frequency of kidney, liver and heart problems.

Recommended Dosage

Tenuate is supplied in 2 forms. 25mg immediate release tablets which should be taken 3 times a day, one hour before meals or 75mg controlled release capsules taken once in the morning.

When properly used Tenuate can help the grossly obese lose weight, however it is a potent drug and shouldn't be used if you just have a few pounds to lose. As with all prescription weight loss drugs, have your doctor monitor your progress and should you experience any problems contact your doctor and stop the drug.

Information for the informed athlete:

Weight loss and other weight loss drugs

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