Article Text

  1. D. Kwiker,
  2. D. Godkar,
  3. N. Lokhandwala,
  4. M. Yakoby
  1. Department of Internal Medicine, Coney Island Hospital, Brooklyn, NY


Background Phendimetrazine tartrate is a newer drug, which acts as a central stimulant and indirect-acting sympathomimetic with a host of uses similar to the class amphetamines. Its main use is as an anorectic in the short-term treatment of obesity, although stimulants are no longer indicated for this purpose. This drug appeals to the younger American population for immediate weight loss through decreased appetite and early satiety. The European Union markets have already withdrawn this medication as well as other countries, but phendimetrazine is still used within the United States. Rhabdomyolysis is a potentially life-threatening complication reported with higher doses of amphetamines.

Case Report We present here a case of rhabdomyolysis and myoglobinuria developing in a 23-year-old patient after oral administration of phendimetrazine tartrate for 3 days in suggested therapeutic doses. The medication was taken for short-term treatment of obesity and the patient did not have any predisposing factors to precipitate rhabdomyolysis. Rhabdomyolysis resolved within 5 days. To our knowledge, this is the first reported case of rhabdomyolysis from administration of therapeutic amounts of phendimetrazine tartrate.

Teaching Point The purpose of this case report is to create an awareness among physicians about the potentially life-threatening complications associated with phendimetrazine use as an anorectic even in suggested therapeutic doses, as was the case in our patient. Additional awareness is needed to educate their patients about the side effects associated with these drugs and to strongly discourage their unsupervised use.

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