Report on Tenuate Side Effects and Usage by AskDocWeb

About Tenuate

Picture of Tenuate     Tenuate Picture

What is Tenuate?

The chemical name of Tenuate, pronounced, TEN-you-ate, is diethylpropion pronounced dye-eth-il-PROE-pee-on. Tenuate is an appetite suppressant that is used along with diet, exercise, and behavior therapy for short-term management of obesity.

How does Tenuate work?

Tenuate works by stimulating the hypothalamus gland and affects certain neurotransmitters to decrease appetite. Tenuate stimulates the central nervous system, which increases your heart rate and blood pressure. Because Tenuate is chemically similar to amphetamines, it has the potential for psychological dependency so it should be used with caution.

What side effects do users of Tenuate report?

Side effects that may go away during treatment include restlessness, difficulty sleeping, nervousness, difficulty sleeping or dry mouth. If they continue or are bothersome, check with your doctor.

Common side effects include anxiety, bad taste in mouth, changes in sex drive, constipation, depression, diarrhea, difficulty moving, dizziness, drowsiness, dry mouth, enlargement of breasts, exaggerated sense of well-being, hair loss, increased pupil size, increased urination, nervousness, insomnia, menstrual upset, tremor, and vomiting.

Less common side effect reported were abnormal redness of the skin, blood pressure elevation, blurred vision, breast development in males, bruising, chest pain, drowsiness, feelings of discomfort, feeling of illness, headache, hives, impotence, increased seizures in epileptics, increased sweating,
increased volume of diluted urine, irregular heartbeat, muscle pain, over stimulation, painful urination,
palpitations, rash, or shortness of breath or labored breathing,

If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.

Those who have stopped taking this medication abruptly after prolonged use have reported extreme fatigue, mental depression and sleep disturbances.

What are the symptoms of overdose?

If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. Symptoms of overdose include restlessness, tremor, rapid breathing, nausea, vomiting, assaultiveness, confusion, depression, elevated blood pressure, fatigue, hallucinations, irregular heartbeat, lowered blood pressure, over reactive reflexes, panic state, tremors, diarrhea, and stomach cramps.

If you miss a dose of Tenuate

If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. If it is after 4 PM, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Conditions you should tell your Doctor about before taking Tenuate:

Inform your doctor of any other medical conditions, allergies, pregnancy, or breast-feeding. Use of this medicine is not recommended if you have a history of heart disease, high blood pressure, hyperthyroidism, glaucoma, atherosclerosis, or brain or spinal cord disorders. Contact your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions or concerns about using this medicine.

Before you have any medical or dental treatments, emergency care, or surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are using this medicine.

For women: This medicine is excreted in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you are using this medicine, check with your doctor or pharmacist to discuss the risks to your baby.

Tell Your Doctor if you’re taking any of the following medicines:

Inform your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and over-the-counter medicine that you are taking. Do not use this medicine if you are also taking guanadrel, guanethidine, furazolidone, or monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs).

Storing Tenuate

Store this medicine at room temperature in a tightly closed container, away from heat, light and children.

General Notes

Take this medicine about 30 minutes to 1 hour before meals. Take your last dose of the day at least 4 to 6 hours before bedtime.

Tenuate has fewer side effects than Phentermine but usually has to be taken more often.

Prolonged use may induce dependence with withdrawl symptoms.

Don’t exceed the recommended dose or take this medicine for longer than prescribed without checking with your doctor. Exceeding the recommended dose or taking this medicine for longer than prescribed may cause serious side effects.

Keep all doctors and laboratory appointments while you are using this medicine.

If you are epileptic, your doctor should monitor you carefully for any increase in convulsions.

If you find yourself relying on this drug to maintain a state of well-being, talk to your doctor as others have found it psychologically addictive.

Don’t drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how you react to this medicine.

This medication is usually taken for 8 to 12 weeks.

Tenuate may be habit-forming and can be addicting. If you’re taking Tenuate Dospan (the controlled release formulation), don’t crush or chew the tablets. Swallow them whole.

Avoid drinking alcohol while taking this medication.

Common Misspellings for Tenuate

Tenuate is often misspelled, as many people hear the word verbally, write it down and spell it incorrectly. Here are a few of the most common misspellings for Tenuate: Tinuate, Tanuate, Teinuate, Tenaute, and Teanuate.

Tenuate Feedback

If you’ve used Tenuate, please help others by adding your feedback. What would you tell someone considering using this product? Please remember that we do not give medical advice. That is for your local health care provider, who is familiar with your medical history. You can use the form below to add your comments,
feedback or Tenuate review.


I am currently taking 25 mg of tenuate once per day around 3 p.m., which has helped wipe out my food cravings during late day and evening until bedtime. My doctor prescribed it to me as part of a weightloss program. With this low dosage and only once per day, would it be ok to stay on it for 8 to 12 weeks, which is the time it will take for me to lose the weight? I read it can cause adverse heart conditions and PPH. I have a mild heart murmur, but it did not concern my doctor and it hasn’t had any bad effects on me. I do feel sort of a butterfly feeling in my heart…but that is all.

Julie from Montreal.

AskDocWeb: Did you tell your doctor about that butterfly feeling in your heart? If you did and your doctor still wasn’t concerned then you have two choices. If you trust your doctor’s opinion then rest easy. If not, you can always get a second opinion. Keep in mind that the lower the dosage, the less chance of side effects.

Subj: Best choice for weight loss
Date: 6/26/2004
I’m trying to decide which medication is best for me. I’ve tried them all during different times of my life (they all seem to work)… but what are the differences between these (are any safer than the others?): Ionamin, Tenuate, and Bontril


AskDocWeb: Both Ionamin and Tenuate are habit forming and can cause dependency problems. As long as you are not pregnant, not planning to become pregnant soon, or breast feeding, we would choose Bontril as the safer choice.

Subj: Recommending Tenuate
Date: 12/8/2004
It decreases my appetite but if I take it in the morning I am starving by dinner and tend to eat too much. If I take it at midmorning before lunch it lasts all day and all night. Does not keep me up. Have lost 22lbs so far – yippie. Just cutting portions and making my calories count healthy food. I have not exercised. I also have amazing dreams and normally I never got enough sleep to dream. My friends on it have the same thing to real vivid detailed dreams. I recommend it for a healthy person who needs to loose weight.


Subj: Tenuate and blood tests
Date: 2/24/2005
How long does Tenuate stay in your system. Does it show up on blood tests and for how long?


AskDocWeb: Everyone is different but 14 days is the norm.

Subj: Avoid insomnia
Date: 3/7/2005
I have been taking Tenuate 75mg along with Glucophage XR 500mg. My doctor prescribed both of them and told me to take Tenuate before 11:00am with food to avoid insomnia. I also take Glucophage with Tenuate at the same time. I have to go back to see my doctor in 4 weeks for blood pressure check and weight check. I was wearing 213lbs when I first started this medication. I am wearing 209 now so these medications are working well for me and I am not hungry like I used to be. Good luck on your medications.


Subj: 12 months of Tenuate
Date: 3/11/2005
I have been on tenuate for nearly 12 months. Apart from not doing much in the way of weight loss I have been suffering chronic mouth ulcers and irritations for which no-one has any answers. This has been for about 10months now and I’m going out of my mind. Can you pls help?


AskDocWeb: Tenuate is usually taken for 8 to 12 weeks so you are far past the recommended usage. Tenuate can be addicting but you don’t want to just stop using it. Those who have stopped taking this medication abruptly after prolonged use have reported extreme fatigue, mental depression and sleep disturbances. Sounds like it is time to talk to your doctor.

Subj: Works pretty good
Date: 5/14/2005
I have used it for a week now. Seems to work pretty good…lost 9lbs so far!


Subj: Tenuate and high blood pressure
Date: 7/9/2005
I’ve been on 75 mg of Tenuate for two weeks. I happened to check my blood pressure and it had gone from its normal 120/70 up to 155/96. When I had an EMT check it, it was 160/100. I could not get a hold of my doctor and the pharmacist advised I stop taking it until I can talk to him next week. Is it normal to make your blood pressure get up so high? Isn’t it dangerous for it to get that high?


AskDocWeb: Yes, this medication can cause severe hypertension as well as other unsettling side effects like blurred vision, GI disturbances, impotence.

Read more feedback about Tenuate.

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