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Updated on September 13, 2023
4 min read

Is It Safe to Drink Alcohol While Taking Phentermine?

What is Phentermine?

Phentermine (Adipex-P) is an amphetamine-like prescription drug known as a monoamine alkaloid derivative. It's a sympathomimetic stimulant, which acts as an effective appetite suppressant. Because it can decrease hunger, it's known as a weight loss drug or diet pill.

Phentermine is a Schedule IV controlled substance. This is usually a classification for medication with high abuse potential, though there is little evidence that this is true for phentermine. Phentermine can cost around $21 to $24.


What is Phentermine For?

Phentermine is primarily for weight loss, accompanied by proper diet and exercise. It is for obese people who have previously failed to lose weight with other diet and exercise programs.

Phentermine is prescribed for up to 12 weeks. It's not intended for people who only want to lose a few pounds.


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Can You Drink Alcohol While Taking Phentermine?

Although it's possible to drink alcohol while taking phentermine, it's generally recommended that you refrain from doing so. This is because alcohol can interact with phentermine, which can cause unwanted side effects.

The main issue is that alcohol can worsen phentermine's side effects. Mixing alcohol with phentermine can also increase the risk of developing side effects. Overall, healthcare providers recommend avoiding alcohol while taking phentermine.

Side Effects of Mixing Alcohol and Phentermine

There are several risks associated with combining alcohol and phentermine. In addition to exacerbating existing side effects, it can cause:

  • Gastrointestinal problems (stomachaches, nausea, and heartburn)
  • Cardiovascular problems (increased risk of heart failure, heart rate, and blood pressure)
  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness or drowsiness
  • Depression
  • Concentration issues

Furthermore, mixing phentermine with other benign substances can result in harmful interactions. These include ginseng, guarana, sage, and yerba mate. 

How Long Should You Wait to Drink Alcohol?

The effects of phentermine last for about 12 hours. This means you'll need to wait 12 to 13 hours before drinking alcohol. If you want to avoid experiencing severe side effects, make sure that phentermine has left your body before you start drinking alcohol.

Side Effects of Phentermine

Phentermine is generally considered a safe, effective drug to help with weight loss for clinically obese people. However, some people may experience side effects while taking this medication. 

Common side effects are mild and include:

  • Elevated heart rate
  • Tingling in the hands or feet
  • Dry mouth
  • Sleeplessness
  • Nervousness
  • Constipation
  • Hyperactivity
  • Excitement
  • Headache

Other less common side effects may include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Diarrhea
  • Gastrointestinal discomfort
  • Pain when urinating
  • Hair loss
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Muscle pain
  • Heart palpitations
  • Tremors
  • Skin rash
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

There is also a risk of more serious side effects when taking phentermine. These include heart valve disorders and psychotic disorders.


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How Does Alcohol Affect Weight Loss?

While there are disputed benefits of moderate alcohol use, it can also make it more challenging to lose weight. Drinking more than a moderate amount of alcohol has been proven to contribute to weight gain in people across all health backgrounds.

There are several reasons why consuming alcohol may hinder weight loss and lead to weight gain. Alcohol contains 82 calories per ounce. In addition, the amount of calories increases depending on the drink. Drinking alcohol to the point of intoxication also makes it easier to overeat, leading to increased fat storage.

Alcohol also increases metabolic rate, which causes calories to be burned rather than stored as fat. However, sugar consumption also decreases when alcohol is present. This means more fat will be stored until the body processes the available alcohol.


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Treatment for Alcohol Abuse

Phentermine and alcohol addiction are serious problems that can affect your life.

The first step in treating alcohol and substance abuse is to seek help from a qualified professional. A doctor or addiction specialist can provide an individualized treatment plan to address the root causes of their drinking problem.

Treatment options for alcohol abuse include the following:

  • Counseling: Working with a counselor helps explore the underlying issues causing your drinking problem, such as stress or other mental health issues.
  • Medications: Some treatments use medications to reduce the urge to drink and help manage withdrawal symptoms.
  • Detoxification: This involves removing all traces of alcohol from your body so that you can resume normal activities.
  • Behavioral therapy: You can use behavioral therapy to learn new coping skills and find healthier ways to deal with stressors or triggers that may lead to drinking.
  • Group support: Joining a support group, like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), can provide social connections and accountability.


Phentermine is a stimulant drug that can act as an appetite suppressant, helping you lose weight. While the drug is safe when taken alone, it can cause serious side effects and harmful interactions.

In addition, drinking too much alcohol affects your weight loss efforts. Remember to drink alcohol moderately when prescribed phentermine to avoid health problems or complications.

If you suspect that you or a loved one is suffering from drug or alcohol abuse, seek professional help right away. Various treatments are available to help you overcome this problem.

Updated on September 13, 2023
7 sources cited
Updated on September 13, 2023
All Alcoholrehabhelp content is medically reviewed or fact checked to ensure as much factual accuracy as possible.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only link to reputable media sites, academic research institutions and, whenever possible, medically peer reviewed studies.
  1. Johnson, D.B., and Quick, J. "Topiramate And Phentermine." In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing, 2020. 

  2. Jordan et al. "Cardiovascular effects of phentermine and topiramate: a new drug combination for the treatment of obesity." Journal of hypertension, 2014. 

  3. "PubChem Compound Summary for CID 4771, Phentermine." National Center for Biotechnology Information, Retrieved 2020.

  4. Kim et al. "Effects on weight reduction and safety of short-term phentermine administration in Korean obese people." Yonsei medical journal, 2006. 

  5. Cosentino et al. "Phentermine and topiramate for the management of obesity: a review." Drug design, development and therapy, 2011.

  6. "Phentermine: Meyler's Side Effects of Drugs (Sixteenth Edition)." United States Food and Drug Administration.

  7. “Phentermine: Drug Usage Statistics." ClinCalc DrugStats Database, 2018.

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All content created by Alcohol Rehab Help is sourced from current scientific research and fact-checked by an addiction counseling expert. However, the information provided by Alcohol Rehab Help is not a substitute for professional treatment advice.
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