1 What is Tenuate?

Brand: Tenuate, Tenuate Dospan

Generic: Diethylpropion

Tenuate is used as part of a short-term plan, along with a low-calorie diet, for weight reduction. It is used in obese patients who have not been able to lose weight with diet and exercise alone.

Tenuate belongs to a group of medications known as appetite suppressants. This medication is only available with your doctor’s prescription. This medication is available in the following forms:

  • Extended Release Tablet
  • Tablet

2 What to Know Before Using

Before using Tenuate, you must know all about the risks and complications associated with it. This is a decision that you and your doctor will make together.

For this medication, there are many things that need to be considered:

Allergies: Inform your doctor if you have ever had an allergic reaction to any other medications. It is also important to inform your doctor of any non-medicine allergies such as foods, dyes, preservatives or animals.

Pediatric: No appropriate studies have been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of this medication in children. Safety and efficacy have not been established.

Geriatric: Up-to-date studies have not shown any problems specific to the elderly that would limit the use of this medication in the elderly population.

This medication is listed as Pregnancy Category B. This means that animal studies have revealed no evidence of harm to the unborn baby, however, there are are no studies in pregnant women OR animal studies have shown an adverse effect to the unborn baby, but studies in pregnant women have not shown a risk to the unborn baby.

Breastfeeding: There are no up-to-date studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication while breastfeeding. Weigh the potential risks with the benefits before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Drug Interactions: Certain medications should not be used together. However, in certain cases, two medications may be used together, even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change your dose or take other precautions.

When taking this medication, it is important that you inform your doctor if you are taking any of the medications listed below. The following interactions were selected on the basis of potential significance and are not all-inclusive. Using this medication with any of the following is not recommended.

Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication, or change some of the other medications you take:

  • Brofaromine
  • Clorgyline
  • Furazolidone
  • Iproniazid
  • Isocarboxazid
  • Lazabemide
  • Linezolid
  • Moclobemide
  • Nialamide
  • Pargyline
  • Phenelzine
  • Procarbazine
  • Rasagiline
  • Selegiline
  • Sibutramine
  • Toloxatone
  • Tranylcypromine

Other Interactions: Certain medications should not be used while eating, or while eating certain foods in the case of negative interactions. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medications may also cause negative interactions. Talk with your doctor about the use of your medication with food, alcohol or tobacco.

Other Medical Problems: Pre-existing medical problems may affect the use of this medication.

Be sure to tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Agitated state
  • Arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)
  • Drug abuse or dependence
  • Glaucoma
  • Heart problems (i.e. heart murmur, valvular heart disease)
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid)
  • Pulmonary hypertension (increased blood pressure in the lungs) - Should not be used in patients with these conditions.
  • Heart or blood vessel disease
  • Heart rhythm problems (e.g., arrhythmia)
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Mental illness
  • Seizures or epilepsy - Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
  • Kidney disease - Use with caution. Higher blood levels of diethylpropion can occur, which increases the risk of serious side effects.

3 Proper Usage

Proper usage of Tenuate requires strict adherence to your doctor’s orders. Do not take more, less or for a longer or shorter period of time than your doctor tells you.

Swallow the controlled-release tablets whole. Do not break, crush or chew it. Carefully follow your doctor’s instructions for a reduced-calorie diet plan and regular exercise. Talk to your doctor before starting any exercise program.

Dosing: Different patients will be given a different dose of this medication based on the strength of the medication. The number of doses you take each day, the time between doses and the length of time you take this medication depends on the reason you are taking this medication.

The following information only includes the average dose of this medication. If your dose is different, do not change it without first speaking to your doctor.

Immediate-release tablets:

  • Adults and teenagers 17 years of age and older - 25mg 3 times a day, taken 1 hour before meals and in mid-evening to overcome night hunger.
  • Children 16 years of and younger - Use is not recommended.

Controlled-release tablets:

  • Adults and teenagers 17 years of age and older - 75mg once a day, normally taken in mid-morning.
  • Children 16 years of and younger - Use is not recommended.

Missed dose: If you miss a dose of this medication, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your normal dosing schedule. Do not double dose.

Storage: Store this medication in a closed container at room temperature. Keep it away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Do not freeze.

Keep our of the reach of children. Do not keep expired medication or medication you no longer need. Ask your doctor how to dispose of any medication you do not use.

4 Precautions to Take

Before using Tenuate, there are some precautions you must take. It is very important that your doctor checks in with you often while you are receiving this medication to make sure that it is working properly.

Do not take other prescription or over-the-counter medications without asking your doctor. Do not use this medication if you are using similar medications such as benzphetamine, manindol, phendimetrazine, phentermine, Bontril, Didrex or suprenza.

Do not use this medication if you have used a MAO inhibitor such Eldepryl, Marplan, Nardil or Parnate within the past 14 days. Using these medications together can cause serious side effects.

This medication can be habit-forming. If you think this medication is not working properly after you have taken it for 4 weeks, do not increase the dose. Check with your doctor and ask what you should do.

Stop using this medication and inform your doctor immediately if you notice a decrease in your ability to exercise, if you faint (syncope) or if you have chest pain, swelling of your feet or lower legs or difficulty breathing. These may be symptoms of a serious heart or lung problem.

This medication may cause some people to become dizzy, lightheadedness or less alert than normal. This is more likely to happen when you begin taking this medication, or when you increase the dosage. Make sure you know how you react to this medication before driving, using machinery or doing anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert.

This medication may add to the effects of alcohol and other CNS depressants (medications that make your drowsy or less alert).

Some examples of CNS depressants are antihistamines or allergy medications, sedatives or sleeping medications, prescription pain medications or narcotics, medications for seizures or barbiturates, muscle relaxants or anaesthetics. Inform your doctor if you are using any of the above while on this medication.

For diabetic patients: This medication may affect blood sugar levels. If you notice a change in the results of your blood or urine sugar tests, or if you have any questions, ask your doctor.

5 Potential Side Effects

As with many medications, there are several potential side effects associated with Tenuate. Although not all of these side-effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following side-effects:


Get emergency help immediately if any of the following symptoms of overdose occur:

  • Abdominal or stomach cramps
  • Bigger, dilated or enlarged pupils (black part of the eye)
  • Change in consciousness
  • Confusion
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
  • Increased sensitivity of the eyes to light
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Nausea
  • Overactive reflexes
  • Panic
  • Physical attempt to injure
  • Restlessness
  • Sweating
  • Violent actions
  • Vomiting

Some patients may experience other side effects that are not listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any other side effects. Ask your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.