Penn State Hershey Medical Center home Penn State Hershey Medical Center home Penn State Hershey: Patient Care home Penn State Hershey: Education home Penn State Hershey: Research home Penn State Hershey: Community home
Penn State Hershey Health Information Library
  Library Home
  Find A Physician
  Find A Practice
  Request An Appointment
  Search Clinical Studies
  Classes and Support Groups
  Ask A Health Librarian
  Subscribe to eNewsletters

Penn State Hershey Health Information Centers
  Bone and Joint

        Follow Us

Diethylpropion (By mouth)

Diethylpropion (dye-eth-il-PROE-pee-on)

Used for short periods as part of a diet plan to help you lose weight.

Brand Name(s):

Tenuate, Tenuate Dospan

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to diethylpropion, other diet pills such as Fastin®, or amphetamines such as Dexedrine®. You should not use this medicine if you have problems with drug abuse, high blood pressure, heart disease, overactive thyroid, severe anxiety, or glaucoma.

How to Use This Medicine:

Tablet, Long Acting Tablet

  • Your doctor will tell you how much to take and how often.
  • Take the tablet 1 hour before meals. To avoid trouble sleeping, take your last dose of the day about 4 to 6 hours before bedtime (unless your doctor tells you differently).
  • Swallow the extended-release tablet whole - do not break, chew, or crush. To avoid trouble sleeping, take the extended-release tablet dose in the morning (unless your doctor tells you differently).

If a dose is missed:

  • If you take 1 dose a day, take the missed dose as soon as possible. If you do not remember until the next day, skip the missed dose and just take your one tablet for that day.
  • If you take more than 1 dose a day, take the missed dose as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next usual dose, wait until then to take your medicine and skip the missed dose.
  • You should not use two doses at the same time.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:

  • Store at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are taking amantadine, amphetamines (Dexedrine®), cocaine, (Cylert®), methylphenidate (Ritalin®), other diet pills, medicine for asthma, allergies, or colds, or blood pressure medicine.
  • Tell your doctor if you have taken an MAO inhibitor such as Marplan® or Parnate® within the past 14 days.
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine while taking this medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Check with your doctor before taking this medicine if you have Tourette's syndrome, depression, epilepsy (seizures), kidney disease, diabetes, or drug or alcohol abuse problems.
  • Diethylpropion may be habit-forming. You may have withdrawal symptoms such as stomach pain, trembling, depressed mood, tiredness, or anxiety after you stop taking the medicine.
  • If you have taken this medicine for a long time, do not suddenly stop taking it. Talk to your doctor first.
  • If the medicine does not seem to work as well after a few weeks, talk to your doctor. You should not use more of it than your doctor prescribed.
  • This medicine may make you dizzy or feel "high." Be careful if you are driving a car or using machinery.
  • For patients with diabetes, this medicine may change the level of sugar in your blood or urine. Tell your doctor if your tests for sugar in blood or urine change.
  • Talk with your doctor before use if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking diethylpropion before having any kind of surgery.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Chest pain
  • Severe headache
  • Trouble breathing
  • Skin rash, severe itching or hives
  • Blurred vision, confusion, or hallucinations
  • Unexplained fever or sore throat
  • Uncontrolled body movements or seizures

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Restlessness, trembling, or nervousness
  • Changes in sex drive
  • Trouble sleeping or headache
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Bad taste in the mouth or dry mouth
  • Nausea, vomiting, or stomach cramps

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 1/7/2020

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites.

All rights reserved

A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and chrome browser.