I'm in the process of switching to a new dentist and the new patient form I had to fill out asked "Have you ever taken any combination of the drug known as 'fen-phen'. This includes phentermine (Adipex, Fastin, etc) and/or fenfluramine (Pondimin)." What does it matter if I have taken this? I haven't taken fen-phen, but I have and do occasionally take phentermine? I don't go in for my initial cleaning/consultation until next week and was just wondering what the issue was with dental care and phentermine usage. Any insight will be greatly appreciated as countless internet searches have left me as uninformed as when I began. Thank you in advance.
Two reasons why a dentist may ask about this particular combination of drugs:
First reason is the U.S. Food and Drug Administration states that as many as 32 percent of users of Fen-Phen may have developed cardiac valve damage, placing them at risk for bactermia-induced infective endocarditis. Endocarditis is an inflammation that occurs when bacteria carried in the blood lodges on the damaged valves or in the lining of the heart. Some dental procedures can allow the entrance of bacteria in the bloodstream. Simple dental procedures like cleaning, placing orthodontic bands and scaling as well as more invasive procedures like root canals, and extractions may require antibiotic treatment before the dental procedure. This may be why they're asking new patients about their drug history. If they know you've taken it in the past they'll make sure they prescribe the correct course of antibiotics before certain dental procedures are undertaken, just to make absolutely sure there's no risk to you.
Second reason they may be wanting to know is regarding the condition called Xerostomia, also known as "dry mouth", which is a contributing factor to gum disease, rapidly progressing cavities, and bad breath. Below is a partial list of medications which have been known to cause dry mouth. You'll see it contains the drugs you mentioned in your query:
I'm a Dentist & I used 1 Rx of Adipex in 2009 to control a "patient's HEAVY salavating" problem for dental work to be done that month. Adipex for a weight loss medication was secondary. Would this be considered "Legal" by most Dental Boards???
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