Anorectic efficacy of the fenfluramine/phentermine combination in rats: additivity or synergy?

by Roth JD, Rowland NE
University of Florida, Gainesville 32611-2250, USA.
Eur J Pharmacol 1999 Jun 4; 373(2-3):127-34


Fenfluramine + phentermine was a widely used combination for weight loss. Fenfluramine and phentermine are believed to act via serotonin and catecholamines, respectively. To what extent these drugs interact has not been well-established. We compared the anorectic efficacy of a range of doses of the combination (using dexfenfluramine instead of fenfluramine) relative to a range of doses of the individual drugs in 90 min sweetened milk intake tests in deprived and nondeprived rats. Results were plotted on isobolograms to determine whether the anorectic effects of the combination were either additive or synergistic. Collectively, the isobolographic analysis revealed that: (1) under acute conditions, dexfenfluramine and phentermine interact for the most part in a synergistic manner, and (2) with the exception of phentermine alone, deprivation state at time of testing did not alter the efficacy of the anorectics. These findings suggest that combined drug treatment for obesity is a theoretical approach that merits further investigation.