fen-phen

noun

1
: a former diet drug combination of phentermine with either fenfluramine or dexfenfluramine

called also phen-fen

2
: an herbal preparation typically containing ephedra and Saint-John's-wort that was used as an appetite suppressant until one of its ingredients (ephedra) was banned in the U.S. by the FDA in 2004
Herbal fen-phen users who take a cough or cold remedy containing decongestants, which are similar in action to ephedra, are unwittingly double-dosing on stimulants.Richard Harkness

Examples of fen-phen in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Safety problems in the 1990s with the anti-obesity treatment known as fen-phen, which had to be withdrawn from the market, were also fresh in their minds. Amanda Seitz, Fortune, 28 Dec. 2023 One weight loss drug, fen-phen, was taken off the U.S. market in the late ‘90s because it was linked to serious heart problems. Berkeley Lovelace Jr., NBC News, 11 Nov. 2023 Approximately 18 million prescriptions were written for this medicine until 1987, when an association was made between the use of fen-phen and valve diseases of the heart. Dr. Keith Roach, oregonlive, 28 Aug. 2023 Since weight-loss drugs have a long and sordid history of being deadly (remember fen-phen? Tamar Haspel, Washington Post, 25 Apr. 2023 The long-term story has yet to be written, and many people will recall, for example, that fen-phen, the 1990′s miracle weight loss drugs, were eventually taken off the market after evidence linked them to potentially serious heart valve problems. Beth Teitell, BostonGlobe.com, 21 Mar. 2023 One of the drugs in the combination known as fen-phen (a combination of fenfluramine and phentermine) was famously withdrawn in 1997 for damaging patients' heart valves. Karen Weintraub, USA TODAY, 20 Feb. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'fen-phen.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

fenfluramine + phentermine

First Known Use

1993, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of fen-phen was in 1993

Dictionary Entries Near fen-phen

Cite this Entry

“Fen-phen.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fen-phen. Accessed 21 Jul. 2024.

Medical Definition

fen-phen

noun
1
: a former diet drug combination of phentermine with either fenfluramine or dexfenfluramine that was used as an appetite suppressant in the treatment of obesity but was voluntarily withdrawn from the market in 1997 due to its association with heart disease

called also phen-fen

2
: an herbal preparation typically containing ephedra and Saint-John's-wort that was used as an appetite suppressant until one of its ingredients (ephedra) was banned in the U.S. by the FDA in 2004

called also phen-fen

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