Generic name: Diethylpropion hydrochloride.

Other brand names: Tenuate Dospan, Tepanil, Tepanil Ten-tab.

Tenuate is a non-amphetamine appetite suppressant. It relieves hunger by altering nerve impulses to the appetite control center of the brain. 

Quick Facts About Tenuate


Used on a short-term basis as part of a weight reduction plan that includes behavior modification. Comes in immediate and controlled release forms.

Tenuate Dosage

Take exactly as prescribed. May be habit-forming. Do not crush or chew tablets; swallow them whole.

  • Usual adult dose: immediate-release — one 25-milligram tablet taken 3 times per day, 1 hour before meals. To avoid night hunger, take 1 tablet in the middle of the evening. Tenuate Dospan controlled-release — one 75-milligram tablet taken once per day, in midmorning.
  • Usual child dose: not generally prescribed for children under 12 years.
  • Missed dose: immediate-release — go back to regular schedule at the next meal. Tenuate Dospan controlled-release — take as soon as possible, unless it is the next day. In that case, do not take missed dose; go back to regular schedule. Do not double doses.

Tenuate Side Effects

Overdose symptoms:

abdominal cramps, assaultiveness, confusion, depression, diarrhea, elevated blood pressure, fatigue, hallucinations, irregular heartbeat, lowered blood pressure, nausea, overactive reflexes, panic state, rapid breathing, restlessness, tremors, vomiting. If you suspect an overdose, immediately seek medical attention.

Side effects: abdominal discomfort, abnormal redness of the skin, anxiety, blood pressure elevation, blurred vision, breast development in males, bruising, changes in sex drive, chest pain, constipation, depression, diarrhea, difficulty with voluntary movements, dizziness, drowsiness, dryness of the mouth, feelings of discomfort, feelings of elation, feeling of illness, hair loss, headache, hives, impotence, inability to fell or stay asleep, increased heart rate, increased seizures in epileptics, increased sweating, increased volume of diluted urine, irregular heartbeat, jitteriness, menstrual upset, muscle pain, nausea, nervousness, overstimulation, painful urination, palpitations, pupil dilation, rash, restlessness, shortness of breath or labored breathing, stomach and intestinal disturbances, tremors, unpleasant taste, vomiting.

No known less common or rare Tenuate side effects.


Inform your doctor before combining Tenuate with:

blood pressure medications such as Ismelin; insulin; phenothiazine medications such as the major tranquilizer Thorazine.

Do not drink alcohol during Tenuate therapy. 

Special Cautions

If pregnant or planning to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. Appears in breast milk; could affect a nursing infant.

No special precautions apply to seniors.

Not generally prescribed for children under 12.

  • Do not take if you have: severe hardening of the arteries, overactive thyroid, glaucoma, severe high blood pressure, agitation, history of drug abuse, or have taken a MAO inhibitor within the last 14 days.
  • May impair your ability to drive a car or operate machinery. Do not take part in any activity that requires alertness.
  • Tenuate loses effectiveness after a few weeks; stop medication rather than increase dosage.
  • Avoid if sensitive to or allergic to this or other appetite suppressants.
  • Use with caution if you have heart disease.
  • At risk for increase in convulsions if you have epilepsy.
  • Inform your doctor if you start to rely on Tenuate to maintain a state of well-being; can cause psychological dependence.


HealthSurvey.org provides accurate and independent information prescription pills, over-the-counter medicines and natural products. This material is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have questions about  dosage, or Tenuate side effects, please contact your healthcare provider