Appetite Suppressants

What are Appetite Suppressants Used For?

In the recent past, an overweight individual was viewed as a very stable, affluent and socially high-class member of a community. But gone are the days when being overweight and fat was perceived as a sign of success, wealth, and high social status. Today, more people are enlightened about the negative health-related effects that are associated with being abnormally fat. An obese individual is now labeled as the laziest person in the streets. They are known to be people with very poor self-control. Even though many people think that being fat is a condition that can be easily managed, different people have unique physiological characteristics and it is very hard to believe that a number of people find it very hard to control and manage their body weight.

Ever since more people found out about the various problems that come along with being overweight, over indulgence in some activities has been replaced with routine exercises, balanced diets and the use of dietary supplements. These activities are all geared towards living and maintaining a healthier lifestyle.

Medical professionals and research physicians have struggled for years and years to develop prescribed medications, dietary supplements, and appetite suppressants. These medications are designed to reduce your appetite so that you can consume less food. If you eat less, you are bound to lose weight. Dealing with overweight is not just about looking more fit and attractive, treating obesity can be very helpful since it can enable you to avoid serious risk factors that may include; high blood pressure, high cholesterol and cardiovascular diseases.

The Historical Background Of Appetite Suppressants

Appetite suppressants have been around ever since the 1950’s. From the second world war, soldiers from the Finnish and German militaries are reported to have been using these drugs as a method to enhance their warfare. After the second world war, amphetamines were introduced to the local markets prescribed as appetite suppressants until they were banned in most regions owing to some of their safety issues and side effects such as hypertension, tachycardia and addiction issues. Contrary to this, appetite suppressants became a preferred method of losing weight for many people who wanted to shed some weight using minimum efforts. Appetite suppressants were also prescribed by medical physicians all over the globe. This facilitated the introduction and production of various forms of this drug which later flooded the markets. The most common ingredient used in these suppressants was hoodia. Other ingredients in different appetite suppressants included natural-diuretic green tea combined with extracts from plants like fucoxanthin which is naturally found in seaweed. These drugs are classified as stimulants and they form the members of phenethylamine family that are related to amphetamines and have the street name ‘speed’

After some time, The American markets were flooded with more appetite-suppressants than their shelves could hold. All forms of these drugs were available including Dexatrim which is the most popular of them. Generically, Dexatrim is known as phenylpropanolamine, its action is by vasoconstriction. It constricts and shrinks blood vessels i.e. veins or arteries in the body mostly in the chest, nose, and sinuses, which facilitates an improved drainage of these areas and decreases congestion, therefore, making the treatment of sinus irritation and hayfever more ideal. In addition to its benefits, Phenylpropanolamine induces a substantial decrease in an individual’s appetite and that is why it is used as an off the counter diet medication. Unfortunately, phenylpropanolamine is also related to an increased risk of hemorrhagic stroke, bleeding of the tissues surrounding the brain which can subsequently introduce blood into the brain tissues. Even though the chances of this experiencing condition is low, the FDA has issued out several warning against drugs that contain phenylpropanolamine.

Due to the incorporation of some thermogenic substances, appetite suppressants were renamed to fat burners and they could and can still be purchased without a prescription. The most common include; Apidex, Fen-phen and Ephedra. It was later during the 1900’s that an extended use of this medication was proved to cause some side effects, some mild and others serious. So, by the year 2000, most of these drugs had been withdrawn from the markets due to these effects. Due to numerous appeals from their manufacturers, several state courts had overturned this ruling by 2005.

How FDA Approved Appetite Suppressants Work

Appetite suppressants act on the hypothalamus which is the body’s central appetite stimulating region. It is located in the brain. They inhibit the uptake of serotonin and norepinephrine chemicals which are substances that create an overall feeling of satisfaction in an individual after having a heavy meal. When these chemicals circulate your system, you will feel more satisfied even after eating less. Appetite suppressants are a cornerstone to the clinical approach of treating obesity.

There are numerous safe anorexiant medications that have been approved for weight loss by the FDA. These drugs act by changing the behavior of neurotransmitters in the body system. Neurotransmitters are stored in the nerve cells and released when these cells are stimulated. Neurotransmitters are released from the end part of the nerve fibers known as the axon and they cross through to the synapse to the adjacent cells where they perform their stimulation. In summary, neurotransmitters are chemicals which facilitate communication between cells, other tissues, and nerve cells.


Phentermine is the most common anorexiant medication. It works like all other anorexiant medicines by activating a neurotransmitter that is similar to adrenaline called the norepinephrine. This neurotransmitter is activated in the sympathetic and the central-nervous-system. Based on the evidence that individuals with overweight cases suffer from a diminished sympathetic nervous activity, the administration of this medication has the ability to decrease the basal metabolic rates of these individuals, by utilizing sympathetic amines, the increase in metabolic rates can be very effective for weight loss purposes.

Apart from Phentermine, this class of medications also include phendimetrazine which is another common appetite suppressant and diethylpropion. This medication can be administered solely but if combined, it will have a greater synergistic effect. By combining long and short-acting compounds, an individual’s appetite can be sufficiently suppressed for extended periods of time. A good example of a combination could be starting in the morning with phentermine, diethylpropion in the afternoon and phendimetrazine in the evening.

Below are some research-based studies and evidence on the action of anorexiant medications

Many researchers have conducted various studies to investigate various properties of anorexiant medications in relation to appetite suppression and weight loss. Some studies have concluded that Phentermine  / Topiramate) has an association with a sustained weight loss effect and it improves metabolic variables and cardiovascular activities. It also decreases the incidence rates of diabetes.

Another study concluded that an extended administration of this medication has more benefits than risks for any patient who is unable to lose weight naturally. But it only facilitates a continuous weight loss with a long term use and administration. A combination of phentermine and topiramate has shown to be very effective in facilitating the loss of weight by up to 10% in a majority of the patients on its treatment.


For this therapy to be utterly effective, it should be incorporated with other calorie reduction techniques and various other methods that can help you to lose more weight. You can choose to have an organized selective meal of low-calorie intake and a balanced diet, exercises, and other supplements.

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