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Appetite Suppressant Drugs of the 20th Century

Abstract: Phentermine and similar weight loss drugs, pros and cons.

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Appetite Suppressant Drugs of the 20th Century

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Question(s): 
Written by: Martin Winkler
First version: 22 Jul 2008.
Latest revision: 05 Jan 2009.

What is the effect of Phentermine on appetite and weight? What are the pros and cons of this kind of appetite suppressant drugs?

Answer:

This article is about the weight reduction drugs used in the 20th century. Many of these drugs are not permitted any more, but may still be used illegally. Crocodilu has a separate article about the weight reduction drugs used today.

The use of appetite suppressant drugs of this kind is rather popular because they seem to achieve very fast short term weight reductions. However the long-term results are usually poor, if no behavioural change takes place.

Most of the old appetite suppressant medication were very similar to amphetamines. So there is a major risk of tolerance and misuse of these drugs.

Any use should be strictly restricted to short-term medication (6-12 weeks), combined with change of eating behavior, exercise and behavioural therapy. However most patients tend to abuse this medication and take it without consulting their doctors.

Possible short-term side effects include a dry mouth, irritability, blurred vision or stomach upset. Due to the stimulating effect a raise of heart rate and blood pressure is expected.

Avoid phentermine if you have a history of anxiety disorder, heart problems, high blood pressure, glaucoma, thyriod disorders, epilepsy or antidepressant medication with MAO-inhibitors (MAOI). Any use of appetite suppressant medication during pregnancy or nursing should be avoided.

Most appetite suppressant drugs were withdrawn from the market (fenfluramine and dexfenfluarim) after severe side-effects (heart-valve deterioration) occurred for patients using a combination of fenfluramine and dexfenfluramine or fenfluramine and phentermine.

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