An anorectic or anorexic (from the Greek an- = "without" and orexis = "appetite"), also known as anorexigenic or appetite suppressant, is a dietary supplement and/or drug which reduces appetite and food consumption, and, as a result, causes weight loss to occur.
List of anorectics
Numerous pharmaceutical compounds are marketed as appetite suppressants.
The following drugs listed as "centrally-acting antiobesity preparations" in the Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical Classification System:
- Phentermine (Fastin, Adipex, Ionamin, etc.)
- Diethylpropion (Tenuate)
- Rimonabant (Acomplia)
- Sibutramine (Meridia, Reductil)
- Oxymetazoline (Over the Counter "Afrin" nasal decongestant)
Other compounds marked as appetite suppressants include:
- Amfepramon (Diethylpropion)
- Benzphetamine (Didrex)
- Dexmethylphenidate (Focalin)
- Dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine)
- Glucagon (GlucaGen)
- Lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse)
- Methamphetamine (Desoxyn)
- Methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta)
- Phendimetrazine (Bontril)
- Bupropion (Wellbutrin, Zyban) - An atypical antidepressant
Public health concerns
Epidemics of fatal pulmonary hypertension and heart valve damage associated with pharmaceutical anorectic agents have led to the withdrawal of products from the market. This was the case with aminorex in the 1960s, and again in the 1990s with fenfluramine (see: Fen-phen). Likewise, association of the related appetite suppressant phenylpropanolamine with hemorrhagic stroke led the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to request its withdrawal from the market in the United States in 2000, and similar concerns regarding ephedrine resulted in an FDA ban on its inclusion in dietary supplements, in 2004 (a Federal judge later overturned this ban in 2005 during a challenge by supplement maker Nutraceuticals). It is also debatable as to whether the ephedrine ban had more to do with its use as a precursor in methamphetamine manufacture rather than legitimate health concerns.
History and initial uses
Used on a short-term basis clinically to treat obesity, some appetite suppressants are also available over-the-counter. Most common natural appetite suppressants are based on hoodia, a genus of 13 species in the flowering plant family Apocynaceae, under the subfamily Asclepiadoideae. Several appetite suppressants are based on a mix of natural ingredients, mostly using green tea as its basis, in combination with other plant extracts such as fucoxanthin, found naturally in seaweed. Drugs of this class are frequently stimulants of the phenethylamine family, related to amphetamine (informally known as speed).
The German and Finnish militaries issued amphetamines to soldiers commonly to enhance warfare during the Second World War. Following the war, amphetamines were redirected for use on the civilian market. Indeed, amphetamine itself was sold commercially as an appetite suppressant until it was outlawed in most parts of the world in the late 1950s due to safety issues. Many amphetamines produce side effects, including addiction, tachycardia and hypertension, making prolonged unsupervised use dangerous.
- Medical College of Wisconsin
- Medical Subject Headings (MeSH)