Description of Appetite Suppressant Medications

FDA approved appetite suppressants:

  1. phentermine Hcl: This works by increasing the levels of a neurotransmitter known as dopamine in the area of the hypothalamus where control of hunger and initiation of eating behaviour is triggered. Since phentermine works by controlling hunger it thereby suppresses the appetite.  Common names of this medication are Adipex, Ionamin or Fastin.  These medications have been around since the 1950’s and have a long history of safety (except when combined with another medication which caused problems).  They have been used for either short term or long term use, since obesity is a disease and is chronic in nature.  Side effects and contra-indications are well known and your physician can explain them to you.
  2. diethylpropion Hcl: A sympathomimetic amine which works on the central nervous system as a stimulant and as an appetite suppressant.  This medication has been around since the 1950’s and has been used by doctors for short term and long term for weight loss and weight control.  Common names for this medications is Tenuate for the short working form and Tenuate Dospan for the long acting form.  Side effects and contra-indications will be discussed by your doctor.
  3. phendimetrazine tartrate: Another sympathomimetic amine used in obesity to control appetite and hunger.  This is the third appetite control medication developed in the 1950’s to fight obesity. Your doctor will discuss side effects and contra-indications.

Newer medications have come forward or been approved without much success, such Xenical, Meridia, etc. The use of phentermine, diethylpropion and phendimetrazine is most common. Since obesity is a chronic disease, medications that have a long history of use are preferred.

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