What are Appetite Suppressing Drugs?
One of the key categories in prescription weight loss drugs (and over the counter medication as well) is appetite suppressing drugs. Like all other categories, these diet pills are meant to using along with diet and exercise.
Appetite suppressing drugs include a class known as catecholamines and derivatives thereof like phentermine and other diet pills based on amphetamines. These are the primary tools in this category of medications, but other types of medications (like mood stabilizers and antidepressants) have also been (anecdotally) used to suppress appetite.
Another class of appetite suppressing drugs is anorectics, which are mostly meant as an appetite suppressant, but are also stimulants (dexedrine, for example). As for future research, strong appetite suppressants may be developed to block the cannabinoid receptors in the brain. Yes, as you might have guessed, these receptors have a role to play in people gettting the munchies when smoking marijuana.
One of the appetite suppressing drugs worth noting, Rimonabant (also known as Acomplia), actually does work by blocking the endocannabinoid system. As we just alluded, marijuana smokers often get hungry, and it is this knowledge that led to this research path. Sibutramine (also known as Reductil and Meridia) is another appetite suppressant. It’s been taken off the market, however, in the US, Canada, the UK, the European Union, Hong Kong and Australia due its side effects.
History of Appetite Suppressing Drugs
Lets look a little further into the class of appetite suppressing drugs that was mentioned earlier, amphetamines. Amphetamines were made popular for the purpose weight loss in the late 1930s. They mostly were an appetite suppressant, but also increased alertness. In fact, the militaries of both Germany and Finalnd gave amphetamines to their soldiers during World War II. After the war, amphetamines were sold to civilians, and were available commercially until most of the world outlawed them in the late 1950s because of widespread abuse. Some side effects of amphetamines include addiction, high blood pressure, and increased heart rate.
Although amphetamines had been banned for use as appetite suppressing drugs, derivatives continued on. Phentermine was approved for use by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1959, and fenfluramine was approved in 1973. They didn’t gain real popularity, though, until a study in 1992 reported that both drugs caused a weight loss of 10% that was maintained for 2 years or more. This led to the combination of the two drugs in Fen-phen, which was widely thought to be the best appetite suppressant. Eventually, however, side effects of Fen-phen led to it being withdrawn from the market.
Those looking for a natural appetite control option among the appetite suppressing drugs may end up finding Hoodia. The various species of the Hoodia plant are typically grown in gardens, but the Hoodia gordonii has been looked into as a possible appetite suppressant. In 2008, however, Unilever stopped plans it had to use Hoodia in some diet products it was going to manufacture. According to Unilever, they abandoned Hoodia because they didn’t believe it met their efficacy and safety standards.
For short term use, some appetite suppressing drugs are available over the counter. Apparently appetite suppressing drugs don’t need to be approved by the FDA if it can proved they are “100% natural.” Some other natural appetite control options include green tea (combined with other plant extracts). Those other extracts include things like fucoxanthin. These kinds of medications are usually in the phenethylamine group, which is related to amphetamines.