- Classification: Stimulant CSA
- Schedule: Schedule III / IV
- Trade or Other Names: Phentermine, Diethylpropion, Benzphetamine, Orlistat
- Medical Uses: Weight control
- Physical Dependence: Possible
- Psychological Dependence: Possible
- Tolerance: Yes
- Duration (hours): 2–4
- Usual Method: Oral
- Possible Effects: Increased pulse rate and blood pressure, insomnia, loss of appetite
- Effects of Overdose: Increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, strokes, hallucinations, convulsions, possible death
- Withdrawal Syndrome: Apathy, irritability, depression, fatigue, weight gain*Source: Drug Enforcement Administration
About Diet Pills
Weight control widely promoted in modern societies. This has paved the way for a wide variety of substances marketed as quick and easy ways to lose weight. The pharmaceutical companies wanting to get in on this market of consumers developed pharmaceutical grade diet pills.
Studies have shown that almost a quarter of all Americans are currently on a diet at any given time. Studies have shown that over half of the American population is struggling with weight problems. Many people want a quick and easy solution to lose weight and turn to dieting medications like diet pills.
Diet pills come in both over the counter medications and prescription-only medications. These weight loss drugs commonly work by suppressing the appetite, increasing the rate of the metabolism or suppressing the fat absorption. In other words, inducing a person to either eat less food, burns more calories or absorb less fat from foods.
These anti-obesity medications are often considered a “quick fix” for weight issues, but most of the people who consume these drugs do not realize that these pills can do more harm than good if they are taken without a medical supervision as part of an overall health plan.
The most commonly abused diet pills in the U.S. are:
-Phentermine (Adipex, Ionamin)
-Diethylpropion (Tenuate, Tepanil)
Origins of Diet Pill use
It should be mentioned that the idealized concept of beauty has changed over time.
Since the late 19th century the views concerning weight has changed significantly, and it has gradually morphed the long-held perceptions of beauty. This change in perceptions has led to an intense search for solutions that would help people to control their weight with ease. Perhaps, this is the main reason for the tremendous gain in popularity of diet pills throughout the years.
The first anti-obesity pills began to become available to the public during the late 1800’s. Back then, they were referred as fat reducers, and they were developed using thyroid hormone extracts. This medication helped people to deal with their weight issues by increasing the metabolic rate of their bodies. Without a doubt, they were a massive success. Unfortunately, once available to the general population, unexpected side effects occurred. People started to experience symptoms like irregular heartbeats, increased heart rates, increased blood pressure, chest pains and even death. Even though the dangers were significant, this medication continued to be available until 1960’s.
In the 1930’s, a new drug called dinitrophenol gained worldwide popularity as an effective anti-obesity medication. The main problem with this medication was that it produced an intense thermogenic effect in the body. Several deaths from hyperthermia, severe rashes and eye cataracts were reported. With these incidents, the Food and Drug Administration created new laws that halted the use of dinitrophenol.
In 1950’s, amphetamines were deemed as the perfect weight control medication. The risk of abuse and its adverse effects were so significant that the Food and Drug Administration soon withdrew them from the market.
In the 1960’s a renaissance in the use of the thyroid hormones occurred. They were considered very effective when used in conjunction with laxatives and amphetamines. Although, due to risks of toxicity, they were again withdrawn from the market.
In 1970’s, a Danish physician used ephedrine and caffeine as a treatment for weight loss. In 1994, the United States passed the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act, classifying ephedra as an herbal supplement that did not require Food and Drug Administration approval. And so, the use of ephedra gained in popularity as an obesity treatment. The adverse cardiovascular and neurological effects forced the Food and Drug Administration to declare this herb an unsafe medication. Soon, phenylpropanolamine, a chemical derivate from ephedra, became popular as an appetite suppressant. Its use was discouraged when hemorrhagic strokes and increased arterial tension were reported.
In the 21st century, the diet pills, many based on herbal formulas, still are widely commercialized. The latest anti-obesity medication is Orlistat, a drug sold by prescription as Xenical and as an over the counter medication named Alli.
How Diet Pills are consumed
People who struggle with weight control issues often tend to demand medications like diet pills. These drugs can be found as over-the-counter medication or prescription medication.
As the name indicates, they can be found as pills, and the primary method of administration is oral ingestion. Therefore, it is understandable why some may consider this one of the easiest and fastest ways to achieve the weight loss they want.
Effects of Diet Pill use
Short Term Use Effects:
- Dry mouth
- Abdominal cramping
- Liver problems
- Increased heart rate
- Increased blood pressure
Long Term Use Effects:
- Increased heart rate
- Increased blood pressure
- Menstrual irregularities
- Kidney damage
- Liver damage
- Rectal bleeding