Appetite suppressants claim to help people to lose weight. But, many people were using them without knowing how they work.
Many people were doing regular exercise and follow a healthy diet to lose weight. But, they struggle to achieve the best results even if they spend more time at the gym or diligent in counting calories.
Keeping a healthy weight is beneficial in many ways. It reduces the risks of experiencing a heart attack or stroke. It also improves your quality of sleep, energy level and mobility. It’s important to maintain a healthy weight to prevent the possibility of developing type 2 diabetes.
However, there are instances in which losing weight isn’t an easy task. Working out or doing regular exercise can be tiring and increase the feeling of hunger. This is the reason why many people tend to use appetite suppressants.
Appetite suppressants change the hormonal and chemical processes that make a person feel hungry. Instead, it makes you feel satiated or full for longer time. Thus, it curbs hunger pangs for emotional or physical satisfaction.
These drugs also boost metabolism that helps burn more calories. Likewise, a decrease in appetite would mean eating less, thus fewer calorie intake. Therefore, weight loss is attainable.
Best Appetite Suppressants 2019
Appetite suppressants are available in different forms. The drugs may differ slightly, but they all work the same way. Here are some of the commonly used appetite suppressants:
This appetite suppressant affects the central nervous system. It is taken along with exercise and proper diet. People having risk factors like diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure can take this drug.
Phentermine is not recommended for those who have a history in severe high blood pressure, glaucoma, overactive thyroid, congestive heart failure and pulmonary hypertension. You should not take this appetite suppressant drug if you are previously into alcohol or drug abuse.
Never take phentermine without consulting your doctor as it shows serious side effects like chest pain, feeling short of breath, swelling of ankles or feet, pounding heartbeats and unusual behavior or thoughts (1).
You may also experience common side effects including feeling hyperactive, dizziness, headache, insomnia, dry mouth, upset stomach, constipation or diarrhea and impotence. Check out best Phentermine for weight loss.
Phendimetrazine is similar to diethylpropion. It is used as a treatment for obesity, but make sure to consult first your doctor before starting. Taking this drug can be addictive that’s why you should not use it if it is not prescribed.
This drug shows dangerous interaction with MAO inhibitor drugs. That’s why you should not take it when you’re using MAO inhibitor to avoid serious side effects (2).
It is not recommended if you have a history of heart disease, heart valve disorder, nervousness or severe agitation, glaucoma and overactive thyroid. People suffering from kidney disease, diabetes, epilepsy or anxiety disorder should not take this drug. It is also harmful to an unborn child and even nursing baby.
Mild side effects of phendimetrazine include feeling restless, dizziness, headache, insomnia, flushing, dry mouth, upset stomach and impotence.
Follow the instructions of your doctor in taking this drug for your safety.
Methamphetamine is both an appetite suppressant and a stimulant drug. It is commonly available in pill or powder form.
Taking this drug in repeated doses yet crash or binge pattern. You may experience the “high”, but it starts and fades rapidly. Continuous intake of this drug few hours after the other can lead to giving up sleep and food.
Methamphetamine directly affects the brain by increasing the amount of dopamine (3). This natural chemical is responsible for body movement, pleasure, reward and motivation. High level of dopamine in the brain can produce euphoria.
This drug shows short-term effects when taken in small amounts such as decreased appetite, increased wakefulness, faster breathing, irregular or rapid heartbeat and increase in body temperature and blood pressure.
People who take methamphetamine through injection is susceptible to infectious diseases like hepatitis B and C as well as HIV. It may also negatively impact your decision-making and judgment. Thus, it may result in risky behaviors that also increases the risk to acquire an infection.
Use of this drug can worsen the progress and consequences of HIV or AIDS that may lead to developing more cognitive problems.
Long-term use of this drug has a negative impact on your health. You may experience extreme weight loss, intense itching, severe dental problems, confusion, anxiety and violent behavior. Other negative effects include hallucinations and paranoia.
The changes in dopamine can cause impaired verbal learning and reduced coordination. Severe changes can affect the brain function associated with memory and emotion. A study revealed that people who have used this drug can develop Parkinson’s disease in the future.
Benzphetamine works similarly to amphetamine. It is also an appetite suppressant affecting the central nervous system. Many people have been using this drug to treat obesity along with exercise and proper diet.
However, this appetite suppressant drug is not recommended for those who have a history in coronary artery disease, uncontrolled or severe high blood pressure, heart disease, glaucoma and overactive thyroid.
Likewise, pregnant women should not take such drug as it can negatively impact the unborn child. You should not also take benzphetamine if you are breastfeeding mom as it can harm your baby.
This drug may show adverse reactions such as shortness of breath, chest pain, pounding heartbeats, irritability or confusion and serious high blood pressure. Common side effects may include sleep problems, dizziness, headache, feeling restless, increased sweating, nausea, dry mouth and skin rash.
To avoid complications or adverse reactions, never take benzphetamine without your doctor’s advice.
Another appetite suppressant that is used by many people who want to lose weight is the diethylpropion. It stimulates the brain and nerve that increases the blood pressure and heart rate while it curbs your appetite.
If you are taking MAO inhibitor you should not use diethylpropion or have taken other drugs for weight loss. It can lead to life-threatening medical issues when it is taken along with other diet medications.
You should not take this drug if you have a history or experiencing pulmonary hypertension, glaucoma, severe coronary artery disease, overactive thyroid, severe high blood pressure and alcohol and drug addiction.
Common side effects of taking this drug include vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, blurred vision and headache, anxiety, dizziness and drowsiness, depressed mood, decreased sex drive and mild itching.
Using this drug more than the prescribed dose can cause serious effects like chest pain, swollen ankles or feet, seizure, uncontrollable muscle movements and sudden weakness or numbness.
Never take this drug if you will drive or need to be alert as it can cause you blurred vision or restless feeling. Consult your doctor in case you experience something unusual.
6. Bupropion hydrochloride-naltrexone hydrochloride
This is recommended for overweight people or those facing weight-related medical issues. To achieve the best possible effect, you should take this drug along with behavior change, low-calorie diet plan and doctor-approved exercise.
Naltrexone is an opiate antagonist, while bupropion is an antidepressant. These two different medications target separate parts of your brain to control the amount of food you eat and reduce appetite.
The common side effects of taking this combination drugs include vomiting, nausea, stomach pain, trouble sleeping, dizziness and increased sweating. You should tell your doctor immediately if ever you encounter any of those side effects.
In serious cases, this drug can cause mood/mental changes, uncontrolled movements, irregular heartbeat and ringing in the ears.
Prior of taking this appetite suppressant drug, you must consult first your doctor as it can cause health problems or allergic reactions. Tell your doctor about your medical histories like high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease.
This drug isn’t recommended for those with liver and kidney disease, glaucoma or have a history in using or abusing alcohol or drugs. You should not also take this medication if you’re taking MAO inhibitors as it can lead to serious drug interaction.
Orlistat is a medication used for losing weight. It blocks fat absorption into your body. To achieve the best result, it should be used along with low-calorie diet.
This weight loss drug is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women. Likewise, if you are suffering from chronic malabsorption syndrome or having a gallbladder problem, you should avoid taking Orlistat.
It’s not also recommended for people who have diabetes, underactive thyroid, liver disease, pancreatitis or gallstones.
Take Orlistat as prescribed by your doctor for your safety. However, this medication can hinder your body to absorb vitamins A, D, E and K or the fat-soluble vitamins. Thus, it is recommended to take vitamin supplements while taking Orlistat.
Using the inappropriate amount of Orlistat may cause side effects such as severe lower back pain, blood in the urine, kidney problems and liver problems.
Make sure to buy Orlistat from reliable vendors to avoid getting medications that contain dangerous ingredients.
Lorcaserin is prescribed for obese or overweight adults. It helps to lose weight and prevent gaining back weight. It is categorized as serotonin receptor agonists. Taking this medication will make you feel full while eating less food.
It is available in tablet form and should be taken twice a day. Make sure to follow the instructions of your doctor. It can be addictive that’s why you should not take it longer than prescribed.
Possible side effects of using Lorcaserin include constipation, excessive tiredness, back and muscle pain, dizziness, headache, insomnia, anxiety problem in urination and blurred vision. You must seek doctor’s advice if the symptoms get worse.
Are Appetite Suppressants Right For You?
Weight gain increases the threats of developing serious health issues or complications. This is the reason why it is important to lose weight. But, it’s not easy to lose weight even if you’re doing exercise or following a healthy diet plan. Thus, many people tend to use appetite suppressants.
Before you try using this weight loss medication, you must know first if it is right for you. There are several factors that you need to consider including the following:
- Medical history
Before taking appetite suppressants you must ensure that you’re not taking any prescriptions. This makes sense of letting your doctor assess your medical history. You should provide all the necessary information regarding your medical condition as well as the medications that you’re taking.
- Weight loss issues
Appetite suppressants are given for dieters who find difficulty in their weight loss journey. There are instances in which losing weight fails due to food cravings or hunger pangs. Taking suppressants make you feel full for longer time.
Aside from taking appetite suppressants, you must ensure taking proper nutrition to achieve your goals of losing weight.
What Are The Side-Effects Of Appetite Suppressants?
Generally, prescription drugs may show side effects and diet drugs like appetite suppressants are no exception. Have you remembered the controversial diet medication Pen Phen that was rumored to pose serious side effects like heart valve disease?
Using appetite suppressants can cause side effects such as increased heart rate and blood pressure, dry mouth, headache, constipation and insomnia.
Minor side effects may subside over time, but there are instances when the side effects are worse. This makes sense of speaking with your doctor for possible health concerns.
How Much Weight Will You Lose With Appetite Suppressants?
Health experts revealed that when taking appetite suppressants, the expected average weight loss is no more than 10% of your body’s current weight. However, studies also showed that after six months of using appetite suppressants, they are not effective anymore.
Usually, you should expect weight regain after you stop taking it. That’s why you must learn and practice healthy eating habits and do exercise regularly.
If you think that your health is in peril due to overweight or obesity, the best thing to do is to seek help from your healthcare provider. Although appetite suppressants help to lose weight effectively, you must be very careful in choosing the right one that will work best for your weight loss needs.
However, these appetite suppressants are not substituting for healthy diet and exercise to keep your body trim and healthy.
is a registered dietitian with over 10 years of experience in the field of nutrition. She has a Master’s degree in Nutritional Science from Dhaka University and has worked with various clients to help them achieve their health goals through personalized diet plans. Mounota is passionate about educating people on the benefits of a healthy diet and lifestyle and has written extensively on the subject for various publications.