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, 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" by ATC:[1]

The following are listed as appetite depressants by MeSH.[2]

Other compounds marked as appetite suppressants include:

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).[3] 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. In the United States, appetite suppressants do not have to be approved by the FDA when they are based on a 100% natural basis.[citation needed] There are all kinds of natural appetite suppressants (supplements) on the market, helping people to control and limit their food intake. Most common natural appetite suppressants are based on hoodia, a genus of 13 species in the flowering plant family Apocynaceae, under the subfamily Asclepiadoideae. Also widely used[citation needed] as a basis is green tea, with other plant extracts, to limit calorie intake. 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[4] militaries issued amphetamines to soldiers commonly to enhance warfare during the Second World War.[5] 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 increased recreational use.[citation needed] Many amphetamines produce side effects, including addiction, tachycardia and hypertension,[6] making prolonged unsupervised use dangerous.

See also


  1. ^ ATC/DDD Index
  2. ^ MeSH list of agents 82001067
  3. ^ Fishman AP. Aminorex to Fen/Phen: An Epidemic Foretold. Circulation 1999;99:156. Fulltext. PMID 9884392
  4. ^ "Pervitiini". Retrieved 2011-01-05. 
  5. ^ Andreas Ulrich, Andreas. "The Nazi Death Machine: Hitler's Drugged Soldiers - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International". Spiegel Online.,1518,354606,00.html. Retrieved 2011-01-05. 
  6. ^ Abenhaim L, Moride Y, Brenot F, Rich S, Benichou J, Kurz X, Higenbottam T, Oakley C, Wouters E, Aubier M, Simonneau G, Begaud B. Appetite-Suppressant Drugs and the Risk of Primary Pulmonary Hypertension. N Engl J Med 1996;335:609. Fulltext. doi:10.1056/NEJM199608293350901 PMID 8692238

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • anorectic — ANORÉCTIC, Ă, anorectici, ce, adj., s.m. şi f. (med.) (Bolnav) de anorexie. – Din fr. anorectique. Trimis de ana zecheru, 13.09.2007. Sursa: DEX 98  anoréctic s. m., adj. m …   Dicționar Român

  • anorectic — (adj.) characterized by lack of appetite, 1832, medical Latin, from Gk. anorektos without appetite (see ANOREXIA (Cf. anorexia)). As a noun, attested from 1913 …   Etymology dictionary

  • anorectic — an·o·rec·tic .an ə rek tik also an·o·ret·ic ret ik adj 1 a) lacking appetite b) ANOREXIC (2) 2) causing loss of appetite <anorectic drugs> anorectic also anoretic n 1) an anorectic agent 2) …   Medical dictionary

  • anorectic — anorexic, anorectic Both words, adjectives derived from anorexia meaning ‘obsessive loss of appetite’, are in use. but anorexic is far more common and will eventually oust anorectic completely. It is also used absolutely as a quasi noun. Examples …   Modern English usage

  • anorectic — I. adjective also anoretic Etymology: Greek anorektos, from a + oregein to reach after more at right Date: circa 1894 1. a. lacking appetite b. anorexic 2 2. causing loss of appetite II …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • anorectic — /an euh rek tik/, adj. 1. Also, anorectous. having no appetite. 2. causing a loss of appetite. n. 3. an anorectic substance, as a drug; anorexiant. Also, anoretic /an euh ret ik/, anorexic. [1895 1900; AN 1 + ORECTIC] * * * …   Universalium

  • anorectic — adj. & n. (also anorexic) adj. involving, producing, or characterized by a lack of appetite, esp. in anorexia nervosa. n. 1 an anorectic agent. 2 a person with anorexia. Etymology: Gk anorektos without appetite (as ANOREXIA): anorexic f. F… …   Useful english dictionary

  • anorectic — 1. adjective /ænəˈrɛktɪk/ a) Characterised by a lack of appetite, especially as suffering from anorexia nervosa; anorexic. b) Causing a loss of appetite. 2. noun /ænəˈrɛktɪk/ A person suffering from …   Wiktionary

  • anorèctic — a|no|rèc|tic Mot Pla Adjectiu variable …   Diccionari Català-Català

  • anorectic — adj. pertaining to or characterized by anorexia, suffering from anorexia (eating disorder characterized by self induced starvation) …   English contemporary dictionary

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