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Appetite Suppressants

Appetite Suppressants
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Appetite Suppressants

Types of Appetite Suppressants

Pills that suppress appetite are available by prescription and over-the-counter.

Prescription Only Appetite Suppressants

The latest appetite-regulation drugs work on chemicals inside the brain in order to partially suppress appetite. Unfortunately, the brain quickly gets used to the appetite-suppressing drugs, so weight loss effects are usually short term. Also, as with any brain-regulating drug, these powerful appetite suppressants may cause serious and unforseen side effects. Such appetite suppressant pills include brands such as: Meridia (sibutramine), Adipex, Bontril, Didrex, Ionamin, Phentermine and Tenuate. Of these only Meridia (sibutramine) is approved for long-term use.

Over-the-Counter Appetite Suppressants

Over-the-counter (OTC) appetite suppressants are generally less regulated, less studied and in most cases less effective than prescription-only appetite suppressants. Some of the active ingredients in OTC include:

5-Hydroxytrytophan (5-HTP)

5-HTP, which aims to produce increased feelings of fullness, is a compound formed during serotonin synthesis from trytophan. According to the FDA, inconsistency in the production of this metabolite has led to impurities in certain appetite suppressants, which have caused serious illness.

Phenylpropanolamine (PPA)

PPA decreases appetite. Appetite suppressants containing PPA should be taken only according to instructions and only after consulting your doctor. Taking more than the recommended daily dosage can cause heart palpitations, increased blood pressure and increased risk of stroke. Unfortunately, PPA is also used in OTC nasal decongestants and other remedies, so a doctor's advice is essential to prevent overdose.

Risks of Appetite Suppressants

There are various risks associated with appetite suppressants, including: raised blood pressure, elevated heart rate, restlessness, nervousness, difficulty sleeping, and dry mouth. Occasionally, more serious consequences are possible. Which is why it's so important to only use pills that have been approved as safe by a competent authority and to consult your doctor before taking appetite suppressants or any weight loss pills.

Warning! Appetite Suppressants are No Substitute for Proper Diet and Exercise

Appetite suppressants are not a magic cure for obesity or any weight problem. In most clinical weight loss trials, they produce only minor benefits. However, when used in conjunction with a balanced diet and exercise program, the benefits of appetite suppressants are more noticeable.

The Best Appetite Suppressants

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Appetite Suppressant Pills - Pharmacology

Despite a rising worldwide epidemic of obesity there is currently only a very small number of anti-obesity drugs available to manage the problem. Some of these drugs may assist weight loss by modifying the functioning of the appetite system as measured by subjective changes in feelings of hunger and fullness (indices of satiety). Such drugs can be considered as appetite suppressants with clinical potential as anti-obesity agents.

Suitable Appetite Suppressants

Of the drugs considered suitable candidates for appetite suppressants are agents which act via peripherally satiety peptide systems (such as CCK, Bombesin/GRP, Enterostatin and GLP-1), or alter the CNS levels of various hypothalamic neuropeptides (NPY, Galanin, Orexin and Melanocortins) or levels of the key CNS appetite monoamine neurotransmitters such as serotonin (5-HT) and noradrenaline (NA).

Appetite Suppressants - Leptin

Recently, the hormone leptin has been regarded as a hormonal signal linking adipose tissue status with a number of key central nervous system circuits. The peptide itself stimulates leptin receptors and it links with POMC and MC-4 receptors. These receptors may also provide drug targets for the control of appetite.

Suppressing Appetite - Involves Wide Range of Changes

In humans, modulation of appetite may involve changes in total caloric consumption, subjective changes in feelings of hunger and fullness, preferences for specific food items, and general macronutrient preferences. These may be expressed behaviourally as changes in meal patterns, snacking behaviour and food choice.

Appetite Suppressants - The Future

Within the next 20 years it is certain that clinicians will have a new range of anti-obesity compounds available to choose from. Such novel compounds may act on a single component of the appetite system or target a combination of these components detailed in this review. Such compounds used in combination with lifestyle changes and dietary intervention may be useful in dealing with the rising world epidemic of obesity.

Includes material from: Pharmacology of Appetite Suppression by Halford JC, Blundell JE
Department of Psychology, Eleanor Rathbone Building, University of Liverpool, UK.
Prog Drug Res 2000; 54:25-58

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Note: the above information is a brief general summary about appetite suppressant weight loss pills, using weight loss information in the public domain. It is not intended to replace a doctors instructions about the suitability of these products. Before taking any weight loss medication please ask your doctor to explain all your weight loss options. When taking weight loss pills, take only as directed or prescribed.


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