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Drugs That Decrease Appetite

author image Jeffrey Traister
Jeffrey Traister is a writer and filmmaker. For more than 25 years, he has covered nutrition and medicine for health-care companies and publishers, also producing digital video for websites, DVDs and commercials. Trained in digital filmmaking at The New School, Traister also holds a Master of Science in human nutrition and medicine from the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.
Drugs That Decrease Appetite
Certain drugs may reduce your appetite.

A decreased appetite occurs when you have a diminished desire to eat food. Appetite suppressants are drugs that induce a loss of appetite so you eat less and lose weight. Other drugs may have side effects that decrease your appetite. As a result of taking drugs that decrease appetite, you may become malnourished. Consult your doctor and pharmacist about the drugs you take, including the benefits, risks, signs and symptoms of decreased appetite.

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Appetite Suppressants

Appetite-suppressant drugs either decrease your appetite or increase the feeling of being full. Three FDA-approved prescription appetite suppressants available for treatment of obesity include phentermine, diethylpropion and phendimetrazine. These drugs enable you to lose weight but can only be used for up to 12 weeks because their effectiveness begins to decline. The side effects from phentermine include increased blood pressure, increased heart rate, sleeplessness and nervousness. The side effects from diethylpropion include dizziness, headache, sleeplessness and nervousness. The side effects from phendeimetrazine include sleeplessness and nervousness. Sibutramine was a fourth FDA-approved appetite suppressant, but the manufacturer decided in 2010 to stop producing the medication for the U.S. market because the drug increases your risk of heart attack and stroke.


The FDA approved Leustatin as a new molecular entity in 1993 for prescription use administered by injection. Cladribine is the active pharmaceutical ingredient in Leustatin. According to the product label, Leustatin is indicated for treatment of active hairy cell leukemia. Hairy cell leukemia is a rare, slow-growing cancer of blood that involves having too many hairy-looking B cells, a type of white blood cell that fights infection. Clinical trials demonstrate that Leustatin decreases appetite in 17 percent of patients who take the drug.


The FDA approved Strattera as a new molecular entity in 2002 for prescription use in a capsule to be taken orally. Atomoxetine hydrochloride is the active pharmaceutical ingredient in Straterra. According to the product label, Strattera is indicated for treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children, adolescents and adults. Clinical trials demonstrate that Strattera decreases appetite in 16 percent of children and adolescents and 11 percent of adults who take the drug.


The FDA approved Xanax as a new molecular entity in 1981 and Xanax XR, an extended release tablet formulation for oral administration in 2003. Alprazolam is the active pharmaceutical ingredient in Xanax. According to the product label, Xanax XR is indicated for the treatment of panic disorder, with or without agoraphobia, a fear of places where escape can be difficult or embarrassing. Clinical trials demonstrate that Xanax XR decreases appetite in 7.3 percent of patients who take the drug.

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