- Phentermine (Ionamin, Adipex-P, Fastin)
- Benzphetamine (Didrex)
- Phendimetrazine (such as Adipost, Bontril, Melfiat, Plegine, Prelu-2, and Statobex)
Phentermine is the most commonly prescribed appetite suppressant, and is less expensive than orlistat or sibutramine. Its effects are not long lasting, however. It can also raise blood pressure. In addition, phentermine is associated with depression, which is already a problem in many cases of obesity. A combination (Phen-Pro) containing phentermine and the antidepressant fluoxetine (Prozac) is being investigated to help reduce this problem. Note: Neither phentermine nor such combinations are associated with the heart problems linked to the previous phentermine combination known as Fen-Phen (phentermine and fenfluramine).
Amphetamines. The amphetamines dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine), methamphetamine (Desoxyn), and phenmetrazine (Pleudin) are powerful stimulants. They were used most often in the past but are no longer prescribed for weight loss. These drugs improve mood and produce some modest weight loss over the short term, but carry serious risks of addiction, agitation, and insomnia.
Topiramate. Topiramate (Topamax) is an anti-seizure medication being investigated for weight reduction. Several clinical trials have reported that obese patients with type 2 diabetes given topiramate lost more weight than those receiving placebo. Weight loss was sustained for up to 1 year. The drug is also being studied for binge-eating disorders associated with obesity. However, psychiatric and neurological side effects may prevent topiramate from being used regularly.
Cellulite-Removal Creams. Many women try to reduce fat in their thighs (cellulite) with creams that contain aminophylline (such as Skinny Dip, Thermojetics Body Toning Cream, and Smooth Contours). Studies provide no evidence that these creams are effective. Their apparent effect on fat may simply be from narrowing blood vessels and forcing water from the skin, which could be dangerous for people with blood flow problems.
Endermologie. Endermologie uses motorized rollers and regulated suction to smooth out cellulite.
Review Date: 04/14/2010
Reviewed By: A.D.A.M. Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, and David R. Eltz. Previously reviewed by Harvey Simon, MD, Editor-in-Chief, Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Physician, Massachusetts General Hospital (4/14/2010).