Anorectic Drugs

Know the facts about anorectic drugs and connect with help and support to keep your child safe.

What are some brand names?
Benzphetamine (Didrex), diethylproprion (Tenuate, Tepanil), fenfluramine (Pondimin), mazindol (Sanorex, Mazanor), phendimetrazine (Bontril, Prelu-2, Plegine) and phentermine (Ionamin, AdipexP).

What is it?
These drugs are often referred to as diet pills, and have been developed and marketed to replace amphetamines as appetite suppressants. Anorectic drugs produce many of the effects of the amphetamines, but are generally less potent. All are controlled substances because of the similarity of their effects to those of the amphetamines.

What does it look like?
Pills are the most common form of anorectic drugs.

How is it used?
Diet pills are taken orally.

What do young people hear about it?
Diet pills are taken to lose weight.

What are the risks?
Dizziness, dry mouth, difficulty sleeping, irritability, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation may occur. Unlikely but serious side effects include fast/irregular/pounding heartbeat, mental/mood changes (agitation, uncontrolled anger, hallucinations, nervousness), uncontrolled muscle movements, and change in sexual ability/interest.

What are signs of use?

  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Irritability
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA); Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)

Next Steps

Look for Warning Signs

Do you think your child may be using drugs? If so, have you noticed any of these changes or warning signs?