Anorectic Drugs (“Diet Pills”)

Know the facts, connect with resources, and get one-on-one support to help you address known or suspected use of anorectic drugs (“diet pills”) with your child.

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 are anorectic drugs?
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 do anorectic drugs look like?
Pills are the most common form of anorectic drugs.

How are anorectic drugs used?
Diet pills are taken orally.1

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

What are the risks of anorectic drug use?
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
1PubMed. “Anorectic Drugs: use in general practice.” US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health Accessed 26 Oct. 2018.
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?