Know the facts and connect with support to help you address known or suspected substance use with your child.

    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.

    Understand 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.

    Identify & address use

    Signs of use include dizziness, difficulty sleeping, irritability, diarrhea and constipation. If you’re concerned your child may be misusing anorectics or other substances, the following can help you address the behavior more effectively.

    A few simple tips and guidelines can go a long way toward spotting issues with drug use earlier rather than later.
    Learn more
    It can be scary if your child is using drugs or alcohol, and it's important to confront it. We're here to give you tips and strategies on how to do it.

    Table of commonly prescribed anorectics

    Generic Drug Composition Brand Name
    benzphetamine Didrex
    diethylproprion Tenuate, Tepanil
    fenfluramine Pondimin
    mazindol Sanorex, Mazanor
    phendimetrazine Bontril, Prelu-2, Plegine
    phentermine Ionamin, AdipexP

    Last Updated

    September 2023

    [1]PubMed. “Anorectic Drugs: use in general practice.” US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health Accessed 26 Oct. 2018.


    National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA); Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)