Anoretic Drugs

Anoretic Drugs


a group of appetite-depressing drugs used in the treatment of obesity. The principal anoretics are mepholine and phepranon—synthetic preparations similar in chemical structure and action to amphetamine and phenatine—and adiposine, a cattle pituitary extract. Amphetamine-type anoretic drugs act on the central nervous system, especially the brain centers (hypothalamus) that regulate the sensation of satiety. A feeling of satiety sets in more quickly after the ingestion of an anoretic drug, thereby making it possible to limit the intake of food and reduce body weight. The therapeutic effect of these agents is partly related to their general stimulation of the body. This enables a sick person to adapt to dietary restrictions. The drugs do not appreciably intensify metabolism; however, the available data show that mepholine has a regulatory effect on carbohydrate metabolism in obese individuals. Adiposine promotes better metabolism and burning of fats.

Mepholine and phepranon may excite the central nervous system and produce such side effects as insomnia, general excitation, and arrhythmia. They should be taken only by prescription and under medical supervision. The main indication for the use of anoretic drugs is exogenous (alimentary) obesity—that is, obesity resulting from the consumption of large amounts of food; they can also be taken for other kinds of obesity. Anoretic drugs should be considered as only one of the measures in the treatment of obesity. They are not recommended during the early stages of obesity. Anoretics are contraindicated in pregnancy, some forms of hypertension, disturbances- of the coronary and cerebral blood circulations, frequent attacks of angina pectoris, myocardial infarction, increased nervous excitability, epilepsy, psychoses, and severe insomnia. Prolonged use of amphetamine-type anoretics may lead to habituation.


Zakusov, V. V. Farmakologiia, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1966.
Mashkovskii, M. D. Lekarstvennye sredstva,6th ed., part 1. Moscow, 1967.