Table 1: Drugs used for weight loss in obesity.

DrugIntroducedMechanism of actionStatus

Dinitrophenol1930sIncreases metabolic rateWithdrawn—risk of neuropathy and cataracts

Amphetamines: dexamphetamine, methamphetamine1936Appetite suppressionBanned, restricted or discouraged—dependency and abuse potential, cardiovascular adverse effects

Amphetamine-like analogues: Phentermine, diethylpropion, phenylpropanolamine1959-USAppetite suppressionDiethylpropion—available for short-term use ( 12 weeks)
Phentermine—available for short-term use ( 12 weeks) in some countries, withdrawn 2000 (UK)
Phenylpropanolamine-withdrawn 2000—increased risk haemorrhagic stroke

Aminorex1965Appetite suppressionWithdrawn 1968—pulmonary hypertension

Mazindol1970sAppetite suppressionDiscontinued 1993—Australia

Fenfluramine1963-Europe 1973-USAppetite suppressionWithdrawn 1997—valvular heart disease, pulmonary hypertension

Dexfenfluramine1985-Europe 1996-USAppetite suppressionWithdrawn 1997—valvular heart disease, pulmonary hypertension

Orlistat1998-Europe and USDecreased fat absorptionAlso available over-the-counter in several countries

Sibutramine1997-US 2001-EuropeAppetite suppressionTemporarily withdrawn 2002 Italy-concerns of raised risk of heart attacks and strokes
Increase in contraindications 2010-US, Australia
Suspension of market authorization 2010

Rimonabant2006-EuropeWithdrawn 2009—potential of serious psychiatric disorders