Everything You Need to Know About Appetite Suppressants

If you’re overweight or trying to lose weight, you might have considered trying an over-the-counter appetite suppressor. Do your homework before taking these pills because their claims may sound too good to be true. The best course of action is to consult a doctor before beginning any supplement, no matter how natural it claims to be. Examining appetite suppressants in greater detail is in order. (1)

eating with no appetite

Definition of Appetite Suppressant

An “appetite suppressor” is a weight loss drug that reduces hunger levels. However, some manufacturers of herbal and natural diet pills use the phrase to refer to their non-prescription, plant-based appetite suppressants. (1)

You might find ads for appetite suppressants in periodicals or on the internet. Some people find success with appetite suppressants for weight loss, but this is not guaranteed. The amount of food you eat is only one aspect that can contribute to your weight maintenance or growth. (1)

Who Would Benefit from Using Prescription Drugs to Control Their Appetite?

If you’re overweight, you might benefit from taking a pill or getting an injection to help you feel full faster. And if you have tried a balanced and healthy diet together with different exercise routines without success, appetite suppressants may be worth a try. (1)

Although appetite suppressants can aid in weight loss, they are not a panacea and will not produce results if other lifestyle modifications are not also implemented. Your doctor may prescribe an appetite suppressant if you have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher or if your BMI is 27 or higher, and you also have hypertension (also known as high blood pressure) or diabetes mellitus. (1)

In What Ways Are Appetite Suppressants Efficient?

Those who take prescription appetite suppressants and make other healthy lifestyle adjustments (such as eating better and exercising) often see a 3% to 9% weight loss from baseline after a year. (2)

Benefits of Using Appetite Suppressants

The fundamental goal of appetite suppressants is to lessen your hunger, which in turn facilitates weight loss. The use of appetite suppressant pills, however, is not without its advantages. (2)

It Makes You Eat Better

Fast weight loss is the promise of many fad diets, however these diets often ignore fundamental nutrition concepts. Cutting a certain food type from your diet may help you lose weight quickly, but in reality, you’ll be depriving your body of much-needed nutrients. (2)

For instance, it’s not always best to avoid carbohydrates. Incorporating carbohydrates into your everyday diet might have positive effects. Appetite suppressants encourage you to eat less frequently by relaxing your hunger, rather than by reducing the intake of any nutrients. Lessening your intake need not mean giving up culinary variety. (2)

It Helps You Become Leaner

Hunger reducers aid fat loss by increasing thermogenesis. The release of fat cells is prompted. The body fat you’ve been having difficulties losing will finally melt away when you consume less thanks to this method. (2)

It’s a great way to get more pep in your step. One of the negative effects of overeating is a lack of stamina and motivation. An too large caloric intake has been linked to an increase in fatigue and physical weakness. (2)

Appetite suppressants assist people avoid the drowsiness that might come from overeating by causing them to eat less. Eating the recommended quantity of food at each meal may help you feel more energized. (2)

losing weight

They Serve as a Springboard for Your Diet and Exercise Regimen

Taking the initial step toward an objective is sometimes the most challenging component of any endeavor. Some people find that appetite suppressants provide just the slight psychological edge they need to get moving. (2)

It’s tough to start working out and making healthy lifestyle changes, only to feel like you’re making no headway. Reducing the amount of food, you eat will result in increased energy and weight loss. It may help you to feel more motivated to make the healthy changes to your diet and routine that will ultimately improve your life for the better. (2)

Mechanism of Appetite Suppressants

Anorectics, or appetite suppressants, are medications that mislead the brain into thinking that the user is already full. Each of the three methods described below describes how they function. (2) A fiber-rich tablet is one form of medication that can help curb hunger pangs. The drug works by reducing the empty space in the stomach, making you feel full more quickly. (2)

The second class of medications limits hunger by preventing the brain from sending signals for food intake to the body’s adrenal glands. (2) A possible side effect of appetite suppressants is an increase in serotonin; the “feel good” hormone. The rise in serotonin causes the brain to conclude that one is satisfied mistakenly. (2)

When Trying to Curb Your Hunger, What Options Do You Have?

You can find appetite suppressants in both prescription and OTC forms. Orlistat (Alli®) is a weight loss medicine that prevents fat from being absorbed by the body rather than reducing hunger. Before starting any new diet regimen, you should talk to your doctor. Unfortunately, certain over-the-counter appetite suppressants can be harmful. (3)

FDA-Approved Appetite Suppressants

Drugs that decrease appetite or food cravings can be helpful for dieting. The Food and Drug Administration has given its stamp of approval to the following list of prescription drugs (3):

Liraglutide (Saxenda)

This is an injectable medication. Under the brand name Victoza, it was also sold as a method of combating diabetes. By inhibiting a hormone in the digestive tract, the drug reduces appetite. (3)

Naltrexone/bupropion (Contrave)

Because it combines two drugs and may alter the brain’s reward system, it may cause you to lose pleasure in eating previously pleasurable foods. Furthermore, it affects the hypothalamus, the brain region responsible for controlling hunger, body temperature, and other processes. (3)

Phentermine/topiramate (Qsymia)

This is a combination of two different medications. Phentermine is an appetite suppressant and stimulant. Topiramate is typically used to treat epileptic seizures and migraines, but it can suppress appetite and increase satiety when used with phentermine. (3) Some choices include medications that one can only use for 12 weeks, such as phentermine, benzphetamine, diethylpropion, and phendimetrazine. (3)

Orlistat (Alli)

Another prescription approved by the FDA to treat obesity, may be more familiar to you. However, this medication does not work in suppressing hunger. As a result, your body will be able to cut back on the amount of fat it takes in from the food you eat. Brand name Xenical refers to the prescription strength variety. (3)

Appetite-suppressing supplements are also available. However, the FDA does not conduct premarket reviews of these goods because they are not considered medications. The Food and Drug Administration has not approved any medications for sale over the counter that reduce hunger. (3)

drugs in youths
Adolescents and pills – Photo by: me and the sysop

Herbal Dietary Supplements

Natural appetite suppressants can be purchased from a variety of sources, including the internet, health food stores, pharmacies, and vitamin shops. Feeling full after eating is aided by foods high in fiber, for instance. Some manufacturers of fiber supplements tout it as a means of controlling hunger because of this. (3)

The Food and Drug Administration does not evaluate, review, or approve dietary supplements for safety or effectiveness. Gather as much information as possible before purchasing a herbal product to help you feel full faster. It’s possible you should see a doctor or pharmacist before purchasing any of them. You may be spending too much money on items that aren’t as useful as you’d like them to be. (3)

Some of the best appetite suppressants are those listed below:


The seeds of the Mediterranean herb fenugreek have a sweet, maple-like aroma and flavor. The seeds and their extracts are utilized in everything from medicine and cosmetics to food and spice blends. (3)

Fenugreek seeds are a good source of fiber, and studies have shown that fiber can help reduce hunger by keeping you full for longer. Similarly, overweight women reported a greater sense of fullness after consuming fenugreek tea in 2015 compared to a placebo. (3)

While fenugreek is thought to be safe when consumed in the amounts found in food, its safety when consumed in big quantities is unclear. Potential negative effects include gastrointestinal issues like nausea and diarrhea. (3)

Also, some people are allergic to fenugreek. Very rarely, fenugreek may cause drowsiness and headaches. Some reports of liver toxicity come from people using it alone and in conjunction with other plants. (3)


The soluble fiber glucomannan is extracted from the roots of the konjac plant. Eating more slowly has been shown to reduce the rate of digestion and increase the duration for which you feel full. Although glucomannan has been the subject of numerous scientific investigations, results on its usefulness as a weight loss aid have been mixed. (3)

The use of glucomannan could have unintended consequences. It will make you burp, bloat, stomach pain, flatulence, constipation, and congestion are among the most unpleasant short-term adverse effects. Despite glucomannan’s widespread application, the evidence for its long-term safety is scant. In the middle of the 1980s, scientists found that tablet consumption was linked to esophageal stricture (though powdered and capsule forms were not). (3)

Green Tea Extract and Green Tea

Green tea’s main ingredients, caffeine and catechins, are responsible for the weight loss effects. Green tea and its constituents have been the subject of several scientific investigations on its potential to promote weight loss by influencing metabolic processes such as energy expenditure, fat oxidation, fat absorption, and lipogenesis. (3)

Although the investigations did find a link between the two, it was determined to be too weak to warrant clinical attention. (3)

No human or animal research has specifically tested the effects of green tea or green tea extract on hunger. (3)

Green tea itself appears to be safe, but green tea extract, especially if consumed on an empty stomach, may be harmful to the liver. (3)

Garcinia cambogia

It is a fruit tree native to Asia, Africa, and the Polynesian islands, called garcinia cambogia. High concentrations of hydroxy citric acid can be found in the fruit’s rind (HCA). As a result, HCA may help people control their hunger and avoid gaining weight. (3)

The evidence that garcinia cambogia is effective in people is inconsistent, despite the results of studies conducted on rats showing that it is. The impact, if any, would be minimal at best. (3)

Mild adverse effects, including headache, nausea, gastrointestinal difficulties, and upper respiratory symptoms, have been associated with garcinia cambogia and HCA. We don’t know if it’s safe to use in the long run, though. (3)

Although garcinia cambogia may have contributed to certain cases of liver damage, it could not be directly blamed because the supplements also contained other substances. (3)

Is It Safe to Use Over-the-Counter Appetite Suppressants?

The fact that something is sold at a store does not necessarily guarantee that it is fit for human consumption. Please consult your physician before starting any new appetite suppressant supplements. There is a risk that many of the over-the-counter appetite suppressants will interact negatively with the medicines you are already on. Every ingredient is given a safety rating by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) of the United States. Do your research and know exactly what you are taking into your body. (3)

food groups

Checking the Advantages and Disadvantages

Discussing the pros and cons of weight loss medication with your physician is essential. They may suggest that you try something else, including modifying your lifestyle factors like eating, exercising, and sleeping. (3)

Additionally, they may advise you to address any underlying mental health conditions before attempting an appetite suppressor. But if you have a body mass index (BMI) of at least 30 (or at least 27 and have a weight-related health concern, such high blood pressure), a medication may be in order if lifestyle adjustments haven’t worked. (3)

The potential adverse effects of appetite suppressants are the same as those of any other medication:

  • Dizziness
  • Insomnia
  • Nervousness
  • Symptoms of the digestive system such as sickness, bowel dysfunction, and abdominal distress
  • Although adverse effects are mostly minor, they can occasionally be rather severe; some professionals feel the potential dangers are not justified.
  • Liraglutide, an appetite suppressant, has been shown to cause thyroid cancer in animal tests, while it is unknown whether or not this drug causes cancer in humans.

Don’t forget to discuss any negative reactions you experience while using an appetite suppressor with your healthcare provider as soon as you feel the symptoms. (3)

Other Precautions You Should Take Note Of

It’s important to tell your doctor about any underlying conditions, recent medical crises, medications you’re taking, or any issues you’re worried about before starting an appetite suppressant, whether it’s prescription or over-the-counter. (3)

Persons with preexisting conditions such as heart disease, high or uncontrolled blood pressure, glaucoma, a history of eating problems, or hyperthyroidism should exercise caution when taking prescription appetite suppressants. (3)

Adverse Reactions and Potential Dangers

There are potential side effects associated with using appetite suppressants. Different medications may cause different side effects, such as withdrawal symptoms and those that do occur are typically moderate. However, certain cases can be more severe, so if side effects persist, it’s crucial to talk to your doctor. (4)

Both synthetic and natural appetite suppressant supplements have been linked to the following negative effects:

  • Constipation
  • Cough
  • Diarrhea
  • Dehydrated salivary glands
  • Headaches
  • Symptoms include elevated blood pressure and rapid heartbeat
  • Toxic Effects on the Liver
  • Angina Pectoris

It has been found that people with severe mental health issues, such as depression, are more likely to experience adverse drug interactions and that some prescriptions can actually increase the likelihood of suicidal ideation. (5)

Can You Really Lose Weight with Over-the-Counter Medications?

There is less proof that appetite suppressants without prescriptions work. Do your own research and study testimonials from actual consumers before making a purchase, despite what the medication companies say. Again, it’s imperative that you consult your doctor and listen to their advice first. (5)

How Long Should You Keep Taking These Appetite Pills?

Prescription appetite suppressants are safe for usage by healthy adults for up to 12 weeks at a time, as determined by the Food and Drug Administration. Your doctor may give you the green light to continue taking some prescription drugs indefinitely if you achieve and maintain a healthy weight. (5)


In the end, appetite suppressants can help kickstart weight loss for some people. Diet pills can assist you in modifying your eating habits and developing an awareness of your body’s signs of fullness. (5)

When taking any new medication, it is important to tell your doctor about any preexisting conditions you have or other drugs you are now on. You should consult your physician to find out if appetite suppressants are safe and effective for you to use. (5)

And you shouldn’t take them if you’re pregnant or nursing, or if you have a history of heart illness, pulmonary hypertension, high blood pressure, glaucoma, liver disease, or hyperthyroidism. (5)


  1. https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/pressroom/newsreleases/2010/august/clinical-trial-confirms-effectiveness-of-simple-appetite-control-method.html 
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6769678/ 
  3. https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/journal-of-nutritional-science/article/is-reduction-in-appetite-beneficial-for-body-weight-management-in-the-context-of-overweight-and-obesity-yes-according-to-the-satin-satiety-innovation-study/842930CA497A04F17012015C4ABD3824 
  4. https://phentermineclinics.net/phentermine-withdrawal-symptoms/ 
  5. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2022/04/220420101903.htm