Weight Loss Drugs That Just Faded Away. They Weren't Banned or Withdrawn and They Aren't Used Anymore
I'll admit at the outset that this is a tiny category since, to my reckoning, it really only deserves to contain a single drug: mazindol. I added a second "drug" , the diet candy AYDS just to spice the page up a little.
Mazindol or Sanorex: A Long-Forgotten Diet Drug
Mazindol is the generic name for a diet drug made by the Swiss pharmaceutical company Sandoz. The Trade name or brand name is Sanorex. Sanorex was available as a very expensive appetite suppressant in the United States until sometime in the late 1990s. Early in my career I prescribed it for a small number of patients who either didn't like the side effects of of other prescription appetite suppressants or who simply had had good results taking Sanorex in the past.
Sanorex was neither a spectacularly good nor particularly bad weight loss drug. As I indicated above, it WAS a very expensive one. This was because, for some reason, even after Sandoz's patent expired no generic competition ever emerged and so Sandoz remained the sole producer of the medication. In fact, Sandoz, still makes Sanorex to this day although they no longer sell it in the US.
AYDS: A Stupid Diet Candy With a Very Unfortunate Name
AYDS was a really dumb idea that made a ton of money. The idea was that candy, regular old fat and sugar laden candy could actually make one lose weight if it were...get this...laced with benzocaine (a local anesthetic). The "idea" was that the benzocaine would numb the mouth and taste buds and thereby suppress or kill one's appetite. The other idea was that if they added EXTRA sugar to the candy--yes, extra sugar-- then that would enhance the appetite suppressing effect too.*
Did it work? No, not for weight loss it didn't. But it did make a lot of money until Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) became part of the American nightmare and then, perhaps justly, the idea of consuming a candy that sounded suspiciously similar to a plague became rather universally unpalatable and AYDS faded away.
As a personal note I can add a detail from my own past. I remember, on many occasions in the early 1970s when my sister and I were just kids, sneaking upstairs into our parents' bedroom and stealing AYDS candies from a "hidden" stash in my mother's nightstand. I recall them being insipid but not so vile that we didn't eat a whole box in one sitting. They certainly didn't seem to suppress appetite and I cannot remember even a sensation of numbness from them. I DO remember that my mother was NOT happy when she would inevitably discover that we had eaten her expensive diet candy.