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Diethylpropion: Diethylpropion, approved in 1959, is a sympathomimetic amine used for short-term treatment of obesity. It reduces appetite and boosts metabolism. Side effects include dizziness, headache, and insomnia.

Diethylpropion is still used today as an another alternative to phentermine.
Era of Discovery


Mechanism of Action

Suppresses appetite and boosts metabolism

History of Use in the United States

Approved by FDA in 1959 and still in use

Benefit of Weight Loss Agent or Medication

Weight loss due to appetite suppression and increased metabolism

Possible Side Effects

Dizziness, headache, insomnia

Current Regulatory Status in US

Available by prescription

Diethylpropion: A Look Into Its Past, Present, and Future

Diethylpropion is another effective tool in the weight loss medication arsenal. Despite being lesser-known compared to its counterparts like phentermine, diethylpropion has maintained its relevance in the medical weight loss landscape through the years.

After the surge of amphetamine use for weight loss post-World War II, the search for safer alternatives led to the development of various appetite suppressants, including diethylpropion. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved diethylpropion in 1959, making it one of the earliest medications to receive approval for obesity management.

Diethylpropion's mechanism of action is similar to other anorectics, namely by stimulating the central nervous system to reduce appetite. However, the exact way it achieves this effect isn't entirely understood. It's known to be a norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitor, enhancing the effects of these neurotransmitters in the brain.

Although diethylpropion shares some similarities with amphetamines, it doesn't have the same high potential for misuse. As a result, it was classified as a Schedule IV drug by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), indicating a lower risk of dependency than some other anorectic drugs.

The marketing of diethylpropion throughout its history has been relatively quiet. Initially sold under the brand names Tenuate and Tenuate Dospan, it hasn't been as visible as other weight loss drugs. Nevertheless, it has remained a steadfast part of obesity treatment for those who do not respond well to other medications or require a different pharmacological profile.

Like the other drugs, diethylpropion was never implicated in any high-profile controversies such as the 'fen-phen' scandal. This quieter existence has allowed it to maintain its steady role in the weight loss world.

Presently, diethylpropion is available in two formulations: a 25mg immediate-release tablet taken three times a day and a 75mg controlled-release tablet taken once a day. Its lower potential for dependency and proven efficacy make it a valuable option for patients seeking weight loss support.

In summary, diethylpropion has played a consistent role in the obesity management landscape for over 60 years. Its reliability and longevity attest to its effectiveness and safety, making it a worthy consideration for patients looking to achieve their weight loss goals. As with any medication, its use should be based on a patient's individual circumstances, with a thorough understanding of its benefits and potential risks.

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