Tapeworm Egg: While not actually a drug, a tapeworm egg in a sugar cube was sold and ingested as if it was a drug and so I will list it here. Tapeworm eggs were used in the early 20th century as a weight loss aid. The eggs were ingested, and the tapeworms would grow inside the host's intestines, consuming nutrients and calories. This method is not only dangerous but also illegal in the US. Side effects include abdominal pain, malnutrition, and in severe cases, organ damage and death.
Actual (purportedly) advertisement for a product containing 'sanitized' tapeworms (probably an egg)
Era of Discovery
Early 20th century
Mechanism of Action
Ingested eggs hatch and grow inside host, consuming nutrients and calories
History of Use in the United States
Used as weight loss aid in early 20th century
Benefit of Weight Loss Agent or Medication
Weight loss due to tapeworms consuming nutrients and calories
Possible Side Effects
Abdominal pain, malnutrition, organ damage, and death in severe cases
Current Regulatory Status in US
Illegal. Occasional claims that clinics in certain Latin American countries are infecting people.