Why Did People Take Amphetamines for Weight Loss? :

Amphetamines for Weight LossWhy Did People Take Amphetamines for Weight Loss?

Amphetamines are a type of stimulant drug that have an impact on the central nervous system. This includes both the nerves running through the body and the brain itself. We tend to think of amphetamines as something that is no longer legally used, but they are, in fact, medications that are still used with a prescription.

The reason we often think of amphetamines for weight loss as banned substances has to do with their specific nonprescription use as diet pills – as well as the banned nature of crystal methamphetamine, an illegal recreational drug. About 100 years ago, amphetamine pills were used with the intention of helping with weight loss. They were popular among Hollywood stars who wanted to achieve a slimmer figure and keep it that way as well as for certain psychoactive responses they can cause. They are the reason that many celebrities from that time were known to have very large pupils, as they would often cause dilation.

Unfortunately, this lead to widespread abuse of the drugs and the FDA decided to make them a controlled substance so that they could be obtained only through a doctor’s prescription. This misuse of the medication was particularly bad because the side effects, addiction and overdose risks are quite dangerous when amphetamines are used improperly.

Even when prescribed, amphetamine doses must be very carefully selected. They are determined based on the individual’s weight, age, health, size, and tolerance level to the stimulant. Also to be considered is the length of time it is being taken as the body will build a tolerance over time, decreasing the effect that can be felt. This can lead to addiction and powerful withdrawal symptoms if the user attempts to cease taking these medications.

Overdose is a very high risk when using amphetamines. This risk grows over time as the body becomes more tolerant to the effects of the medication, increasing a user’s inclination to take more in order to boost the effect. Unfortunately, taking more only raises the risk of severe side effects. These can include a racing heart beat, stroke, heart attack, fainting, fits or even death.

When used for the purposes of weight loss, amphetamines were taken due to the stimulant effect which could reduce the user’s appetite, boost energy levels and increase the metabolism. That said, there are far safer drugs and over the counter products that can accomplish these same types of goals. The risk of taking amphetamines for this purpose has now been deemed too high to be worth the benefits to weight loss.