What Are the Most Commonly Abused Diet Pills?

What Are the Most Commonly Abused Diet Pills?

Abusing prescription diet pills is harmful to your physical health and can cause psychological issues like addiction.

The misuse of diet pills is a common problem in the United States. However, people shouldn’t use these OTC drugs and prescription medications for healthy weight loss. Instead, people who have weight-related medical problems are most likely to benefit from them.

However, many people misuse these drugs. Most often, they do this to try to lose weight, take advantage of the stimulant effects, or satisfy a need caused by an eating disorder. Although diet pill abuse is most common among teens, it can affect anyone at any age.1

Above all, abusing prescription diet pills is harmful to your physical health and can cause psychological issues like addiction. If you’re struggling with diet pill abuse, help is available. Please call (888) 857-0557 to get help today or contact Briarwood Detox Center online for more details about our detox programs.

What Are the Most Commonly Abused Diet Pills?

Many different over-the-counter and prescription diet pills have the potential to be misused. Here are some of the most commonly abused prescription diet pills.

Benzphetamine (Didrex)

This prescription medication is chemically similar to an amphetamine. It treats obesity and works as a short-term supplement to diet and exercise. However, Didrex is a Schedule III drug and people who take it may become dependent or addicted. If you suddenly stop taking it, you could also experience withdrawal symptoms.2

Diethylpropion (Tenuate, Tepanil)

Similarly, this medication is an appetite suppressant. It can cause addiction if you increase your dose, take it more often than needed, or use it for longer than it was prescribed.3

Mazindol (Mazanor, Sanorex)

Mazindol is another prescription drug that is similar to amphetamine. It helps people lose weight by decreasing their appetite. Typically, it’s prescribed as a short-term supplement for diet and exercise, but it’s not meant to be taken long-term.4

Phentermine (Adipex, Ionamin)

Phentermine is an appetite suppressant that helps people lose weight. Although it helps many people, it can also cause addiction. If you’ve used phentermine for a long time or in high doses, you’re likely to have withdrawal symptoms when you stop.5

What are the Risks Associated With Misusing Diet Pills?

Anyone that frequently uses prescription diet pills improperly is abusing them. For example, taking them without a valid prescription or mixing them with other medications or drugs.

For example, signs of abusing stimulant dietary aids like prescription diet pills often include:

  • Talkativeness
  • Increased energy
  • Decreased need for sleep
  • Periods of drowsiness, depression, and apathy
  • Significant or unhealthy weight loss
  • Dramatic periods of weight loss followed by dramatic periods of weight gain

Most importantly, diet pills abuse has many health risks. Scientists and researchers created many prescription diet pills to behave like amphetamine and suppress appetite. Therefore, they have some similarities and can also cause physical dependence and addiction.

Like amphetamine, diet pills can produce feelings of euphoria and energy, which can increase your risk of becoming addicted. However, other factors also play a role in how likely someone is to become addicted, such as:

  • Co-occurring mental health disorders
  • Environmental and biological factors
  • Peer associations
  • Early use of substances
  • How diet pills are taken

While the most severe risk of diet pill abuse is addiction, misusing these drugs can also cause health problems. For example, you could suffer:

  • Cardiovascular damage
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Mood swings
  • Chronic diarrhea or constipation
  • Psychological problems like depression, anxiety, or hallucinations
  • Overdose
  • Physical dependence

Signs of Diet Pill Addiction

Signs of a diet pill addiction will be the same as any other substance use disorder. For instance, common behaviors that indicate a substance use disorder are:6

  • Continuing to abuse diet pills even though they are causing physical and psychological problems
  • Continuing to abuse diet pills even though they cause problems at work, school, or in relationships
  • Wanting to stop using diet pills but being unable to
  • Using more diet pills than intended or misusing them for longer than you intended
  • Having frequent and strong urges to take diet pills
  • Spending a lot of time trying to get diet pills or recovering from the symptoms of abusing them
  • Needing more diet pills to achieve the same stimulating effects (this is called developing a tolerance)
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you suddenly stop taking diet pills

What Are Common Diet Pill Withdrawal Symptoms?

In other words, when someone becomes addicted to diet pills, they are likely to experience withdrawal symptoms if they suddenly stop taking them. For example, common symptoms of prescription stimulant withdrawal are:7

  • Muscle aches
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Agitation
  • Irritability
  • Increased sleeping and appetite

Diet Pill Detox and Withdrawal Timeline

First, symptoms of diet pill withdrawal can start appearing as soon as six hours after the last dose, but up to 24 hours is normal. Next, they’ll worsen and peak within the first few days of detox. However, most people feel much better about five to seven days after they stop using diet pills.

Although the most severe physical symptoms will likely go away after the first week, you may experience cravings for months or even years after you’ve stopped abusing diet pills. As a result, behavioral therapy can help you learn how to cope.

Diet Pill Detox: Recovering From Addiction

Moreover, if you have an eating disorder and you’re addicted to diet pills, completing diet pill detox in a supervised environment may be especially helpful. This is the first step to overcoming a diet pill addiction. Consequently, once you complete detox, you’ll have a clear mind and you’ll be better able to participate in an addiction treatment program. For instance, inpatient rehab or intensive outpatient rehab (IOP) may be helpful. Both types of rehab programs are ideal for long-lasting sobriety.

Most importantly, detox is a key part of getting sober. But, behavioral therapy in rehab can help you identify and address the underlying causes of your addiction (such as an eating disorder or other psychological problems). For instance, your therapists and counselors will help you establish new, healthier ways of thinking and living. Additionally, sober peers will provide ongoing support and accountability during the process. In short, maintaining your sobriety is about more than not just abusing diet pills anymore. It’s about building a better version of yourself with effective and helpful tools for life.

In conclusion, if you’re ready to start your recovery journey, the caring professionals at Briarwood Detox Center are here to help. With the right detox treatment and support, you can overcome any addiction. Please call (888) 857-0557 or contact us online to get started.


  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1892232/?TB_iframe=true&width=921.6&height=921.6
  2. https://www.rxlist.com/didrex-drug.htm#interactions
  3. https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-7858/diethylpropion-oral/details
  4. https://www.drugs.com/mtm/mazindol.html https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-4151/phentermine-oral/details
  5. https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/addiction/what-is-addiction
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK310652/

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