Neurochemical mechanism of action of anorectic drugs.

Article Details


Samanin R, Garattini S

Neurochemical mechanism of action of anorectic drugs.

Pharmacol Toxicol. 1993 Aug;73(2):63-8.

PubMed ID
7902561 [ View in PubMed

Studies with dexfenfluramine, an anorectic agent which releases 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) from nerve terminals and inhibits its reuptake, have considerably increased our knowledge of the role of 5-HT in feeding control. 5-HT1B receptors mediate the satiating effect of dexfenfluramine, whereas the mechanism by which 5-HT uptake inhibitors such as fluoxetine and sertraline cause anorexia is not clear. Anorexia induced by (+)-amphetamine, phentermine, diethylpropion and phenylpropanolamine seems to be the result of their ability to increase the release of noradrenaline and/or dopamine from nerve terminals and inhibit their reuptake or, in the case of phenylpropanolamine, to stimulate directly alpha 1-adrenoceptors. It has been suggested that beta- and alpha 1-adrenoceptors and D1 dopamine receptors are involved in their effect on food intake. The difficulties of extrapolation across species limit our knowledge of the mechanism of the anorectic action in humans. Significant advances in the treatment of feeding pathology will be linked to identifying new receptor types and subtypes for neurotransmitters and quantifying and modelling eating disorders such as binge-eating and food craving.

DrugBank Data that Cites this Article

Drug Targets
DrugTargetKindOrganismPharmacological ActionActions
PhentermineSodium-dependent noradrenaline transporterProteinHumans
DrugDrug GroupsMetaboliteChangeDescription
PhenylpropanolamineApproved Vet Approved WithdrawnNorepinephrine
Phenylpropanolamine increases the level of Norepinephrine in the blood
PhenylpropanolamineApproved Vet Approved WithdrawnDopamine
Phenylpropanolamine increases the level of Dopamine in the blood