Involuntary and voluntary
Introduction and description
The tendency for some of the medical profession to treat obesity as a disease that is treatable with drugs has led to a search for drugs that can be simply administered, as opposed to more sophisticated programmes that identify root causes and treat all these in a more holistic way.
One of the class of drugs that has been devised is the class called the ‘anorectics’. Some of these drugs are ‘releasing agents’ yet others are reuptake inhibitors and there are an additional number in other classes, one of which is epilepsy drugs - of which more in a moment. Many of them work by stimulating our sympathetic nervous system and the releasing agents, for example, are essentially amphetamines and stimulants.
The side effects of some of these drugs is extremely severe - both brain damage and heart failure or heart disease , for example, not to mention erectile dysfunction - and can often result in the need for more drugs to treat the effects of the drugs used. Furthermore, the drugs can be counter productive, being addictive and adding drug dependency to the person’s problems. They have an added problem in that once the drug is stopped, weight can be piled back on for the reasons outlined in the section on obesity.
Stimulants and obesity - Amphetamines and stimulants speed you up. This is why the nickname for some of the drugs in this category is ‘Speed’. They keep you awake, they are supposed to help you with fatigue – enabling you to carry on long after you would have otherwise dropped from exhaustion. They don’t improve your mental capabilites, but it seems like they do, because you feel like you’re thinking twice as fast. And they up your blood pressure and constrict your veins and raise your temperature.
In this context, their most important action is that they decrease your appetite for food principally because they ‘reward you’ with dopamine so you no longer need to be rewarded by food. The increased activity also serves to burn off more calories.
They act principally via serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine receptors, but they don’t do it by targeting receptors selectively, but by flooding the system. Flooded with these neurotransmitters, for example, a person will probably feel extremely happy [or unhappy] for a short while, their hearts will thump, their blood pressure will go up, they will want to urinate more but not be able to do it, they may laugh a lot for no reason or cry, or occasionally get unaccountable feelings of fear or aggression, they will want to run and dance and dance and will twitch and jitter in over activity. And they may eventually sweat profusely.
Many of the substances are banned and illegal, they are also addictive. But amongst them are – rather surprisingly – quite a large number of legal pharmaceuticals that are supposed to help with obesity, ADHD and even narcolepsy.
Channel blockers and obesity
Channel blockers (CBs) are a class of drugs that disrupt the flow of ions through channels in the cell membrane. They have effects on many cells of the body, but anti-epileptic drugs are based on this class of drugs and target neurons in the brain. Anti-epileptics thus aim to suppress the ‘rapid and excessive firing of neurons’ that start a seizure. Failing this, they prevent the spread of the seizure within the brain. Epileptic seizures can cause death and brain damage, so this class of drug has an important role to play in medication
What has this to do with obesity? One of the side effects noticed in these drugs is that they cause a loss of appetite [anorexia] and this side effect has resulted in these drugs being used ‘off label’ to treat obesity, thus ignoring the many dangerous and long term side effects that off label use can bring.
The principal side effect resulting from these products is the ultimate spiritual experience - death. All the following charts come from the eHealthme website and the figures were derived from Adverse Drug Reports collected by SEDA and the FDA. Not all products that have caused death are listed, the observations provide more details, this is just a representative list:
Adderall - On Jun, 29, 2015: 11,406 people reported to have side effects when taking Adderall. Among them, 77 people (0.68%) have Death.
Phentermine - On Jun, 20, 2015: 11,032 people reported to have side effects when taking Phentermine. Among them, 42 people (0.38%) have Death, to which another 9 should be added from the identical product Adipex, 4 from Fastin based on Phentermine, and another 15 from Ionamin also an identical product - 70 in total.
Xenical - On Jun, 6, 2015: 10,757 people reported to have side effects when taking Xenical. Among them, 64 people (0.59%) have Death, to which 8 can be added for Alli an identical product = 72.
Ephedrine - On Jun, 24, 2015: 572 people reported to have side effects when taking Ephedrine. Among them, 63 people (11.01%) have Death.
Vyvanse - On Jun, 15, 2015: 5,693 people reported to have side effects when taking Vyvanse. Among them, 30 people (0.53%) have Death.
Desoxyn - On Jun, 2, 2015: 399 people reported to have side effects when taking Desoxyn. Among them, 17 people (4.26%) have Death.
New Light for the Old Dark – Sam Willetts
From 1969 Fin-de-siecle
Cinematic, the wintry stripe
Of pram spokes whirring past
The square’s black railings
As your baby-blackshoe teenage nanny
Pushes by, bombed bright on slimming pills.
Not far away Death, as a Jaguar
Humps onto and down off the kerb,
Haunching around a corner towards
All Saints Road and its prey
the last experience of all.....................
How it works
The principle mechanism by which hallucinations and other experiences appear to be being generated is via
Serotonin imbalance, a section that provides more details on the side effects and implications.
For more background details you need to turn to the sections on ‘releasing agents’ and reuptake inhibitors where a more detailed description is provided. Cocaine is a reuptake inhibitor.
The use of epilepsy drugs to treat obesity is simply mis-prescribing - the drug is acting as a poison.
References and further reading
Meyler’s Side Effects of Drugs – Elsevier publishing
Some of the other drugs used within this classification for which no record of hallucinations on the eHealthme web site could be found are listed in the science section Obesity drugs other as well as an additional list.
The epilepsy drugs have not been repeated here
The table below provides a summary of the hallucinations from the eHealthme web site. A link has been provided so that you can view the current side effects and statistics.
Total number of hallucinations
Amphetamine [also using names below]
Methamphetamine, also known as..
Alli [same as Xenical]
- Development of a gummy candy reduced in calories by sugar substitution with Stevia rebaudiana B 020837
- Essential oil from Citrus aurantifolia prevents ketotifen-induced weight-gain in mice 021229
- Heavy metal poisoning and learning difficulties in children from Brazil 013085
- Lingonberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea L.) Exhibits Antidiabetic Activities in a Mouse Model of Diet-Induced Obesity 019283
- Nicotine as Therapy 017963
- Sensory deprivation and losing weight 011896
- The effect of almonds on anthropometric measurements and lipid profile in overweight and obese females in a weight reduction program: A randomized controlled clinical trial 020831
- Tirrukural, the - Book 2 from Medicine 022858
- Adderall 001513
- Adipex 016925
- Amphetamine & Dextroamphetamine [including Dexedrine, Adderall and Vyvanse] 005757
- Amphetamines, anorexia and death 012797
- Bath salts 005762
- Bath salts analysis 005808
- Bath salts, plant foods and hallucinations 005791
- Benzphetamine 018036
- Bitter orange, hallucinations and toxic effects 005799
- Brain injury associated with widely abused amphetamines: neuroinflammation, neurogenesis and blood-brain barrier 023922
- Cocaine 005764
- Desoxyn 016924
- Dexedrine 016922
- Dextroamphetamine as Dexedrine EROWID experience 005435
- Ephedrine 005514
- Ephedrine from eHealthme 016928
- Fastin 016927
- Fenfluramine and dexfenfluramine 005761
- Heavy metal poisoning and learning difficulties in children from Brazil 013085
- Herbal supplements and ephedrine 005792
- I EXPERIENCED A PANIC ATTACK THAT MADE ME WANT TO GET OUT OF MY BODY AND KILL MYSELF 020866
- Ionamin 016926
- Meridia 019513
- Methamphetamine [crystal meth] 005758
- Methylphenidate intoxication: somnolence as an uncommon clinical symptom and proof of overdosing by increased serum levels of ritalinic acid 017507
- Modafinil and Provigil 005434
- Obesin 005760
- Phentermine 005759
- Sanorex 020019
- Serotonin syndrome following sibutramine poisoning in a child, with sequential quantification of sibutramine and its primary and secondary amine metabolites in plasma 018249
- Vyvanse 016923
- Xenical , Alli hallucinations 005763