It is generally agreed that the administration of amphetamine ("benzedrine") facilitates the reduction of weight. This effect of the drug was first reported in 1937, when patients receiving amphetamine for other purposes were observed to lose weight.1 Since that time a number of papers have appeared in which the drug has been reported to be of value in the management of obesity.2 However, it has not been demonstrated by controlled experiments that the drug actually causes a reduction of body weight.
The mechanism by which the drug apparently facilitates the loss of weight has not been settled. All the possible mechanisms have been suggested in the literature and are summarized in the following outline.
The drug acts to facilitate the loss of weight:
By increasing the expenditure of energy
by increasing the basal metabolism as does dinitrophenol or
by increasing muscular activity by
HARRIS SC, IVY AC, SEARLE LM. THE MECHANISM OF AMPHETAMINE-INDUCED LOSS OF WEIGHTA Consideration of the Theory of Hunger and Appetite. JAMA. 1947;134(17):1468–1475. doi:10.1001/jama.1947.02880340022005