Drugs that cause Anorexia

Some drugs and medications are of the possible causes of anorexia as a symptom.

Loss of appetite may lead to a type of malnutrition, which is characterized by food intake that falls below a recommended daily allowance of calories or by the body's inability to make use of the nutrients in the food that is consumed.

People may become anorexic (lose their appetite for food) for a medication side effects. In addition to the drugs used in cancer chemotherapy (primary anorexia is especially prevalent in patients with advanced malignancy, and is frequently a side effect of cancer treatments), such drugs as fluoxetine (Prozac), digoxin (Lanoxin), quinidine (Duraquin, Cardioquin), hydralazine (Alazine, Apresoline), certain antibiotics, and vitamin A may cause loss of appetite. Nausea can range from a slight annoyance to a debilitating condition causing disruption to a patient's daily life. Medication-related nausea can have a profound impact on patient outcomes because nonadherence to prescribed therapy can lead to treatment failure.

Preventing nausea caused by medication often can be achieved with a few simple reminders. Unless an agent is meant to be taken on an empty stomach, patients can be advised to take their medications with food. Nausea can have a significant impact on a patient's physical and psychological health. Proper counseling on prevention and treatment of nausea due to medication use can help patients better understand how to take their medications for optimum benefit with minimal side effects.

List of drugs, that cause Anorexia


  • Amphotericin B (Abelcer, AmBisome, Amphotec, Fungizone)
  • Atovaquone (Mepron)
  • Cidofovir (Vistide)
  • Didanosine (Videx)
  • Ethionamide (Trecator-SC)
  • Fomivirsen (Vitravene)
  • Foscarnet sodium (Foscavir)
  • Hydroxychloroquine sulfate (Plaquenil
  • Metronidazole (Flagyl)
  • Pentamidine isethionate (NebuPent, Pentam 300)
  • Pyrimethamine (Daraprim)
  • Sulfadiazine
  • Zalcitabine (HIVID)


  • Aldesleukin/interleukin-2 (Proleukin)
  • Bleomycin sulfate (Blenoxane)
  • Capecitabine (Xeloda)
  • Carboplatin (Paraplatin)
  • Cytarabine (Cytosar-U)
  • Dacarbazine (DTIC-Dome)
  • Fluorouracil (5-FU)
  • Hydroxyurea (Hydrea)
  • Imatinib mesylate (Gleevec)
  • Irinotecan HCl (Camptosar)
  • Methotrexate (MTX)
  • Vinblastine sulfate (Velban)
  • Vinorelbine tartrate (Navelbine)


  • Albuterol sulfate (Proventil, Ventolin)
  • Theophylline (Elixophyllin, Slo-Phyllin, Theo-24, Theobid, Theolair, Uniphyl)

Cardiovascular drugs

  • Amiodarone HCl (Cordarone)
  • Acetazolamide (Diamox)
  • Hydralazine HCl (Apresoline)
  • Quinidine (Quinaglute Dura, Quinidex Extentabs, Quinora)


  • Amphetamines (Adderall, Dexedrine)
  • Methylphenidate HCl (Ritalin, Concerta)
  • Phentermine (Adipex-P, Fastin, Ionamin)
  • Miscellaneous
  • Fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem)
  • Galantamine (Reminyl)
  • Naltrexone HCl (ReVia)
  • Oxycodone (Oxycontin)
  • Rivastigmine (Exelon)
  • Sibutramine HCl (Meridia)
  • Sulfasalazine (Azulfidine)
  • Topiramate (Topamax)


  1. Anonymous10/08/2013

    I have this underlying feeling of nausea but it is not preventing me from eating. Certain smells make me nauseous.

  2. Anonymous10/08/2013

    Also, I should add that some of these medications can cause binge eating disorder. Then you have a whole new mess to deal with.

  3. Anonymous10/08/2013

    Beyond eating disorders, there is not any hard empirical evidence whatsoever that anti-depressants actually work on those with depression. Anti-psychotic drugs when used over a prolonged period have permanent side effects such as tardive dyskinesia.

  4. Anonymous10/08/2013

    We can get prescriptions for dangerous pills no matter what our ailment any day of the week because big pharma wants to increase it's profit margin.

  5. Anonymous10/08/2013

    Is there a difference between eating too little and anorexia?

    1. People living with anorexia try to lose weight by eating very little, refusing to eat at all or exercising too much. Other people eat a small amount of food and then immediately try to eliminate the food by purging. Eating very little food is dangerous. You don’t get the nutrients you need, and this can affect every part of your body. Some of the problems include heart problems, bone problems and fertility problems in women.

  6. Anonymous10/08/2013

    My friend is going to chemo and has lost about 17 pounds in three months. She will still get chemo till the beginning of May. Nothing tastes good and she has sores in her mouth.

  7. Anonymous10/08/2013

    I was wondering if purchasing some decent weight gain might help for cancer patients?

    1. When you have cancer, you may need extra protein and calories.
      At times, your diet may need to include extra milk, cheese, and
      eggs. If you have trouble chewing and swallowing, you may
      need to add sauces and gravies. Sometimes, you may need to
      eat low-fiber foods instead of those with high fiber.

  8. Anonymous10/08/2013

    My girlfriend are using ventolin (salbutamol) for weight loss. Is it good?

    1. Ventolin (salbutamol) works by opening up the air passages in the lungs so that air can flow into the lungs more easily. In doing so it can help to relieve symptoms such as coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath. It is important to use this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor.

  9. Anonymous10/27/2013

    Eating less not necessarilly leads to weightloss.