Doctors Prescribing ADHD Drugs for Weight Loss

Though the FDA has not approved drugs like Adderall for weight loss, it is legal, and common, for doctors to prescribe medications "off label."

Thursday March 22nd - 11:54am

When Alex Veith was 11 years old, he was in a bad spot.

He was 30 pounds overweight, and blood tests showed he was headed toward Type 2 diabetes. His parents say Alex was already physically active and eating a healthy diet. They didn't know what to do.

Their pediatrician didn't know either, so she referred Lisa and Hank Veith to Dr. Fuad Ziai, a pediatric endocrinologist in nearby Oak Lawn, Illinois. In the summer before Alex entered sixth grade, Ziai prescribed Adderall, an amphetamine used to treat attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. Alex didn't have ADHD, but one of the drug's common side effects is weight loss. And that's what happened to Alex.

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