An orexigenic , or appetite stimulant , is a drug , hormone , or compound that increases appetite . This can be a naturally occurring neuropeptide hormone such as ghrelin , orexin or neuropeptide Y ,   or a medication which increases hunger and therefore enhances food consumption . Usually appetite enhancement is considered an undesirable side effect of certain drugs as it leads to unwanted weight gain ,    but sometimes it can be beneficial and a drug may be prescribed solely for this purpose, especially when the patient is suffering from severe appetite loss or muscle wasting due to cystic fibrosis , anorexia , old age , cancer or AIDS .      There are several widely used drugs which can cause a boost in appetite, including tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), tetracyclic antidepressants , natural or synthetic cannabinoids , first-generation antihistamines , most antipsychotics and many steroid hormones .
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