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Depression Meds And Weight Loss

Keep Track Of Your Calories

Weight gain & loss – depression & medication – 2 of 3

The simple act of counting calories can help you better understand not only how much you eat but when and what you eat. This is not to suggest that weight loss programs should be based solely on numbers rather it should be a means by which to gain awareness about how certain habits may contribute to medication-induced weight gain.

Even beyond counting calories, you can keep track of the nutritional information of the foods you eat. There are plenty of free online tools that can assist. Look for one that uses reliable nutrition data sources, such as the USDA nutrient database.

Youll Cut Back Slowly On The Meds

To help you avoid as many unpleasant side effects as possible, your doctor will carefully taper you off of the medication. The weaning protocol for each drug is different, Dr. Binder says, but typically adjustments will be made two to three weeks apart to give your doctor a good sense of how your symptoms change as you taper.

Stopping suddenly can be very difficult to tolerate, Dr. Binder says. Never stop cold turkey.

Doctors usually accomplish this by either cutting your dose or cutting back on how frequently you take it. Either way, its like landing a plane, says Robert Valuck, Ph.D., a professor in the department of clinical pharmacy at the University of Colorado. You dont want to drop from 35,000 feet to the runway you want a nice, slow glide path. Some people can handle a steeper glide path, says Valuck, but both approaches gradually reduce the dose in your system so that your body can adjust in baby steps.

Can You Stop Duloxetine Cold Turkey Does Duloxetine Cause Withdrawal Symptoms

Its important to take this medication as prescribed even if at first you feel side effects or dont feel any benefits. Stopping taking it suddenly can cause anxiety, fatigue, headache, diarrhea, sleep disturbances, and other side effects. After several weeks, side effects often fade and benefits become more noticeable.

If you want to stop the medication, its important to work with your doctor to gradually taper yourself off over at least two weeks. Stopping suddenly or too quickly can cause very uncomfortable withdrawal effects including:

  • Insomnia
  • Headache and shock-like symptoms in head

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Dr Corrells Three Specific Recommendations To Help You Control Your Weight:

#1 Stop drinking soda, juices, and sugared drinks

This is important, he says, because the appetite centers in the brain do not count liquid calories as food. Even the use of diet soda may be undesirable because sugar replacements may actually induce a craving for carbohydrates. So what should you drink? Non-sugared tea or water, he says. Not coffee because it increases the release of insulin which makes you hungrier.

#2 Eat slowly

Eat slowly and chew your foods as often as you can before you swallow them. Dr. Correll explains that the appetite center in the brain actually counts food by the number of times it has been chewed. And wait before taking seconds, he adds. Reason: The increased appetite a person with bipolar feels may cause him or her to eat too fast and to overeat before the brain has had time to register a sensation of fullness.

#3 Try walking for at least 30 minutes each day.

Dr. Correll cites research done with people at risk for diabetes that showed that walking 30 minutes daily , may reduce their risk for diabetes by 50 percent. Dr. Correll suggests another useful approach to increasing ones own activity level: Make a rule for yourself that you can only watch a certain television show if you use a stair-stepper or stationary bicycle for at least 30 minutes before that show begins. You might place the exercise machine in front of the TV and use it during the show as well, he suggests.

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What Types Of Antidepressants Are Available

Depression Medication Weight Loss

There are many different types of antidepressants available.

Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors are also frequently prescribed, including venlafaxine , duloxetine , and desvenlafaxine .

Bupropion, as weve discussed, is an NDRI, so it works a little differently than the more standard SSRIs and SNRIs.

Other types of antidepressants include tricyclic antidepressants and monoamine oxidase inhibitors. These tend to cause worse side effects, so theyre not generally the first treatment your provider will try.

Also Check: No One Takes My Depression Seriously

Antidepressants And Weight Gain: The Diet And Exercise Link

Not surprisingly, experts also say that some of the same tenets that help us control our weight under normal circumstances may also help us while using antidepressants — including eating healthy and getting enough exercise.

“The best thing you could do would be to head off the weight gain before it starts by switching to a more nutritious diet and increasing your daily exercise as soon as you start taking an antidepressant,” says registered dietitian Samantha Heller, MS, RD.

If, in fact, you’ve already started packing on the extra pounds, Heller says switching to a healthier diet, cutting calories, and increasing exercise are still worth the effort.

“Even if you don’t lose weight immediately, you can begin controlling the gain and help your body to stabilize for a while,” says Heller.

Moreover, a steadily growing body of scientific evidence suggests that increasing your daily exercise may affect not only weight loss, but also help your depression. In one large study of more than 3,400 Finnish men and women published in the journal Preventive Medicine, researchers found that those who exercised at least two to three times a week experienced significantly less depression, anger, and stress than those who exercised less frequently or not at all.

Experts warn, however, not to severely restrict caloric intake while taking antidepressants. Not only may this affect brain chemistry in a negative way, any strong sense of deprivation may contribute to feelings of depression.

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Are My Antidepressants Making Me Gain Weight

For millions of Americans suffering from certain types of mood disorders, such as depression, antidepressant medications can be helpfuleven lifesaving. But for roughly 25% of people who take these medications, it could also mean some unexpected pounds, which isnt so helpful for those watching their weight.

We asked Gagandeep Singh, MD, a psychiatrist at Banner Behavioral Health Hospital, to explain why certain antidepressants can cause weight gain.

While we dont fully understand why antidepressants lead to weight gain, there are confounding factors, Dr. Singh said. The first is that not all antidepressants are alike. Some can trigger changes in the brain that affect appetite and metabolism. The second is that weight gain can be impacted by a persons lifestyle and diet.

For example, when people are depressed, their appetites change. Some people will forgo food in a state of depression, while others overeat. When placed on an antidepressant, their usual appetites could change, for better or worse, and impact their waistline.

What Are The Benefits Of Using Prescription Medications To Lose Weight

Weight gain & loss – depression & medication – 3 of 3

When combined with changes to behavior, including healthy eating and increased physical activity, prescription medications help some people lose weight and maintain weight loss. On average, after 1 year, people who take prescription medications as part of a lifestyle program lose 3% to 12% more of their starting body weight than people in a lifestyle program who do not take medication.

Research shows that some people taking prescription weight management medications lose 10% or more of their starting weight.5,6 Results vary by medication and by person.

Weight loss of 5% to 10% of your starting body weight may help improve your health by lowering blood sugar, blood pressure, and triglyceride levels. Losing weight also can improve some other health problems related to overweight and obesity, such as joint pain and sleep apnea. Most weight loss takes place within the first 6 months of starting the medication.

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Making Peace With The Fact That What Gives Us Stability Of Mind Can Also Expand Our Waistline Is Difficult But Necessary Even If The Problem Cannot Be Eliminated It Often Can Be Contained

With nearly two-thirds of American adults overweight, and nearly one-third of them obese, those with bipolar who are burdened by excess pounds gained through drug side effects have plenty of company. For anyone who weighs too much, the issue runs far deeper than personal appearance, as so many adverse health effects are associated with excess weight. Yet, experts remain uncertain why many common bipolar drugs foster weight gain. Indeed, there are few tested methods to address the problem, although doctors do offer some, mostly commonsensical, advice, as detailed here.

In psychiatry, many medications have the potential to cause weight gain, says Christoph Correll, MD, a psychiatrist and psychopharmacologist at Zucker Hillside Hospital and Schneider Childrens Hospital in Glen Oaks, New York. And among all psychiatric medications, the two classes used most in bipolar disorder, mood stabilizers and the new generation antipsychotics, are among the ones that cause the most weight gain. Dr. Corrells research focuses on the side effects of antipsychotic medications.

As for certain weight loss drugs that are much used among the general population, Dr. Allison says, Some drugs are popular and fairly effective for weight loss in general. But they have not been shown to be effective among the bipolar population.

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Antidepressants That Cause Weight Loss

Antidepressants are commonly prescribed, FDA-approved medications used to treat depression, anxiety, and other related mental health disorders.

Though antidepressants can be effective at treating these conditions, they can also cause a range of side effects, including weight loss.

In this article, Ill describe what antidepressants are, their effect on weight, and which antidepressants are known to cause weight gain or weight loss.

Finally, Ill explain whether antidepressants have ever been prescribed specifically for weight loss and whether you can safely prevent weight loss due to antidepressants.

Antidepressants That Cause Weight Loss: Wellbutrin Is Best

Best Antidepressant For Weight Loss

Most people that are depressed end up trying antidepressants. One major problem associated with these medications is that while they may alleviate depression, they can cause people to gain a significant amount of weight. Due to the weight gain associated with SSRIs, people are searching for alternatives so that they dont become fat from taking a medication.

Although minor weight gain is certainly favorable to feeling suicidal and depressed, some people gain more than just a few pounds. The weight gain can create an entirely new self-image problem for the person. Gaining weight may cause a person to lose confidence and actually may contribute to them feeling depressed again.

It is estimated that people gain up to 10 pounds following a 6 month treatment with common antidepressants. So you are probably wondering which antidepressants are linked to weight loss? Im going to breakdown the drugs that are associated with weight loss as well as those that tend to be weight neutral meaning a person wont gain or drop a significant amount of weight while taking the drug.

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Have Antidepressants Ever Been Prescribed For Weight Loss

Neither weight loss nor weight gain is a guarantee when taking antidepressants.

Like many medications, side effects can vary depending on the patient. Additionally, antidepressant medications have not been approved for weight loss by the Food and Drug Administration .

Finally, antidepressants can cause rare but serious side effects, including:

With these potential serious side effects in mind, antidepressants are not prescribed for weight loss.

How To Choose The Best Antidepressant For Weight Loss

Millions of people in the United States are diagnosed as having anxiety or depressive disorders. Symptomatic relief often comes in the form of prescription antidepressant medications. Unfortunately, many patients soon find that physiological effects of some formulations lead to undesired weight gain. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs are especially noted for this particular side effect. Studies estimate that 25 percent of the patients using SSRIs experience a weight gain of 10 or more pounds. However, fluvoxamine or Luvox is a SSRI that does not cause weight gain or loss. The antidepressant fluoxetine or Prozac is actually equated with weight loss. There are many other antidepressant drugs that do not affect weight.

Also known as Wellbutrin, the medication belongs to the class of drugs referred to as norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitors or NDRIs. The pharmaceuticals act by inhibiting the brain from breaking down and reabsorbing dopamine and norepinephrine. Dopamine is responsible for many different cognitive and physical functions while also acting as the body’s natural pain reliever. Norephinephrine is a natural stimulant. The average number of patients taking the pharmaceutical lose up to five pounds.

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Can Antidepressants Cause You To Lose Weight

Weight changes with antidepressants depend on an individual. Its difficult to say how a medication will affect your weight.

Although exact causes are unknown, the brain chemicals dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin are thought to play a role in depression, and some also show depression and weight are linked.

A few antidepressants have had reports of causing weight loss:

  • bupropion this has the most studies connecting it to
  • fluoxetine results vary though some people experience weight loss
  • duloxetine while results are unclear, some people report weight loss

SSRIs may cause weight loss with short-term use, but taking them for 6 months or more can lead to an increase in weight.

Your doctor will discuss benefits, risks, and side effects before you start any new medication. This includes weight-related side effects of antidepressants.

If side effects are bothersome, there are other options your doctor will discuss with you. However, weight loss is generally not a major concern when taking antidepressants based on current scientific

How Long Does It Take For Duloxetine To Take Effect

Weight Loss When You Have Crippling Depression & Anxiety

Its normal for it to take some time before you feel improvement in your symptoms after beginning duloxetine. The first symptoms to change are often energy, sleep, and appetite, which often improve within 1-2 weeks. Most people notice improvements in their mood and other symptoms by four weeks, though it may take between six and eight weeks for full effects of the medication to be achieved.

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What Are The Concerns About Using Prescription Medications To Lose Weight

Experts are concerned that, in some cases, the side effects of prescription medications that treat overweight and obesity may outweigh the benefits. For this reason, never take a weight management medication only to improve the way you look. In the past, some weight management medications were linked to serious health problems, and they were removed from U.S. markets.

Possible side effects vary by medication and how it acts on your body. Most side effects are mild and most often improve if you continue to take the medication. Rarely, serious side effects can occur.

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