Which Antidepressants Cause The Most Weight Gain
Although gaining weight is a possible side effect of nearly all antidepressants, everyone responds to antidepressants differently. Some people may put on weight while on treatment, while others may not.
Antidepressants that can cause wait gain include:
- Atypical antipsychotic medications
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors
Both the likelihood of weight gain and the amount of possible weight gain vary from drug to drug. Appetite regulation and weight gain or loss are very complex reactions that are influenced by a wide variety of hormones, all of which may be negatively affected by antidepressants. Some antidepressants are more likely to cause weight gain than others:
- TCAs and perhaps MAOIs may be more likely to cause weight gain than SSRIs or the newer antidepressants, with the exception of Remeron.
- SSRIs tend to cause loss of appetite early on, sometimes due to side effects such as nausea, and others can cause weight gain with long-term use .
- Some antidepressants, such as Effexor and Wellbutrin, may be less likely to cause any weight gain.
Balancing Mental And Physical Health On Psych Meds
Even when not taking a psychiatric medication, some people with mental health disorders may already be battling overweight or obesity, says Dr. Wharton and his colleagues. Research has shown that those with mental health disorders seem to have up to 1.5 times greater odds of having obesity. 2,3
In addition, the weight gain linked with antidepressant and antipsychotic drugs has been well recognized, although the experience varies and is not the same for everyone.4-7
So how much weight gain are we talking about? In another recent study,7 researchers looked at the weight status of 362 patients taking an antidepressant medication for six to 36 months. More than half of them gained weight, with 40% of individuals gaining at least 7% of their starting weight. The only drug of the eight psych medications evaluated in the study not linked with weight gain was fluoxetine . The study did not have funding from pharmaceutical companies.7
The links between weight gain and medications have been shown to differ by medication type, says J. Michael Gonzalez-Campoy, MD, PhD, FACE, medical director and CEO of the Minnesota Center for Obesity, Metabolism and Endocrinology.
“In general, the use of antipsychotic medications are most often associated with weight gain,” Dr. Gonzalez-Campoy tells EndocrineWeb “In general, the use of antidepressants is associated with more modest weight gainwith the exception of fluoxetine and bupropion , which appear to be weight neutral.”
Other Ssris And Weight Gain
Sertraline isnt the only antidepressant that can cause weight gain. Many other antidepressants, including other SSRIs, are associated with some degree of weight gain.
In a review published in the journal Translational Psychiatry, researchers noted that SSRI users gained an average of 4.6 percent of their body weight over four years of treatment.
Other research has found that certain antidepressants, such as citalopram , often cause cravings for carbohydrates and significant weight gain during treatment.
As for specific SSRIs, the data varies. Can escitalopram cause weight gain? Relatively little, according to one study, which found that people with depression who underwent treatment with escitalopram gained an average of just 0.34kg over six months.
Similarly, SNRI antidepressants such as duloxetine can also cause weight gain. In one review, researchers noted that duloxetine leads to a modest amount of weight gain when its used as a long-term treatment for depression.
Put simply, weight gain is a fairly common side effect of both SSRIs and other antidepressants — not an isolated side effect that only occurs with sertraline.
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Some People Also Experience Depression After Losing Weight
You could also notice something of an opposite effect feelings of depression after intentional weight loss.
Perhaps youve lost some weight, just not as much as you hoped. If your weight loss has plateaued, you may feel frustrated, hopeless, or discouraged. These feelings can negatively affect your mood and general outlook.
The truth is, any personal difficulties, relationship problems, or workplace challenges wont automatically disappear once you lose weight. These concerns, and anything else troubling you, will probably stick around until you address them.
Some evidence also suggests a potential link between malnutrition and depression. This link could help explain the fact that many people with eating disorders also have depression, though more research is needed.
When you skip meals or severely restrict calories whether due to an eating disorder or another reason, like food insecurity or lack of access to nutritious food your brain and body dont get enough energy to function properly, prompting symptoms like energy loss, fatigue, and low mood.
Regaining lost weight can help boost your energy, which can make it easier to cope with other depression symptoms. These strategies can offer a place to start.
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Meds That Cause Extreme Weight Loss
For the past two weeks we have been considering those food-medication interactions which may cause weight gain, but there are also many medicines which suppress the appetite and cause anorexia and weight loss. I thought long and hard about including this aspect of food-drug interactions, because I did not want to impart information that can be misused in any way.
An appeal to readers
Please do not misinterpret the information in this article. It is intended for those patients who are being treated with the listed medications, who suffer from a suppressed appetite and weight loss. It is not meant for those members of the public who want or need to lose weight no matter how desperate you are. The list does include one or two medications that are used specifically for weight loss purposes, but you should under no circumstances try to obtain any of the other so-called anorexic medicines for slimming purposes. Many of these medications, such as the anticancer drugs, can cause severe side-effects and need to be taken under the supervision of a physician. Such medications are only intended to treat serious physical conditions, such as cancer or HIV or dementia, and should never be used for unintended purposes.
Appetite suppressing medications can be divided into a number of categories such as anti-infective drugs, antineoplastics, bronchodilators, cardiovascular drugs, stimulants and other medicines.
- Salbutamol sulphate
Bipolar Medicine With No Weight Gain Side Effects
Bipolar disorder is a psychiatric illness that is also known as manic depression. It most commonly appears in the late teen or early adult years and is characterized by a mood state that alternates between depression and mania. Bipolar disorder may be treated by a number of medications such as lithium and valproic acid, which are known to cause weight gain due to increases in appetite and changes in carbohydrate metabolism. Fortunately, there are a number of options which are less likely to cause this troubling side effect.
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Which Antidepressants Cause Weight Gain
Though most antidepressants can cause weight gain as side effect, some antidepressants seem more likely to cause weight gain than others, including:
The effect of SSRIs on weight is mixed.
Despite the fact that many SSRIs cause weight loss during short-term treatment, other studies show that these drugs may cause long-term weight gain. The effects of these drugs will need continued study before we know more.
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Does Lamictal Cause Weight Gain Or Loss
Steven Gans, MD is board-certified in psychiatry and is an active supervisor, teacher, and mentor at Massachusetts General Hospital.
If youâre concerned that taking the medication Lamictal may cause you to gain weight, thereâs good news. It probably wonât affect your weight much at all. If anything, youâre more likely to lose weight because of Lamictal than to gain weight, but either way, the changes will probably be pretty small.
The effect of Lamictal on weight has been studied quite a bit and various clinical trials have found a minimal impact gain. In fact, some researchers even have looked at the drug as a possible treatment for obesity and as a treatment for binge-eating disorder.
This should be reassuring to people with bipolar disorder since so many medications used to treat the condition can cause weight gain.
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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Seek The Help For Depression You Need
If you are feeling depressed, its important to seek out the help you need. Speak with your healthcare provider or a mental health professional to figure out if antidepressants, therapy, or a combination thereof are right for you. If you are concerned about weight gain on antidepressants, be sure to discuss that with your healthcare provider as well.
How Forward Can Help You Balance Depression Treatment And Weight Management
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Weight Gain Can Cause Added Worry With Psych Meds
You are not alone in gaining benefit from psychiatric medicationand you arent the only one who stresses about the weight gain linked with many of the drugs. As such, this challenge inspired Ms. Christensen to test for a solution that would address this vexing problem. She tells EndocrineWeb that concern about weight gain is both a real and almost universal experience among the patients in her clinic that are prescribed psychiatric medications.2
“The fear of weight gain is sometimes so powerful that people will stop taking their medication,” says Dr. Wharton who is the senior investigator of the study that shows that participating in an organized, medical weight loss programs work.
As if to confirm how common this conundrum is, Michael McGee, MD, chief medical officer at The Haven at Pismo, an addiction treatment center near San Luis Obispo in California, says that he frequently hears about the anxiety linked with medication-related weight gain.
“My patients fear and complain about weight gain, particularly the women, who often do gain weight, but it is not a given,” he tells EndocrineWeb. With years of practice, Dr. McGee has seen many patients who have experienced weight gain, increasing about five to 10% of their starting weight. That means, for example, a 150-pound woman would be facing up to a 15-pound gain in body weight.
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Antidepressants That Can Cause Weight Gain
Monoamine oxidase inhibitors
- MAOIs affect neurotransmitters that communicate between brain cells, preventing an enzyme called monoamine oxidase from removing the neurotransmitters norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine from the brain. This allows these neurotransmitters to remain in the brain for a longer time, thus elevating your mood.
- Weight gain is likely in the short term and long term .
- Examples of MAOIs include Marplan , Nardil , and Parnate .
- Tricyclic antidepressants help keep more serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain. These chemicals are made naturally by your body and are thought to affect your mood.
- Weight gain is likely both in the short term and long term.
SSRIs other than paroxetine
- SSRIs treat depression by increasing serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is one of the neurotransmitters that carry signals between the brain nerve cells. SSRIs block the reabsorption of serotonin into the neurons.
- Weight gain in the short term is less likely. Long-term weight gain is possible, but evidence varies.
- Examples include Paxil, Zoloft, Celexa, and Prozac.
How Antidepressants Affect Weight Loss
Roughly 13 percent of Americans over the age of 12 take antidepressant medications. If youre one of them, your medication can help ease common symptoms of depression and anxiety to improve your quality of life. Unfortunately, like all medications, antidepressants pose a risk for side effects, including weight gain and weight loss challenges. Understanding how antidepressants affect your weight allows you to choose the right approach to diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes to set you up for lasting weight loss success.
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Activating Antidepressants For Energy
There is a class of antidepressants that doctors call activating antidepressants. As the name implies, these are more stimulating antidepressants. Doctors are more likely to prescribe them for people struggling with low energy and fatigue.
Some of these antidepressants also have the added side effect of weight loss.
One of the best antidepressants for this purpose is Prozac. The chemical name of Prozac is fluoxetine, and its the most common antidepressant in the United States.
Prozac is more stimulating than other antidepressants. It may also help you lose weight.
Another antidepressant that may help with energy and weight loss is Viibryd . This drug helps to produce energy in the mind and body and is less likely to cause weight gain than some other drugs.