Antidepressants and weight gain

Antidepressants is a group of drugs used to treat depressive conditions in adults and adolescents. These medications normalize mood, improve sleep and help control appetite.

Although often depression itself provokes overeating and hormonal disorders, many people are afraid of taking antidepressants believing that they contribute to a significant weight gain.

The problem of antidepressants and weight gain worries many patients. In some cases, rapid weight gain when taking antidepressants frightens patients that many of them refuse to use them.

However, it is necessary to fear depression first of all, which can last for months and lead to changes in the brain function and other negative consequences.

Scientists cannot yet name the specific reason for which antidepressants lead to weight gain in some people. Still, they tend to believe that besides mood improvement, these drugs increase appetite that contributes to overeating and putting on extra pounds.

In addition, it is known that sometimes people have to take antidepressants for a long time. It is not a secret that a tendency to weight gain only increases with age.

Thus, people using antidepressants for a long time naturally gain weight. In this case, many of them mistakenly believe that this is because of the antidepressants.

In addition, it should be understood that the existing relationship between antidepressants and weight gain might depend on a variety of factors.

According to experts, some of the most important are as follows:

  • individual characteristics of the human body;
  • type of antidepressant.

Generally, weight gain is one of the side effects of drugs for treating depression. It is also known that every organism is individual and reacts differently to antidepressants.

This means that one person may experience this side effect, but another – may not. Therefore, an antidepressant should be prescribed by a specialist who takes into account the patient’s individual characteristics suffering from depression.

In order to avoid weight gain, sometimes it is enough to change the antidepressant used. Today, a large number of different antidepressants are presented on the pharmaceutical market, so it is not difficult to choose the most effective drug.

A sufficient number of modern antidepressants practically do not affect weight and herewith effectively combat depression.

This list shows antidepressants without weight gain that are popular not only in the US, but also in Australia and UK:

  • Lexapro (Escitalopram);
  • Wellbutrin (Bupropion).
  • Effexor (Venlafaxine);
  • Trintellix (Vortioxetine);
  • Pristiq (Desvenlafaxine).
  • Viibryd (Vilazodone);
  • Cymbalta (Duloxetine).

Many people with depression do not know that the relationship between antidepressants and weight gain can be caused by the prolonged intake of antidepressants.

The use of certain antidepressants for no more than 6 months is less accompanied with weight gain.

A list of such antidepressants includes:

  • Prozac (Fluoxetine);
  • Celexa (Citalopram);
  • Zoloft (Sertraline).

The greatest weight gain can be caused by some tricyclic antidepressants (such as Elavil, Tofranil), atypical antidepressants (like Remeron), and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (like Nardil).

If you are concerned about weight gain, consult a doctor. Probably, he will advise another effective antidepressant.

One more option is to reduce the therapeutic dose of the medication. This decision must be made by the doctor. It is not recommended to decrease the antidepressant dosage by yourself. The lower dose will help decrease side effects, including weight gain.