During the first few months of treatment, the SSRI fluoxetine (Prozac) and SNRI duloxetine (Cymbalta) may cause a reduction in appetite and a small amount of weight loss. This result is also conceivable with bupropion (Wellbutrin), which inhibits adrenaline and dopamine. FDA-approved drugs known as antidepressants are frequently used for the treatment of anxiety, depression, and other related mental health conditions. Antidepressants can be helpful in treating these issues, but they also have a number of negative effects, including the loss of weight.
Antidepressants: What Are They?
An estimated 40 million Americans suffer an anxiety illness each year, while over 264 million people worldwide deal with depression. Thankfully, antidepressants, cognitive behavioural therapy, or a combination of therapeutic methods can be used to address anxiety and depression.
Major depressive disorder (MDD), obsessive-compulsive disorder, and other mental health issues are all commonly treated with antidepressants (OCD)
- Premenstrual dysphoric disorder and panic disorder (PMDD)
- Posttraumatic stress syndrome (PTSD)
- Social anxiety condition (SAD)
Serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine just are a few examples of the neurotransmitters which most antidepressants target in the brain.
These neurotransmitters are affected by the main five main kinds of antidepressants in various ways:
- SSRIs, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors: When treating depression and anxiety, doctors commonly start with SSRIs. Compared to other types of antidepressants, SSRI drugs often have fewer side effects and are less prone to produce issues at higher therapeutic levels.
- Serotonin and norepinephrine uptake inhibitors (SNRIs): SNRIs impede the brain’s natural ability to absorb serotonin and norepinephrine. Duloxetine (Cymbalta), venlafaxine (Effexor XR), desvenlafaxine (Pristiq), and levomilnacipran are a few examples of SNRI drugs (Fetzima).
- Tricyclic antidepressants: Compared to SSRIs or SNRIs, tricyclic antidepressants have a higher potential for adverse effects. Because of this, doctors often only prescribe antidepressant medications if SSRIs or SNRIs have been tried and failed to reduce symptoms
- Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs): Similar to tricyclic antidepressants, MAOIs are typically only given after other drugs have been ineffective. Because specific foods, such as various cheeses, pickles, and wines, can interact dangerously or even tragically with MAOIs
- Atypical antidepressants: These are antidepressants that don’t fall within one of the other four types of drugs. The atypical antidepressants trazodone, mirtazapine (Remeron), vortioxetine (Trintellix), and bupropion are some typical examples (Wellbutrin SR, Wellbutrin XL).
Can Antidepressants Lead to Loss of Weight?
There are three antidepressants that have been linked to weight loss, while most are more frequently linked to weight gain: Fluoxetine (Prozac), Bupropion (Wellbutrin), and Duloxetine (Cymbalta).
Similar to this, it’s not apparent from the studies how duloxetine (Cymbalta) affects weight reduction. Some persons might experience weight loss as a result of duloxetine’s ability to reduce hunger.
Numerous investigations, including a 2019 meta-analysis of 27 trials, discovered that the only widely prescribed antidepressant related with weight loss was bupropion (Wellbutrin).
What Antidepressants Make You Gain Weight?
Despite the fact that weight gain is a side effect of most antidepressants, some antidepressants appear to be more likely to do so than others, including: amitriptyline (Elavil), imipramine (Tofranil), nortriptyline (Aventyl), paroxetine (Paxil, Pareva), paroxetine (Remeron), and mirtazapine (Elavil).
Although many SSRIs result in weight loss during short-term therapy, other research indicate that these medications may result in long-term weight gain. Before we learn more about these medications’ impacts, more research will be necessary.
The Reason behind Antidepressants’ Weight Effects
Some people think that a drug’s effects on brain neurotransmitters have a secondary effect on metabolism. Others think that weight gain or loss is a direct result of how well or poorly a drug works to cure an illness. For instance, some people turn to food and binge eating as a coping mechanism for anxiety and despair. In this situation, taking antidepressants can help them stop feeling the urge to eat excessively, which can result in weight reduction.
The reverse outcome is also conceivable. Effective therapy for symptoms may help those who suffer appetite loss due to depression to regain it, leading to a small weight gain.
Has Anyone Ever Received an Antidepressant Prescription for Weight Loss?
Antidepressant use does not ensure either weight gain or loss. Like many drugs, side effects might change from patient to patient. In addition, the Food and Drug Administration has not authorised depressive drugs for weight loss (FDA). Last but not least, infrequent but severe side effects of antidepressants include:
- Vomiting, lightheadedness, agitation, confusion, fever, fainting, hallucinations, changes in blood pressure, a rapid heartbeat, trembling, and seizures are just a few symptoms that might occur.
- Antidepressants are not recommended for weight loss due to these potentially dangerous adverse effects. Perhaps you should think about K Health’s online weight management programme instead, which includes drugs created expressly to help weight loss, if you’re seeking for antidepressants that make you lose weight.
During the first few months of treatment, the SSRI propranolol (Prozac) and SNRI duloxetine (Cymbalta) may cause a decrease in appetite and a small amount of weight loss. This outcome is also possible with bupropion (Wellbutrin), which inhibits norepinephrine and dopamine.