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Weight gain is one of the potential side effects of antidepressant use, with some sources estimating that 25 percent of people using antidepressants experience an increase in weight. Although the reactions to specific antidepressants vary between individuals, some antidepressant medications are more likely to lead to weight gain than others. Experts do not fully understand why antidepressants lead to weight gain in some people. One theory is that both metabolism and hunger levels may be affected.
Also, depression itself may cause weight gain in some people and weight loss in others. Antidepressants interfere with serotoninthe neurotransmitter that regulates anxiety and mood while also controlling appetite. In particular, these changes may increase cravings for carbohydrate-rich foods, such as bread, pasta, and desserts. When people are depressed, their appetites are affected. In some people, this may make them hungrier while others lose their appetite.
It should also be noted that depression can lead to fatigue and inactivity, and a lack of physical activity can cause weight gain. If a person is experiencing weight gain while taking antidepressants, it may be an indication that the medication is not combatting their depression effectively. Also known as cyclic antidepressants, TCAs are some of the earliest forms of antidepressant medications.
They are not as commonly prescribed as more modern forms of antidepressants, as they can cause more side effects, including weight gain. Older research suggests that excessive weight gain caused many users to strattera and seroquel TCA treatment.
However, cyclic antidepressants can be effective, anti depressants weight gain, especially for some people who do not respond to other treatments. MAOIs are another early class of antidepressants and have generally been replaced by newer antidepressant drugs.
Although effective, soluble insulin receptor and diabetes tend to cause weight gain and several other adverse reactions. In anti depressants weight gain, people who take MAOIs may need to restrict their diets, as these drugs can cause elevated blood pressure levels when taken with some foods and medications.
However, MAOIs help relieve depression in some people who do not see improvements with other drugs. One type of MAOI called selegiline Emsama topical treatment that is applied to the skin as a patch, has been associated with weight loss in some users. Anti depressants weight gain most commonly prescribed form of antidepressant medication, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors SSRIs have been associated with weight loss in short-term use, but may cause weight gain when used long term.
However, weight gain associated with SSRIs depends on the length of time they are taken, as well as the type. For example, paroxetine is the most likely to lead to weight gain, while sertraline is least likely.
According to a studySSRIs were associated with weight gain when users engaged in "unhealthy behaviours," such as eating a standard Western diet, lack of exercise, and tobacco use. One type of atypical antidepressant called mirtazapine Remeron has been linked to both increased appetite and weight gain. It is less likely, however, than TCAs to cause weight gain. Not all antidepressants cause weight gain, and some cause less weight gain than other commonly prescribed medications.
If used on a short-term basis of fewer than 6 months, anti depressants weight gain, the following SSRIs are unlikely to cause weight gain:. In fact, some drugs used to treat depression have been associated with weight loss, including:. It is important to seek help for depression, and antidepressants are a highly effective treatment for many people. Anti depressants weight gain, people should discuss the side effects of antidepressant medications with their doctor before beginning treatment so they know what to expect, anti depressants weight gain.
People already taking antidepressants should let a doctor know if they experience any adverse reactions, including weight gain. If a person feels that the benefits of the medication, such as being able to manage the depression, anti depressants weight gain, outweigh the side anti depressants weight gain, a doctor may advise them to address any weight gain by dietary changes and more physical activity.
Research suggests that exercise can improve mood and reduce anti depressants weight gain. A person may also talk to their doctor about adjusting the dose, or switching to another antidepressant to reduce side effects and manage weight. Sometimes, even switching to another antidepressant within the same class of drugs can reduce symptoms. It is important not to take any weight loss medications or anti depressants weight gain without consulting a doctor first, as they could interfere with the antidepressants.
While some antidepressants lead to weight gain in some people, they are an effective treatment for many people with depression. People taking antidepressant medications should speak to their doctor about any side effects they experience, including weight gain. For many people, managing the depression will take priority over losing weight.
For some people, engaging in a healthier lifestyle in conjunction with antidepressant use, or switching to another antidepressant medication, may reverse the weight gain. A person should always consult a doctor before making changes to medications, diet, and levels of physical activity.
Article anti depressants weight gain reviewed by Mon 25 September Visit our Depression category page for the latest news on this subject, or sign up to our vitamin e and liver damage to receive the latest updates on Depression.
All references are available in the References tab. A side-effect of tricyclic antidepressants [Abstract]. Journal of Affective Disorders7 2 Managing weight gain as a side effect of antidepressant therapy. Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine70 7anti depressants weight gain, Comparative benefits and harms of second-generation antidepressants for treating major depressive disorder: Annals of Internal Medicine11— Is increased antidepressant exposure a contributory factor to the obesity pandemic?
Translational Psychiatry6e Antidepressant use in persons aged 12 and over: SSRI antidepressant use potentiates weight gain in the context of unhealthy lifestyles: Anti depressants weight gain from a 4-year Australian follow-up study. BMJ Open7 8e Effects of exercise on anxiety and depression disorders: Review of meta-analyses and neurobiological mechanisms. MNT is the registered trade mark of Healthline Media. Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional.
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Register for a free account Sign up for a free Medical News Today account to customize your medical and health news experiences. Register take the tour. Reviewed by Alan Carter, PharmD. Table of contents What is the link? Types that may cause weight gain Other types of antidepressants What to ask a doctor Takeaway. Antidepressants may lead to weight gain as a person regains their appetite. Weight gain is be a potential side effect of some types of antidepressants.
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