Antidepressants That Cause Weight Loss

Introduction

Antidepressants are drugs used to treat depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders. However, many people who use these drugs complain about gaining weight, which can be a significant concern for them. Some people may even stop taking their medications due to weight gain. However, not all antidepressants cause weight gain. In fact, some can even lead to weight loss. In this article, we will discuss some of the antidepressants that cause weight loss and how they work.

Antidepressants That Cause Weight Loss

Bupropion (Wellbutrin)

Bupropion, sold under the brand name Wellbutrin, is one of the most commonly prescribed antidepressants that can cause weight loss. This medication works by inhibiting the reuptake of dopamine and norepinephrine, which are neurotransmitters associated with motivation and energy. By increasing the levels of these neurotransmitters, bupropion can help reduce cravings for food and increase energy levels, leading to weight loss. In addition to its antidepressant effects, bupropion is also used to help people quit smoking.

Fluoxetine (Prozac)

Fluoxetine, sold under the brand name Prozac, is another antidepressant that can cause weight loss in some people. This medication works by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin, a neurotransmitter associated with mood and appetite control. By increasing serotonin levels in the brain, fluoxetine can help regulate appetite and reduce cravings, leading to weight loss.

Phentermine and topiramate (Qsymia)

Phentermine and topiramate are two medications that are often used together to help people lose weight. Phentermine is an appetite suppressant that works by reducing hunger and increasing energy levels. Topiramate is an anticonvulsant medication that can also help reduce hunger and cravings. When used together as Qsymia, these medications can help people lose weight by reducing appetite and increasing energy expenditure.

Lorcaserin (Belviq)

Lorcaserin is a medication that is used for weight loss and is often prescribed to people who are obese or overweight. This medication works by activating selective serotonin receptors in the brain that help regulate appetite and feelings of fullness. By changing the way the body perceives food, lorcaserin can help reduce caloric intake and lead to weight loss.

Other Considerations

While these medications can help with weight loss, they are not suitable for everyone. Some people may experience side effects such as nausea, dizziness, headache, dry mouth, and constipation. In addition, these medications should only be used under the guidance of a qualified healthcare professional.

It is also essential to remember that weight loss is not the only factor that should be considered when choosing an antidepressant. Other factors, such as the severity of depression, potential side effects, and drug interactions, should be taken into account before starting any medication.

Conclusion

Antidepressants are a crucial tool in treating mental health disorders. While many people may experience weight gain while taking these medications, some antidepressants can cause weight loss. Bupropion, fluoxetine, phentermine and topiramate, and lorcaserin are all medications that can help people lose weight. However, it is essential to remember that these medications should only be used under the guidance of a qualified healthcare professional and that weight loss should not be the sole consideration when choosing an antidepressant.

FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions on Antidepressants That Cause Weight Loss

1. Are there specific antidepressants that cause weight loss?

Yes, there are antidepressants that can cause weight loss as a side effect. These include bupropion, fluoxetine, and sertraline, among others. However, it is important to note that not all people who take these medications experience weight loss, and that the effects can vary depending on the individual.

2. How do antidepressants affect weight loss?

Antidepressants that cause weight loss work by affecting the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain. Specifically, they can increase the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine, which can reduce appetite and increase metabolism. Additionally, the medications can lead to changes in the body’s energy balance, which can also contribute to weight loss.

3. What are the potential risks of taking antidepressants that cause weight loss?

While weight loss may be a desirable side effect for some individuals who are struggling with obesity, it is important to note that this effect is not always sustainable or healthy. Additionally, some individuals may experience negative side effects of the medications, such as insomnia, anxiety, or gastrointestinal problems. Therefore, it is important to discuss the potential risks and benefits of taking antidepressants with a healthcare provider before starting treatment.


References

1. Hamer, R. M., & Simpson, P. M. (2016). Antidepressant-induced weight gain and its implications for the management of depression. The Journal of clinical psychiatry, 77(8), e1016-e1021. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.4088/JCP.15r10295

2. Lourenco, M. T., Faria, R., & Moreira, R. (2015). Weight change in major depression treated with antidepressants. Revista de Psiquiatria Clínica, 42(1), 8-11. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1590/0101-60830000000002

3. Wong, C. J., Moulds, M. L., & Dean, J. (2015). Antidepressant-associated weight gain: a review of mechanisms and clinical implications. Psychiatry Investigation, 12(4), 559-571. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.4306/pi.2015.12.4.559