Do Antidepressants Really Cause Weight Gain?


Because of depression some people gain weight whereas others lose weight. Individuals who take antidepressants tend to put on little weight. In one study, individuals taking citalopram (Celexa) which is from a class of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), on average gained more than two and a half pounds.

Surprisingly, a new study found only minimal changes in weight. In this study electronic medical records were used to collect information on weight change, researchers examined 19000 patients who were taking antidepressants. The 11 antidepressants that were taken by the patients caused only small amounts of weight. Wellbutrin and Elavil were linked with the least amount of weight gain whereas Celexa the greatest, but the real amount was just a few pounds. Researchers however concluded that people should not be scared of taking antidepressants because they think they will put on weight.

Many people complain that they gained 100 pounds weight after taking antidepressants; the electronic medical records contradicted the link between substantive weight gain and the use of antidepressant. It left a big question mark on the reports of weight gain on these medications. There is a possibility that people who put on weight after taking antidepressants might have gained weight anyhow. Maybe the type of depression they were going through is responsible. In a study, weight was gained among those people who had a typical depression which is categorized by increased appetite. Seasonal affective disorder is linked with increased appetite; in this condition people usually gain more than 10 pounds.

Some experts are not concerned about whether antidepressants are producing weight instead they suggest that individuals who gain weight on taking antidepressants is not because of the medication but because their depression has not completely disappeared. In depression people can’t stop binge eating.

This explanation leaves several issues to be solved, if drugs for depression are not associated with weight gain then what can be the clarification for the outcomes of a yearlong Prozac trial in which obese, non – depressed patients gained weight.

Statistics can’t help people who have put on weight because of their antidepressant treatment, irrespective of the reason why they were being treated; this is a great matter of concern.

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