Best Antidepressant for Weight Loss - Top Tips for You

By Emma |
|5 min read

Depression can be defined as a psychiatry or psychotherapy state of the mind, that produces some serious and long-term effects to lowers one's life enjoyment or causes the inability to visualize any future happiness. Antidepressants are types of medication that help suppress or relieve depression symptoms such as social anxiety disorders, mild dysthymia, or chronic depression. Weight loss is among the side effects associated with antidepressants. These antidepressants work by correcting neurotransmitter chemical imbalances in the brain, which are responsible for mood and behavior changes.

Antidepressant and Weight Changes

As the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found, over usage of antidepressants rose from 7.7% to 12.7% in 2014 making them the third common prescribed drug. This can be attributed to their second advantageous effects on body weight loss.

1. Perfect antidepressant for weight loss

Bupropion (Wellbutrin/Zyban/Aplenzin): Although other antidepressants are inclined to weight gain effect, Bupropion is the best antidepressant for weight loss. First, it is good to understand that dopamine and noradrenaline protein types are the ones responsible for combating depression. On the other hand, they regulate appetite and contribute to the feeling of fullness, which reduces the intake of calories responsible for weight gain. This is because bupropion works as Norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitor, meaning that it increases metabolism, stirring up body energy for working thus burning more calories needed for extra weight loss.

"The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry” compiled after 116 result studies and published in October 2010, reported that bupropion was one antidepressant that aided in weight loss of 4 lbs in the long term (above four months of usage) and 2.5 lbs in the short term (below three months). The average weight loss on bupropion usage was 7 lbs after two years of use.

2. Neutral antidepressants

Some antidepressant medications have weight effects that contribute to weight loss or gain depending on individual body reactions. SNRIs are norepinephrine and serotonin reuptake preventers. In this medicine family are:

  • Viibryd (Vilazodone) is considered a "weight neutral” kind of treatment because it does not typically affect weight entirely on its usage. But there are always some outliers as to what it contributes to weight loss. Its side effects like diarrhea, appetite decrease, increased energy and metabolism, make it feature among antidepressants weight loss bracket.

  • Cymbalta (Duloxetine) is featured as a neutral antidepressant on weight because it effect falls on weight loss and gain. It is named among the most popular antidepressants due to its ability to treat fibromyalgia, neuropathy and some chronic pains.

  • Effexor (Venlafaxine) is among the first SNRI medications for major depression treatment. Those who take it are highly concerned with treating their depression. But all in all, Effexor will always result in weight changes. Its side effects, for example, nausea and appetite loss, will result in weight loss.

3. Antidepressants that are more likely to cause weight gain

  • TCAs: These were among the first antidepressants for weight loss to be approved. Owing to a 1984 study, it was found that they contribute to a lot of weight gain. Due to this discovery, and the invention of newer drugs that caused fewer side effects, they are less used today. But in cases where the recipients do not gain weight, they can still be used.

  • MAOIs: Monoamine Oxidase inhibitors are the initial antidepressants. But to date, they are used in cases where other antidepressants are not working. Their usage is restricted due to the weight increase side effect. MAOI types that are attributed to weight gain are Phenelzine (Nardil), Tranylcypromine (Parnate), and Isocarboxazid (Marplan). Selegiline (Emsam) is an MAOI but does not fall under the weight increase bracket. It results in loss of weight when used.

  • SSRIs (like Zoloft): Although SSRIs have been associated with losing weight when used within the short term, their long-term usage (past six months) is characterized by gaining weight. The list of SSRIs includes: Sertraline (Zoloft) Citalopram (Celexa) Paroxetine (Paxil, Pexeva, Brisdelle)

NOTE: All antidepressants must be taken under the prescription of a doctor.

Tips to Prevent Weight Gain Due to Antidepressants

According to a 2017 study, unhealthy behaviors and human lifestyle can impact negatively on antidepressant usage.

  • Consider switching or reducing medications: To avoid unnecessary weight gain associated with antidepressant medications like Zoloft side effects, a doctor should be consulted on which types of medicines to use which are weight-friendly. Among the frequently prescribed SSRI and SNRI, some are very much associated with gaining pounds. To avoid this, drugs which lead to less weight gain should be tried first. Secondly, the discussion on antidepressant medication reduction should also be factored in.

  • Exercise: With all the detrimental effects of weight gaining associated with antidepressants, their benefits surpass all that. That is the reason why the basic idea of exercising for weight regulation still remains key. After taking those medications, exercises like going to the gym, running or taking a simple walk can help suppress depression and burn off extra calories. Exercise should never be ignored.

  • Keep a healthy diet: The kind of dieting that one engages in affects weight gain/loss and the way antidepressants work in the body. Some carbohydrates (from whole grains, vegetable, and fruits), proteins (from fish or lean meat) and fats (canola, walnuts and olive oil) can improve weight loss. A combination of best antidepressants for weight loss and proper dieting by eliminating alcohol, refined flour products, extra sugars, and caffeine is all that is needed for weight control.

Yes, depression is a human concern that may need medication, but moderation on the type of medications to use and how to use them to avoid advanced side effects is what matters most. The above content is only for informative purposes. In any case, consulting a doctor should always be considered first.



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