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Buproprion, an anti-depressant, has been found to help maintain weight and aid in weight loss in the long term


Although patients react differently to medications, anti-depressants have been long known to cause weight gain as a side effect for some people. According to Webmd, up to 25% of patients on anti-depressants gain weight.


Depression is a serious mood disorder and is very difficult to treat especially considering there are many anti-depressant medications to choose from.

Among the many other side effects commonly caused by use of pharmaceuticals, weight gain is one of the most common complaints that patients experience. The reasoning perhaps is because the patient may be experiencing a calmness or more happier existence and may experience food in a different way.

There is much to research and learn between medications and depression, however, what scientists and researchers do know is that certain anti-depressants have a higher chance of weight gain than others, among these, are:

- certain tricyclic antidepressants (amitriptyline,etc.)

- certain monoamine oxidase inhibitors (phenelzine)

- Paroxetine (paxil)

- fluoxetine

- mirtazapine (remeron)

What is interesting, is that Bupropion, a common antidepressant prescribed, is now being linked to weight loss. In a recent study published by the Journal of Clinical Medicine, modest weight loss among non-smokers was observed within a two year period. More interestingly, Bupropion is used to curb smoking cessations and smoking cessation is strongly associated with weight gain. Findings showed non-smokers had an average 7.1 pound weight loss with the use of bupropion compared to the fluoxetine users. In addition to bupropion, sertraline use showed a 5.9 pound weight loss compared to patients taking fluoxetine.

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More than a third of U.S. adults are considered obese. About 6.7 percent of the U.S. population suffers from depression. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), forty-three percent of adults with depression were obese, and adults with depression were more likely to be obese than adults without depression. Obesity and depression overlapping make it a significant health concern. These two health issues tend to feed off of each other. Obesity tends to increase the risk of depression and depression increases the likelihood of obesity.

Making sure you are familiar with side effects of anti-depressants as well as keeping up with doctor appointments is critical for treating depression. The good thing is that we are finding more and more about how these anti-depressants work with a patient's body in the long term.

Arterburn D, Sofer T, Boudreau DM, et al. Long-Term Weight Change after Initiating Second-Generation Antidepressants. J Clin Med. 2016; 5(4), 48; doi:10.3390/jcm5040048.