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Researchers Just Suggested The Best Drug For Weight Loss in Depressed People

medications and weight loss

If you have depression and are also overweight, consider talking with your doctor about adding Wellbutrin to your plan of care.


Past studies have shown that people who are depressed are more likely to be overweight. This could be due to a combination of factors, including being more sedentary as a result of the depression or overindulging in “comfort” foods as a method of coping. Unfortunately, most anti-depressant medications are linked to weight gain, further compounding the problem.

New research by Group Health Research Institute (GHRI) demonstrates that bupropion – marketed under the name Wellbutrin – is a medication that is linked to long-term modest weight loss.

The team, who published their research in The Journal of Clinical Medicine, found that patients followed over two years lost an average of 2.4 pounds on bupropion versus those taking fluoxetine (Prozac), who gained an average of 4.6 pounds.

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Unfortunately, however, the effect was not seen in those who continued to smoke. Bupropion is also used under the name Chantix to help patients quit smoking. Smokers often gain weight while they are trying to quit, as they often replace cigarettes with food.

“Our study suggests that bupropion is the best initial choice of antidepressant for the vast majority of Americans who have depression and are overweight or obese," said study leader David Arterburn, MD, MPH, the senior investigator at GHRI and an affiliate associate professor in the University of Washington (UW) School of Medicine's Department of Medicine.

Just keep in mind that not everyone can take bupropion, such as those with a history of seizure disorder, so it is important to discuss all health conditions with your physician to find the best treatment plan individualized to you.

Journal Reference:
David Arterburn, Tamar Sofer, Denise Boudreau, Andy Bogart, Emily Westbrook, Mary Theis, Greg Simon, Sebastien Haneuse. Long-Term Weight Change after Initiating Second-Generation Antidepressants.Journal of Clinical Medicine, 2016; 5 (4): 48 DOI: 10.3390/jcm5040048

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