These popular antidepressants cause the most weight gain: Harvard research


Lexapro, Paxil and Cymbalta carry a higher risk of weight gain than Zoloft, while Wellbutrin users are less likely to gain weight, according to a new study of eight popular antidepressants.

LexaproPaxil and Cymbalta carry a higher risk of weight gain than Zoloftwhile Wellbutrin Users are less likely to gain weight, According to a new study of eight popular antidepressants.

Researchers at the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute (HPHCI) analyzed the weights of more than 183,000 adult antidepressant users six months, one year, and two years after they began taking the drugs.

At six months of use, Lexapro, Paxil and Cymbalta users were 10% to 15% more likely to gain at least 5% of their initial weight than Zoloft users, the study found. PRNAt six months of use, Lexapro, Paxil and Cymbalta users were 10% to 15% more likely to gain at least 5% of their initial weight than Zoloft users, the study found. PRN

At six months of use, Lexapro, Paxil and Cymbalta users were 10% to 15% more likely to gain at least 5% of their initial weight than Zoloft users, the study found. PRN

Facts about taking Celexa (citalopram), Lexapro (escitalopram), Prozac (fluoxetine), Paxil (paroxetine), Wellbutrin (bupropion), Cymbalta (duloxetine), and Effexor (venlafaxine) were compared to Zoloft (sertraline), which is the The most prescribed antidepressant In the USA.

At six months, Lexapro, Paxil and Cymbalta users were 10% to 15% more likely to gain at least 5% of their initial weight than Zoloft users.

Prozac was not associated with weight change at six months, while Wellbutrin users were 15% less likely to experience a 5% weight gain. Wellbutrin continued to be associated with the least weight gain at one and two years.

Wellbutrin was associated with the least weight gain at six months, one year, and two years. Getty ImagesWellbutrin was associated with the least weight gain at six months, one year, and two years. Getty Images

Wellbutrin was associated with the least weight gain at six months, one year, and two years. Getty Images

The findings were published this week in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.

Researchers attributed Wellbutrin’s ability to increase levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain, which improve wakefulness and alertness.

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The drug, used to treat depression and seasonal affective disorder and helping people quit smoking, it has also been shown to stimulate the central melanocortin system, which regulates appetite, energy balance and body weight.

The results of the study come amid Increasing use of antidepressantsespecially among young adults and adolescents.

A study found that about 14% of American adults take an antidepressant. HPHCI researchers noted that people often stop using the medication if they experience weight gain.

“This study provides important real-world evidence regarding the amount of weight gain to expect after starting some of the most common antidepressants,” said senior author Joshua Petimar, an assistant professor of population medicine at Harvard Medical School.

“Doctors and patients can use this information, among other factors, to help decide which option is right for them,” he added.

The greatest risk is a weight gain of at least 5% after six months of use.

  • Lexapro

  • Paxil

  • Cymbalta

  • Effexor

  • Celexa

  • Zoloft (baseline)

  • Prozac

  • Wellbutrin



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