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Does Anxiety Medication Cause Weight Gain

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How To Control Your Anxiety Related Weight Gain

Anxiety medication and weight gain

It doesn’t matter what causes you to gain weight. Diet and exercise are still the most effective solutions. Make sure that you’re eating healthy with the right calories, and that you’re exercising regularly. There is no magic pill that will cause you to lose weight – in fact, many diet pills and diets can actually increase anxiety. You simply need to start taking care of your body, and your weight will follow.

The good news is that exercise and healthy eating are actually incredibly effective tools for combating anxiety as well. So in a way, it doesn’t matter which comes first – you’re reducing both when you start exercising regularly.

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What Side Effects Are Associated With Buspirone

Weight gain is not a common side effect of buspirone, but the medication is associated with other side effects.

However, compared to other medications used for the treatment of anxiety and depression, buspirone is associated with fewer serious and potentially dangerous side effects. When side effects do occur, they are generally mild. Common side effects of buspirone include:

  • Nervousness

  • Acne

  • Low white blood cell counts

This is not a complete list of side effects. Consult a healthcare provider for other possible side effects.

Which Ssris Cause Weight Gain

SSRIs and other antidepressants may cause weight gain in some people, so it may be helpful to know which ones are linked to the greatest risk. Its also important to consider that adults tend to gain weight as they age, so just because someone weighs more over time does not mean the antidepressant is a contributing factor.

One study found common SSRI antidepressants that may cause weight gain include the following:5,6

  • Citalopram : showed the greatest steady gain of the medications studied with increases of 2% body weight after 12 months
  • Paroxetine : showed an increase in weight over the first nine months before leveling off under 2% of total body weight change
  • Escitalopram and Sertraline : each of these medications seem to trigger a weight gain over the first 9 months followed by some weight loss approaching 12 months after initiation

Fluoxetine was the only SSRI from the study that failed to trigger a similar weight change. Over the course of the study, the weight change from Prozac was about half of the other medications surveyed. Of course, everyone reacts differently to SSRIs, so one persons experience could be much different than the average.

Other medications shown to cause higher increases in weight include:6

  • Tricyclic antidepressants: including amitriptyline, imipramine, and doxepin
  • Phenelzine : a certain monoamine oxidase inhibitor
  • Mirtazapine : an atypical antidepressant

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Why Do Antidepressants Cause Weight Changes

All of these medications increase serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin regulates mood and affects appetite, yet this can have varying results depending on length of treatment. Short-term use reduces impulsivity and increases satiety, which can reduce food intake and cause weight loss. However, long-term use can cause downregulation of serotonin receptors, which subsequently causes cravings for carbohydrate-rich foods such as bread, pasta, and sweets that ultimately may lead to weight gain. The antidepressants with the highest risk of causing weight gain are amitriptyline, citalopram, mirtazapine, nortriptyline, trimipramine, paroxetine, and phenelzine.

What You Can Do

Alert: 8 Prescription Drugs That Silently Cause Weight Gain

Psychiatrist and addiction expert Michael McGee, MD, agrees that weight gain is a real problem with many of the medications he prescribes. Women get especially concerned about it, admits Dr. McGee, who is also the chief medical officer at the Haven Treatment Center in California and the author of The Joy of Recovery. Some patients can eventually go off antidepressants by adopting evidence-based lifestyle interventions to prevent weight gain, he says.

I recommend the Mediterranean Diet because it has antidepressant qualities and I encourage good eating habits like eating slowly and mindfully, avoiding red light foods with lots of added sugar or foods that are overly processed, he explains, adding that its also important for patients to make friends with hunger. Accepting that a little hunger is OK and is necessary to maintain weight. Dr. McGee also recommends spending time in nature, becoming involved in a spiritual community and connecting with others through volunteer work or by socializing with friends.

Be sure to voice your concerns with your physician. Ask your prescribing doctor if there is more than one option and if they can recommend an antidepressant that isnt associated with weight gain. If your doctor feels the most effective medication is one that has been found to cause weight gain in some people, start taking preventative steps right away.

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Prominent Anxiety Medications That Do Not Cause
    Anxiety drugs that do not cause significant weight gain are Escitalopram and Sertraline . Although these medications may provide considerable relief from the distressing anxiety symptoms, other side effects such as nausea and weakness have been experienced by patients.

Dangerous Side Effects Of Anxiety Drugs

Beyond the paradoxical effect of suicidal ideation and increased anxiety, it is rare for these drugs to show signs of dangerous or fatal side effects. However, in a few rare cases, some people have experienced:

  • Heart problems, especially in those with possible cardiovascular disease.
  • Persistent pulmonary hypertension .
  • Increased bleeding risk.
  • Interactions with other medications.

Most of these are related to SSRIs. Benzodiazepines may also cause what is known as dependency, which is when the body adapts to the anxiety drug. Dependency causes two issues. First, the medication will generally stop working , as the body gets used to the drug, which means that you will need to find a replacement medication.

Second, weaning off the drug incorrectly can lead to severe withdrawal symptoms. These withdrawal symptoms are not unlike withdrawing from severe alcoholism, and may lead to increased anxiety, depression, psychosis, seizures, hypersensitivity, and possibly suicide. Gastrointestinal problems and insomnia are also very common. Withdrawal can be extremely dangerous, which is why benzodiazepines often need to be slowly weaned off of over time.

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Common Ssris & Their Effect On Weight

According to data from 2017, the most commonly prescribed SSRIs in the United States include Zoloft , Celexa , Prozac , and Lexapro . Most antidepressants are associated with weight gain, but the risk of weight gain is higher with some than others. For example, some research suggests that Paxil is linked to more weight gain than Zoloft or Prozac.

Research looking at the effects of individual SSRIs on weight gain is complex. Some studies examine the short-term effects of antidepressants on weight, which can differ from their long-term effects. In fact, research has found that some SSRIs are associated with weight loss in the short term.

Not everyone who takes an antidepressant will gain weight, and some people might even lose weight.

How Long Should I Take It

Does Zoloft cause weight gain? | FNP Explains | Chat and Chill

Ativan is generally prescribed for short-term use, typically lasting 4-6 weeks. Some people may take the medication for extended periods to manage severe anxiety or panic attacks. If you are taking Ativan without a prescription or are taking an incorrect dosage, talk to your doctor immediately.

Ativan is generally prescribed for short-term use, typically lasting 4-6 weeks. Some people may take the medication for extended periods to manage severe anxiety or panic attacks. If you are taking Ativan without a prescription or are taking an incorrect dosage, talk to your doctor immediately.

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Anxiety And Weight Loss

While most people are more concerned when they gain weight, weight loss is just as much of a problem. According to the American Psychological Association, 30 percent of Americans skip meals because of stress, and of those, 41 percent say it’s a habit. And when you don’t have extra weight to lose, losing it can be concerning. Even if you do want to lose weight, skipping meals isn’t healthy. Not only is it ineffective, but it can also cause additional health problems. However, there are plenty of weight loss interventions you can take advantage of to stop weight loss due to stress.

While most people are more concerned about gaining weight, weight loss is just as much of a problem. According to the American Psychological Association, 30 percent of Americans skip meals because of stress, and of those, 41 percent say it’s a habit. And when you don’t have extra weight to lose, losing it can be concerning. Even if you do want to lose weight, skipping meals isn’t healthy. Not only is it ineffective, it can cause additional health problems. But don’t worry, there is plenty you can do to stop weight loss due to stress.

People sometimes ask the following questions about this topic:

Can stress and anxiety make you lose weight?

Why does anxiety make you lose weight?

How much weight can you lose with anxiety?

Can stress cause rapid weight loss?

Why am I losing weight but eating more?

When should you worry about weight loss?

Why am I losing weight without trying?

Anxiety Meds And Weight Gain

Does taking anxiety meds cause weight gain?

The short answer: Absolutely!

The long answer:

Note: We believe this person was asking about SSRIs . These meds are taken everyday .

The short answer: Absolutely!

The long answer:

If you ask your MD he/she will probably tell you two things: 1) SSRIs dont cause weight gainor, at least, not a significant amount and 2) if someone is gaining weight it is because she feels better and, consequently, has recovered her appetite .

As Anxiety Sisters who have battled with the disorder for 30+ years, we respectfully disagree. Ok, maybe not so respectfully. Heres the deal:

The first studies of side effects were sponsored by Big Pharma. Lets face it, if their studies had shown a connection between Americas biggest sin and their incredibly profitable drugs, it would have been a PR nightmare. Big Pharma thus conducted studies with very small samples and over a very short period of timetypically 8 to 12 weeks. As you may know, SSRIs take a month or two to get into your system, so not many people reported weight gain in the first 2 or 3 months. Therefore, the data did not support the idea that people on SSRIs gained weight.

But the authors of the Mass General study suggest in their conclusion that one year may still be too small a time period in which to see significant weight gain.

So, what can you do about this? The decision is a very personal one as so many other factors are involved in the equation , but here are some ideas:

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Which Antidepressants Cause The Most Weight Gain

  • Which Antidepressants Cause the Most Weight Gain? Center
  • Although gaining weight is a possible side effect of nearly all antidepressants, everyone responds to antidepressants differently. Some people may put on weight while on treatment, while others may not.

    Antidepressants that can cause wait gain include:

    • Atypical antipsychotic medications
    • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors

    Both the likelihood of weight gain and the amount of possible weight gain vary from drug to drug. Appetite regulation and weight gain or loss are very complex reactions that are influenced by a wide variety of hormones, all of which may be negatively affected by antidepressants. Some antidepressants are more likely to cause weight gain than others:

    • TCAs and perhaps MAOIs may be more likely to cause weight gain than SSRIs or the newer antidepressants, with the exception of Remeron.
    • SSRIs tend to cause loss of appetite early on, sometimes due to side effects such as nausea, and others can cause weight gain with long-term use .
    • Some antidepressants, such as Effexor and Wellbutrin, may be less likely to cause any weight gain.

    Can Weight Gain Cause Depression

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    When you gain weight, it could make your existing depression feel worse, reinforcing a tricky cycle, says Lena Suarez-Angelino, a licensed clinical social worker in Woodbridge, New Jersey.

    Those that experience changes in weight may hear comments from others about their appearance, she explains. Additionally, negative self-talk, body dysmorphia, and poor body image increase as a result of weight changes, which then can cause or contribute to feelings of depression.

    A 2019 study suggests that the social stigma attached to weight gain may increase feelings of anxiety and depression in young adults, specifically females.

    Research from 2018 shows that weight changes are a common side effect of antidepressant medications, as they can influence how your metabolism functions.

    A of 27 studies found that several antidepressant and antipsychotic medications increased body mass index by more than 7%, considered clinically significant.

    The cited medications included:

    Another factor could be anhedonia, which is the loss of pleasure in things that you normally enjoy doing, says Sierra Dator, a licensed clinical social worker in Petaluma, California.

    For many people, exercise and cooking healthy meals are activities that bring them joy, she says. However, when a depressive episode , you may lose interest in these healthy activities.

    You may also have adopted new coping mechanisms that impact your weight, she adds.

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    Find Things You Enjoy

    For those who eat comfort foods in excess to cope with symptoms of depression, you may find it helpful to expand your repertoire of pleasurable experiences, says Ballard.

    This is important regardless of any weight concerns its important to experience pleasure, she says. A hot bath, sitting outside in nature, listening to music, working on a craft or hobby these are all examples of things I suggest clients try to soothe themselves when theyre not hungry.

    Can Antianxiety Medicines Cause Weight Loss

    Some of the common drugs for depression and autoimmune diseases, like Zoloft, prednisone, and other antidepressants or corticosteroids, have less-than. Some of this may be due to the connection between antidepressants and weight gain. In addition, research shows that depression itself can lead to weight gain.

    • Medically reviewed by Timothy J.

    • We follow a strict editorial policy and we have a zero-tolerance policy regarding any level of plagiarism. I am still losing weight, I am continuing to eat healthy and am having no negative side effects.

    • Users of the other antidepressants in the study gained weight Arterburn, If you are concerned about weight gain on antidepressants, be sure to discuss that with your healthcare provider as well.

    • Asked 11 Mar by jrmeans09 Updated 28 March Topics effexoranxietyweight lossweightdrug Ive been on Effexor for about three weeks and I lost about ten pounds.

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    These include nausea, dizziness, vomiting and upset stomach llss can cause regular loss of appetite and making it difficult to absorb nutrition from the ingested food. Nevertheless, they likewise have a number of side effects that can result in weight loss. Monthly Newsletter. Ive gained all the weight back and more and I feel like crap. Dietary restrictions are necessary while taking an MAOI, so this might be factor in losing weight for some people. They just lose weight for other reasons.

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    Dont Stop Cold Turkey On Your Meds

    Your medication is being prescribed for a reason, so dont stop your medication cold turkey if you are experiencing weight gain or other negative side effects. Antidepressants help balance chemicals called neurotransmitters in your brain, and abruptly stopping can trigger some negative discontinuation symptoms. More importantly, the underlying symptoms can come back, which can be life-threatening.

    While antidepressants arent addictive, if you suddenly stop them, you can have discontinuation reactions such as flu-like symptoms, insomnia and returning thoughts of suicide, Dr. Singh said. Symptoms can vary person-to-person, so talk to your doctor and dont take a gamble on your health. Remember finding the right treatment may take trial and error and some modification.

    Weight Gain Anxiety Symptom Common Descriptions:

    UPDATE – Inderal for Anxiety at 4-6 Weeks and Weight Gain
    • You experience a sudden and unexplainable gain in weight for no apparent reason.
    • Your weight has increased by several or more pounds in a short time.
    • For no apparent reason, youve gained several or more pounds in a few weeks or months.
    • Due to your struggle with anxiety, and even though you havent changed your eating habits or lifestyle, youve gained a lot of weight.
    • You are uncharacteristically putting on weight even though your anxiety, stress, diet, or lifestyle havent changed.

    The gain in weight can be of a few, several, or tens of pounds.

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    Common Medications That Can Cause Weight Gain

    The number of chronic diseases a person has tends to increase with age, as does the number of medications prescribed to treat these diseases.

    Many of these medications can cause weight gain, which can mask unintentional weight loss and provide a false sense of nutritional status.

    As such, its important to know which ones can contribute to weight gain to more accurately assess weight change in older adults especially those living in long-term care.

    This article lists 11 common medications that can cause weight gain.

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    K Health articles are all written and reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, or PharmDs and are for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute and should not be relied on for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.

    K Health has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references.

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