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Does Anxiety Meds Make You Gain Weight

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Other Reasons You Gain Weight


People who have ADHD are about 5 times more likely to be overweight or obese than those who don’t have it. There are a few possible reasons:

Hard time controlling impulses: This can make it tough to resist another piece of pizza or a second slice of cake. People with ADHD are 5 times more likely to have the eating disorder bulimia, which can involve bingeing or overeating.

The dopamine connection: This brain chemical might be at least partly to blame for overeating in connection with ADHD. Dopamine is part of your brain‘s reward center. It’s the “feel-good” chemical that makes you satisfied after you eat a jelly doughnut or an order of French fries.

People with ADHD tend to have low levels of dopamine. In fact, the stimulant drugs used to treat ADHD boost those levels. Eating high-carb foods also triggers a dopamine rush. That’s why you might crave cookies, cakes, and other junk foods.

Eating habits: Many ADHD symptoms can keep you from eating healthy.

  • If you canât plan ahead well, it can be hard to have time for low-calorie, nutritious meals or exercise.
  • Trouble focusing and poor impulse control can distract you from choosing the right foods at a restaurant or supermarket, or from cooking a healthy meal at home.
  • Lack of attention can keep you from realizing you’re full.
  • Trouble managing stress can lead to emotional eating.
  • If you donât like being bored, you might be more likely to eat when you have nothing else to do.

Why Do Antidepressants Cause Weight Gain

Ive been on an antidepressant for a few months and have gained more than 10 pounds. This is making me more depressed. Do all these drugs cause weight gain?

Andrew Weil, M.D. | February 11, 2011

As many as 25 percent of people who take certain antidepressant medications report gaining weight, and sometimes quite a bit as much as 100 pounds. Most antidepressants can cause weight gain, and different drugs affect individuals differently- you may gain weight on one antidepressant but not on another, even if the second is known to cause weight gain in some individuals. Overall, its believed the effect is more likely to occur after taking medication for six months or longer.

According to Mayo Clinic psychiatrist Daniel K. Hall-Flavin, M.D. some of the drugs that may be least likely to lead to weight gain are Effexor and Serzone , while Wellbutrin tends to cause weight loss. Conversely, he says that one of the antidepressants that seems most likely to cause weight gain is Paxil, an SSRI . Of the other SSRIs, which include Prozac, Lexapro and Celexa, Zoloft may be least likely to cause weight gain.

In the midst of the obesity epidemic, unwanted weight gain due to antidepressant use is rarely mentioned, although it could be a significant contributor since these drugs are now the most commonly prescribed pharmaceuticals in the United States. In 2005 some 27 million Americans age six and older were taking them.

Andrew Weil, M.D.

Can Adhd Medications Cause Weight Loss

Sometimes the medicines most often used to treat ADHD can cause weight loss. Stimulant drugs like methylphenidate and amphetamine/dextroamphetamine make you less hungry and make your body burn calories faster than usual. Some of them are even used to help people lose weight or treat binge eating.

Children with ADHD who take stimulant medication often struggle to eat and gain weight, which can be an issue for growth. .

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Antidepressants That Cause Weight Loss

Antidepressants are commonly prescribed, FDA-approved medications used to treat depression, anxiety, and other related mental health disorders.

Though antidepressants can be effective at treating these conditions, they can also cause a range of side effects, including weight loss.

In this article, Ill describe what antidepressants are, their effect on weight, and which antidepressants are known to cause weight gain or weight loss.

Finally, Ill explain whether antidepressants have ever been prescribed specifically for weight loss and whether you can safely prevent weight loss due to antidepressants.

Why Do Antidepressants Affect Weight

Fighting Medication: When

There are different theories as to why antidepressants affect weight.

Some believe that the medications impact on neurotransmitters in the brain have an indirect impact on metabolism.

Others believe that weight gain or weight loss is an indirect side effect of the medications efficacy or inefficacy of treating the condition.

For example, some people use food and overeating to cope with anxiety and depression.

In this case, when they start antidepressant medication, they no longer feel the need to eat emotionally, which can lead to weight loss.

The opposite reaction is possible, too. For people who lose their appetite as a result of their depression, effective treatment for their symptoms may help their appetite return, causing a modest weight gain.

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What Is The Best Anxiety Medication That Does Not Cause Weight Gain

Bupropion was associated with the least amount of weight gain, close to none. Two others that also appeared to have less weight gain were amitriptyline and nortriptyline. Amitriptyline and nortriptyline are older drugs. Because newer drugs tend to have fewer side effects, those two arent prescribed as frequently.

Some Psychotropic Drugs And Tricyclic Antidepressants Prescribed To Alleviate Symptoms Of Depression And Anxiety Are Linked To Weight Gain Heres How You Can Prevent It

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Theres good news and bad news about antidepressant medications and weight gain. The good news is not every antidepressant causes weight gain and not everyone who takes an antidepressant gains weight. The bad news: If you do start gaining weight when you first begin taking antidepressants, you may just keep piling on the pounds over time and ultimately find it hard to lose that excess weight. But you can turn bad news into good by working with your healthcare provider to monitor both your mood and medication on a regular basis and stop weight gain before it gets out of hand.

The antidepressants most likely to cause weight gain include amitriptyline , mirtazapine , paroxetine , escitalopram , sertraline , duloxetine , and citalopram . Tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline and tetracyclic antidepressants such as mirtazapine are linked to the most weight gain. Other antidepressants, like fluoxetine and bupropion are likely to have no effect on weight or might even cause some weight loss.

There are many theories but not much hard evidence showing exactly why so many people gain weight when taking antidepressants, and many factors may come into play. A state of depression, in and of itself, can contribute to weight gain if your condition is causing you to overeat or you cant work up the motivation to participate in any physical activity.

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Which Medication Is Best For Weight Loss

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How To Manage Prolonged Stress Or Anxious Thoughts

Is STRESS making you GAIN weight? [Can Stress Cause Weight Gain?]

The frustrating part about prolonged stress is that you often don’t know when the issues causing the stress will end. Because of this, it’s important to learn two things: acceptance for things you cannot control and healthy stress management skills. Common effective stress management skills include:

  • Deep breathing. Concentrate on calming your mind as you take deep breaths in and out.
  • Light cardio exercise. Going for a brisk walk can help you manage stress more effectively without further depleting your body’s needed stores of energy.
  • Track specific events or situations that trigger your anxiety. Keep a record of meals and caloric intake to better understand the connection.
  • Artistic expression. Drawing, painting, singing or playing an instrument can help you release some of that nervous energy.
  • Relaxing hobbies. Whether it’s crocheting, hiking or singing karaoke, doing something you enjoy can help you calm your mind and quiet your nerves.
  • Maintaining self-care. If necessary, put a reminder in your phone to tell you when it’s time to eat, bathe, or sleep. Above all, exercise basic “sleep hygiene” to ensure your body gets the rest it needs.

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Getting Fat: Should You Blame Your Meds

In the fifth part of our month-long Take It Off Today series, we look at medicines that can make you fat. Its an unfortunate side effect, but some drugs can slow down your metabolism and increase your appetite. Madelyn Fernstrom, a show contributor and director of the Weight Management Center at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, was invited on Today to discuss what to do if you suspect that your medicine is making you fat.

Patients who start taking new medications may notice that theyre putting on a few extra pounds. Many blame the weight gain on their drugs. They may be right or they may be wrong. All medications have some side effects or what is called the risk-benefit ratio. The truth is that weight gain is a common side effect for some drugs, but not all. Some patients may not realize that they have either changed their lifestyle or cut back on their physical activities.

So before you blame your medication for making you fat, determine if your weight gain is truly a side effect. Some drugs cause a slow, steady weight gain over a period of time others can cause you to put on a couple pounds in a week. Here are some questions to ask yourself if you think your drug is expanding your waist line:



During July, Madelyn Fernstrom, a Today contributor and nutritionist, shares tips on how you can watch your weight and still enjoy food.


  • Antidepressants
  • Antihistamine

Sertraline And Weight Gain: The Basics

SSRIs and other antidepressants have long been associated with changes in body composition and weight gain.

Although newer antidepressants such as sertraline arent as closely associated with weight gain as older drugs, research does show that theres a link between sertraline use and an increase in body mass.

In a study published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine in 2016, researchers compared different antidepressants to assess their effects on body mass.

Sertraline was one of several drugs linked to weight gain, with users of the drug experiencing a modest weight gain over the course of two years when compared with the reference treatment Fluoxetine, a first-generation SSRI.

Although this study isnt perfect , it does show that sertraline can, and often does, contribute to weight gain.

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Psychiatric Medications That May Make You Gain Weight

I had been on the drug Zyprexa for four weeks and had already gained 15 pounds which, you know, didnt help my depression. After going to a wedding and catching a side view of myself, I called my doctor and told him that my name was now Violet Beauregarde, the gum chewer in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory who floats to the ceiling as blueberry balloon. Except that when I rose to the top of the room I was crying.

The two most common questions that patients ask me are, Will I become dependent on the medications? and Will I gain weight? says Everyday Health contributor Sanjay Gupta, M.D in a Johns Hopkins Depression and Anxiety Bulletin. Its a serious concern for people considering taking any kind of psychiatric medicine, and a sensitive subject among patients who are currently on meds. A rapidly expanding waistline is one of the major reasons why patients prematurely discontinue an otherwise effective treatment, fall back into depression, and experience a poor outcomes, says Gupta.

He ranks various drugs for weight-gain potential and comes up with these six :

  • Paxil
  • A few important points:

    Thats the bad news. And boy is it bad news. Have a weight loss or weight maintenance plan ready to go.

    Does Buspirone Cause Weight Gain

    Long Term Effects Of Antidepressants

    | | | |

    Weight gain is one of the most common side effects associated with antidepressant medications of all types, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors like escitalopram , sertraline , fluoxetine , paroxetine , and citalopram serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors including duloxetine benzodiazepines like alprazolam and lorazepam tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline and monoamine oxidase inhibitors like phenelzine and isocarboxazid.

    Buspirone is a generic prescription medication that does not fall into any of the aforementioned categories but is often used for the treatment of anxiety and depression symptoms. With so many people concerned about weight gain caused by antidepressants, many considering treatment with buspirone are asking: does buspirone cause weight gain?

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    Lexapro And Depression Or Anxiety

    Both depression and anxiety can affect a persons appetite. For example, some people may feel too anxious to eat. This can cause someone to have less of an appetite or find less pleasure in eating. Other people may find comfort in food and develop binge eating habits.

    If Lexapro helps improve your depression or anxiety symptoms, it can have a positive impact on your eating habits. In turn, you may lose or gain some weight. These changes in weight may therefore be related more to improving symptoms rather than a side effect of the medication.

    Antidepressants And Weight Gain: The Diet And Exercise Link

    Not surprisingly, experts also say that some of the same tenets that help us control our weight under normal circumstances may also help us while using antidepressants — including eating healthy and getting enough exercise.

    “The best thing you could do would be to head off the weight gain before it starts by switching to a more nutritious diet and increasing your daily exercise as soon as you start taking an antidepressant,” says registered dietitian Samantha Heller, MS, RD.

    If, in fact, you’ve already started packing on the extra pounds, Heller says switching to a healthier diet, cutting calories, and increasing exercise are still worth the effort.

    “Even if you don’t lose weight immediately, you can begin controlling the gain and help your body to stabilize for a while,” says Heller.

    Moreover, a steadily growing body of scientific evidence suggests that increasing your daily exercise may affect not only weight loss, but also help your depression. In one large study of more than 3,400 Finnish men and women published in the journal Preventive Medicine, researchers found that those who exercised at least two to three times a week experienced significantly less depression, anger, and stress than those who exercised less frequently or not at all.

    Experts warn, however, not to severely restrict caloric intake while taking antidepressants. Not only may this affect brain chemistry in a negative way, any strong sense of deprivation may contribute to feelings of depression.

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    Weight Gain Can Cause Anxiety

    Another reason that anxiety and weight gain have a complex relationship is because weight gain – or rather, the reasons that people gain weight – can also cause anxiety.

    Inactivity is one of the reasons that some people develop anxiety. The body needs to move. It was designed to move. Those that don’t exercise are considerably more likely to develop anxiety disorders.

    Weight gain can also lead to poor breathing habits, which are known to trigger anxiety symptoms and panic attacks. Unhealthy foods may also contribute to anxiety – although they rarely cause it – and poor sleeping habits and aging can lead to both weight gain and anxiety even though the two are unrelated.

    Some people also become more anxious when they gain weight simply because they lose confidence in themselves. All of these are reasons why the relationship between anxiety and weight is so complex.

    Ways To Lose Weight Gain Caused By Medication

    Anxiety Weight Gain! Are You Gaining Weight?

    Antidepressants and steroids like prednisone often lead to extra pounds.

    People living with issues like autoimmune diseases, from Crohns to rheumatoid arthritis , or mood disorders like depression have powerfully effective medications out there to help minimize or eliminate their symptoms so that they can live comfortably.

    Yet some of the common drugs for these issues like prednisone and other corticosteroids, and paroxetine and other antidepressants have less-than-desirable side effects. One major side effect of these drugs is weight gain.

    And while you should go easy on yourself youre battling an illness, after all it can be a frustrating adverse effect.

    Read on to find out the best ways to lose unwanted pounds brought on by medication you need.

    , and mood stabilizers are common drugs that have the most potential to increase weight gain. All 12 of the leading antidepressants, including fluoxetine , sertraline , and escitalopram , make gaining weight more likely.

    With approximately

    like prednisone may also have similar effects. Alanna Cabrero, MS, a registered dietician at NYU Langone Healths IBD Center, says steroids are often used to tackle inflammatory conditions like IBD, Crohns, arthritis, lupus, and osteoarthritis.

    For some of these medications, nearly 70 percent of users reported weight gain as a side effect.

    Medications that cause weight gain include:

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