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Do Antidepressants Really Make You Fat? Which Causes the Most Weight Gain? Harvard Study Answers

Do Antidepressants Really Make You Fat? Which Causes the Most Weight Gain? Harvard Study Answers

Do Antidepressants Really Make You Fat? Which Causes the Most Weight Gain? Harvard Study Answers

Researchers studied the most commonly prescribed antidepressants to identify which ones had the greatest impact on weight gain.

Although antidepressants are essential in the treatment of some patients with mental disorders, they are not free from side effects. One of the most reported is the possible weight gain. In view of this, a study from Harvard University, in the United States, has analyzed and revealed data on the effects of the most prescribed antidepressants in the world on weight gain. The work was published this Tuesday 2 in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.

Researchers studied the medical records of more than 183,000 adults, assessing weight changes caused by each drug over the six months after participants began taking it. They analyzed the effects of the eight most widely used first-line antidepressants globally: sertraline, citalopram, bupropion, escitalopram, fluoxetine, venlafaxine, paroxetine and duloxetine.

They looked at how each treatment affected people’s average weight compared to the drug sertraline, as well as how likely it was that patients would gain at least 5 percent more than their starting weight over the course of the months studied.

Researchers identified variations in weight gain between different subclasses of antidepressants, with the escitalopram, paroxetine and duloxetine presenting the greatest risk of an increase in scale and bupropion leading to weight loss.

Six Month Weight Gain Comparison

  • Escitalopram: Over six months, participants taking escitalopram showed an estimated weight gain of 0.41 kg more than sertraline;
  • Paroxetine: weight gain 0.37 kg;
  • Duloxetine: increase of 0.34 kg;
  • Venlafaxine: increase of 0.17 kg;
  • Citalopram: increase of 0.12 kg;
  • Fluoxetine: Nearly neutral weight change demonstrated, with a difference of -0.07 kg;
  • Bupropion: has been associated with weight loss, with a difference of -0.22 kg.

In addition to the average weight gain data, The scientists also noted that users of escitalopram, paroxetine and duloxetine had a 10% to 15% increased risk of gaining 5% more weight.. On the other hand, bupropion users were 15% less likely to gain weight.

Medication adherence also varied over the six months, with duloxetine having the lowest adherence rate at 28% and bupropion having the highest adherence rate at 41%. The difference in medication adherence rates is considered a limitation of the study, as inconsistency in medication use may affect the weight gain data analyzed.

Still, the study authors say these findings are important, as doctors and patients may want to consider this risk of weight gain when making decisions about which specific antidepressant to start, especially for patients who are concerned about their weight.

It is important to underline this Changing or stopping prescribed medications, especially antidepressants, should only be done under medical advice. An abrupt stop can lead to a worsening of the symptoms of the mental disorder being treated.

Source: Terra

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