Why do Antidepressants Impact on Weight?

This type of psychotropic drugs have a significant impact on weight gain. Why?

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When dealing with drugs, there should always be clear indications for their use by a specialist who has carried out a previous evaluation.

If this does not happen, then some side effects may occur in the subject, and even though medical supervision may begin to appear. In the case of antidepressants, it is confirmed that one of these undesired effects is an unusual weight gain in the subject.

In this article we will address the question: why do antidepressants get fat ?. For this we will review the results of a longitudinal study published in the British Medical Journal, and we will see how these medications can have this effect in the human organism, as well as some ways to prevent it.

The relationship between antidepressants and obesity

As we mentioned earlier, it was a longitudinal study (a long-term study) that could give us the answer as to why antidepressants get fat. This study consisted of a population sample composed of 294,719 subjects between the ages of 20 and over, all of them from the United Kingdom between 2004 and 2014.

The research was conducted by Dr. Rafael Gafoor and other specialists from King’s College in the city of London. In the results of this investigation, evidence emerged of a clear incidence of antidepressants in terms of weight gain in the long term, in people who use these types of drugs.

Within said study there were other variables apart from the simple use of the medication, as they are; the age, suffer some types of specific diseases such as diabetes or cancer, the consumption of tobacco, the consumption of other medicines simultaneously, among some others…

About the results of the study

The results show that independently of the aforementioned variables, there is a constant when the weight increase originates in an atypical way in the subject, and it is the use of some of the most sold antidepressant drugs in the territory of the United Kingdom. Let’s see what they are:

  • Mirtazapine
  • Duloxetine
  • Sertraline
  • Venlafaxine
  • Citalopram
  • Fluoxetine
  • Escitalopram
  • Trazodone
  • Amitriptyline
  • Paroxetine
  • Nortriptyline
  • Dosulepin

Of these 12 drugs, some more than others showed a higher incidence in terms of weight gain by their consumers. However, all are involved in cases of long-term atypical weight gain.

However, the results of the study were not definitive. They suggested that although there is a proven level of incidence of these drugs towards the tendency to gain weight from consumers, the cause of why antidepressants generate this weight gain is still not entirely clear, although there are several factors that go into in Game. Let’s see them

Possible causes of weight gain

The weight gain caused by the consumption of these drugs could be due to collateral effects, such as these.

1. Relaxing effect on the subject

The relaxation effect that these drugs produce in those who consume them causes the subject to be able to generate sedentary behaviors, which is a risk factor in terms of obesity.

2. Antidepressants stimulate the appetite

This type of drugs has shown a positive relationship in terms of the increase in appetite of people, especially in regard to the consumption of sweets and refined flours, two things that make a lot of fat.

If we make a simple equation, and add these two situations (less physical activity + higher consumption of sweets and flours), the result is a higher fat index in the body, especially accumulated in the abdominal area, which generates the belly.

Ways to prevent this effect

Some effective forms of prevention may be the following.

1. Maintain control over your weight

Keeping track of the weight changes you might be presenting will help you realize that something is happening and that you should take action on the matter. Also, after analyzing the situation, you should continue to weigh yourself almost daily to avoid relapses.

2. Outdoor physical activity

Regardless of what physical activity you do, the important thing is that you do it with enthusiasm and that you notice the physical wear while doing it. Jogging for 10 minutes is a good alternative to keep fit.
3. Include salads in your diet

Searching for salad recipes and starting adding them to your menu will greatly help the amount of fat you accumulate to be much lower. This menu based on salads is recommended while you are taking antidepressants. After having finished the treatment you could continue to include them in your meals, but not in such a rigorous way.