Weighty Issues with Antidepressant Tx
the MPR take:
The relationship between weight gain and antidepressant therapy can be frustrating for patients and contradictory in research findings. A recent JAMA Psychiatry review of over 19,000 patient records showed that the SSRI citalopram was linked to a weight gain of only 2.5lbs; those taking bupropion actually lost on average 0.5lbs and that tricyclic antidepressants were linked to less weight gain than SSRIs. However, the JAMA article did not prove that the drugs, not the depression, was the cause of the weight gain. In a new PLOS One study, the strongest association was seen between obesity and use of tricyclic antidepressants – not SSRIs. The PLOS One study also found that women taking antidepressants were 14% more likely to be overweight and 71% more likely to be obese vs. women not on antidepressant therapy, however the study failed to measure whether patients were already obese at study onset. The balance between treating the patient’s depression and managing their weight will continue to be a challenge for clinicians.
Two new studies show different sides of the connection between antidepressants and weight. And yet, some people who desperately need to be taking them are afraid to start because certain types of antidepressants have been associated with weight gain. However, another study published in the journal PLOS One found that antidepressants come with a strong association with obesity.
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