July 21, 2024
Learn the truth behind the connection between antidepressants and weight loss, and get evidence-based tips for safe and effective weight loss while taking these medications.


Weight gain is a common side effect of antidepressants, which can be disheartening for people who are already struggling with depression or anxiety. While the connection between antidepressants and weight gain is well-established, there has been a recent buzz about the potential for certain antidepressants to cause weight loss. In this article, we will explore whether or not antidepressants really lead to weight loss, and provide tips for safe and effective weight loss while taking antidepressants.

The Surprising Link Between Antidepressants and Weight Loss

It is generally believed that antidepressants cause weight gain by altering the way our bodies process carbohydrates and fats. They can also affect our hunger cues and reduce our metabolism, leading to more calorie intake and less energy expenditure. However, some antidepressants, such as bupropion (Wellbutrin) and fluoxetine (Prozac), have been shown to cause weight loss in some people. This may be due to their different mechanisms of action, which result in increased energy levels and decreased appetite in some individuals.

Does Taking Antidepressants Really Cause Weight Loss or is it a Myth?

While some people do experience weight loss while taking antidepressants, it is important to note that this is not a guaranteed side effect. In fact, most people who take antidepressants tend to either maintain their weight or gain weight instead. Some studies have shown that certain antidepressant medications are associated with weight loss, but others have found no significant difference in weight changes compared to a placebo group. Therefore, the impact of antidepressants on weight loss is still a matter of debate and research.

Weight Loss on Antidepressants: Evidence-Based Facts You Need to Know

According to a recent meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials, bupropion and fluoxetine are the most likely antidepressants to cause weight loss. However, the degree of weight loss is relatively modest, with an average weight loss of 1-2 kilograms over 12-24 weeks of treatment. Other antidepressants, such as SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) and tricyclics, are more commonly associated with weight gain. However, this does not mean that everyone who takes these medications will gain weight, as individual factors such as genetics, diet, and exercise play a role too.

Antidepressants and Weight Loss: Tips to Shed Pounds Safely and Effectively

If you are taking antidepressants and want to lose weight, the first step is to talk to your doctor or mental health provider. They can help you assess your individual risks and benefits, as well as provide guidance on the most appropriate course of action. Some tips for safe and effective weight loss while taking antidepressants include:

– Focus on healthy, whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains
– Avoid processed and high-fat foods that can contribute to weight gain and worsen symptoms of anxiety or depression
– Incorporate regular exercise into your routine, such as walking, strength training, or yoga
– Set realistic goals and be patient with yourself, as weight loss can be gradual and non-linear
– Monitor your progress and seek support from loved ones or a healthcare professional if needed

The Skinny on Antidepressants: Debunking the Connection Between Medication and Weight Loss

To summarize, although some antidepressants may cause weight loss in some individuals, this is not a blanket statement that applies to everyone. The relationship between antidepressants and weight loss is variable and dependent on multiple factors. Therefore, it is important to approach any claims about antidepressants and weight loss with a critical eye and seek out evidence-based information.


Antidepressants can be an invaluable tool for treating mental health conditions, but they can come with potential side effects such as weight gain or loss. As with any medication, it is important to weigh the risks and benefits before making any decisions. By working with healthcare professionals, adopting healthy habits, and taking a balanced approach, individuals can achieve safe and sustainable weight loss while managing their mental health and wellbeing.

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