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why do people gain weight on antidepressants

Weight gain is a possible side effect of nearly all antidepressants. However, each person responds to antidepressants differently. Some people gain weight when taking a certain antidepressant, while others don't. Generally speaking, some antidepressants seem more likely to cause weight gain than others. These include:
Certain tricyclic antidepressants, such as amitriptyline, imipramine (Tofranil) and doxepin Certain monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), such as phenelzine (Nardil) Paroxetine (Paxil, Pexeva), a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) Mirtazapine (Remeron), which is an atypical antidepressant medication that doesn't fit neatly into another antidepressant category While some people gain weight after starting an antidepressant, the antidepressant isn't always a direct cause. Many factors can contribute to weight gain during antidepressant therapy.


For example: Overeating or inactivity as a result of depression can cause weight gain. Some people lose weight as part of their depression. In turn, an improved appetite associated with improved mood may result in increased weight. Adults generally tend to gain weight as they age, regardless of the medications they take. If you gain weight after starting an antidepressant, discuss the medication's benefits and side effects with your doctor. If the benefits outweigh the side effect of weight gain, consider managing your weight by eating healthier and getting more physical activity while enjoying an improved mood due to the medication. You can also ask your doctor if adjusting the dose or switching medications might be helpful but again, be sure to discuss the pros and cons before making such a decision.


Nov. 03, 2015 When depression symptoms improve after starting an antidepressant, many people need to continue taking medication long term to prevent symptoms from returning. However, in some people, a particular antidepressant may simply stop working over time. Doctors don't fully understand what causes the so-called "poop-out" effect or antidepressant tolerance known as tachyphylaxis or why it occurs in some people and not in others. There also can be other reasons an antidepressant is no longer working for you, such as: Worsening depression. It's common for depression symptoms to return or worsen at some point, despite treatment. Called breakthrough depression, symptoms may be triggered by stress or appear with no apparent cause. The current dose of medication you're taking may not be enough to prevent your symptoms when depression gets worse.


Another medical condition. Underlying health problems, such as hypothyroidism, can cause or worsen depression. A new medication. Some medications for unrelated conditions can interfere with the way your body breaks down and uses antidepressants, decreasing their effectiveness. Undiagnosed bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder, formerly called manic-depressive disorder, causes periodic mood swings. While an antidepressant is sometimes used to treat bipolar disorder, a mood-stabilizing or antipsychotic medication is generally needed along with an antidepressant to keep emotional highs and lows in check. Age. In some people, depression gets worse with age. As you get older, you may have changes in your brain and thinking (neurological changes) that affect your mood.


In addition, the manner in which your body processes medications may be less efficient. You're also likely to be taking more medications. All of these factors can play a role in depression. In most cases, depression symptoms get better with adjustments to medication. Your doctor may recommend that you change the dose of your current antidepressant, change to another antidepressant or add another antidepressant or other type of medication to your current treatment. Psychological counseling (psychotherapy) also may help. Because there are so many reasons depression treatment can stop working, you may need to see a medical doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating mental illness (psychiatrist) to figure out the best course of action. Jan. 31, 2018

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