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The Connection Between Antidepressants and Weight Loss

antidepressants and weight loss

Antidepressants are pharmaceutical medications used to treat people, who are suffering from major depression or bipolar disorder. These medications are also known as mood stabilizers. However, aside from its common purpose for mental illness, these drugs are also associated to weight reduction and are identified as weight loss pills .

Antidepressants work by elevating the metabolism of the body and are thus successful in weight loss. This process is associated with the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is involved in weight loss and weight gain. If the gland releases hormones much faster than normal, the metabolism increases and calories are burned. Some antidepressants work by suppressing the release of the hormone prolactin. When prolactin production decreases, the activity of the thyroid gland increases. This leads to a faster metabolic rate and the individual tends to lose weight even while consuming more food. Certain antidepressants serve to suppress hunger. Food cravings are reduced and therefore the intake of calories is less. With these antidepressants, the amount of norepinephrine is increased. This neurotransmitter is involved in reducing appetite. Such drugs also decrease an individual’s desire for foods such as cookies, pastries and other foods high in carbohydrates.

The common antidepressants that cause weight loss are minor tranquilizers, SSRI, and SNRI. These are drugs that work to control suicidal ideation (for depressed people) and excite metabolic processes (for overweight or obese individuals). Furthermore, these drugs are also used as an adjunctive treatment for people with smoking problem.

Even though antidepressants help in weight loss, they are only approved for treating depression. Therefore seeking a doctor’s advice is very important before taking any of these drugs.