Bupropion, which is marketed as Wellbutrin, is the only antidepressant linked to weight loss, new research finds.
Non-smokers lost an average of 2.4 pounds while taking bupropion over two years.
In contrast, those taking fluoxetine (known mainly as Prozac) gained an average of 4.6 pounds in the same time.
So, those taking Wellbutrin weighed an average of 7 pounds less than those who took Prozac over the two years.
Dr David Arterburn, the study’s first author, said:
“We found that bupropion is the only antidepressant that tends to be linked to weight loss over two years.
All other antidepressants are linked to varying degrees of weight gain.”
Along with Wellbutrin, bupropion is also marketed as Zyban and Elontril.
It is one of the most widely used antidepressants.
However, it is generally not recommended for anyone who has a history of seizures.
Professor Gregory Simon, one of the study’s co-authors, said:
“A large body of evidence indicates no difference in how effectively the newer antidepressants improve people’s moods.
So it makes sense for doctors and patients to choose antidepressants on the basis of their side effects, costs, and patients’ preferences—and, now, on whether patients are overweight or obese.”
The conclusions come from a study of over 5,000 US patients who were followed up to two years.
Obviously, anyone considering a change should consult their physician first.
The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine (Arterburn et al., 2016).
About the author
Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2013) and several ebooks:
- Accept Yourself: How to feel a profound sense of warmth and self-compassion
- The Anxiety Plan: 42 Strategies For Worry, Phobias, OCD and Panic
- Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything
- Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do
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