Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are a class of antidepressant medications that include citalopram (Celexa) fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft), and several others.
In clinical trials, these medicines did not consistently cause weight gain. Some people taking an SSRI for two to three months lost a pound or two, while others gained 5 pounds or more -- but rarely were the weight changes much different than those in people taking a placebo (sugar pill).
It can be hard to separate out any side effects of the SSRI itself from the positive response to treatment. For example, some people with depression and/or anxiety may regain their appetite as they start to feel better, eat more, and gain weight. Others may find the energy to exercise when they couldn’t easily do so before, maintaining or losing weight.
Each person responds to SSRI treatment slightly differently. By devoting energy to eating right and exercising while taking an SSRI, you may be able to avoid unhealthy weight gain.
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