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Antidepressants That Cause Weight Loss: Wellbutrin Is Best

Most people that are depressed end up trying antidepressants. One major problem associated with these medications is that while they may alleviate depression, they can cause people to gain a significant amount of weight. Due to the weight gain associated with SSRIs, people are searching for alternatives so that they don’t become fat from taking a medication.

Although minor weight gain is certainly favorable to feeling suicidal and depressed, some people gain more than just a few pounds. The weight gain can create an entirely new self-image problem for the person. Gaining weight may cause a person to lose confidence and actually may contribute to them feeling depressed again.

It is estimated that people gain up to 10 pounds following a 6 month treatment with common antidepressants. So you are probably wondering which antidepressants are linked to weight loss? I’m going to breakdown the drugs that are associated with weight loss as well as those that tend to be “weight neutral” meaning a person won’t gain or drop a significant amount of weight while taking the drug.

Antidepressants that cause weight loss: Wellbutrin (Bupropion)

There is really only one of the popular antidepressants these days that is linked to weight loss. The medication that you’ll want if you want to actually lose weight is that of Wellbutrin. It will speed up your metabolism, and increase your energy. This is because it works as an NDRI (norpinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitor). Really the only major unfortunate side effect is that you may feel increasingly anxious and you may not get much relief if your serotonin imbalance is the problem.

Wellbutrin (Bupropion) – Wellbutrin often suppresses appetite in certain individuals as well as gives them more energy for working out. This can be a good thing if the person is already overweight. This is a drug that is also used for some people who are clinically obese because it helps speed up their metabolism and gives them energy to do things. This drug also speeds up the metabolic system in your body – which will lead to increases in calories burned.

Other antidepressants that cause weight loss typically do not inhibit the reuptake of serotonin. So if your goal is to avoid gaining weight, you’ll usually want to find a drug that primarily affects norepinephrine and serotonin to a lesser degree. Wellbutrin is considered one of the safer antidepressants in comparison to most SSRI’s which are associated with difficult withdrawals.

Weight neutral antidepressants: SNRI’s + Viibryd

There are a few antidepressants that aren’t linked to weight gain or loss. Meaning that some people will gain weight on them, others will lose weight on them, and some will stay pretty much the same weight on them. These are SNRIs which work by preventing the reuptake of both serotonin and norepinephrine. Another antidepressant that should be mentioned is that of Viibryd – a newer medication. Many people that take Viibryd tend to lose weight simply because it acts as a great laxative – meaning diarrhea is a very common side effect.

Also just because these medications are medically regarded as being “weight neutral” doesn’t mean you won’t gain or lose weight while taking them – they affect everyone differently. Some people may gain a significant amount of weight on any of these medications, while others may drop a few pounds.

Antidepressants that cause weight gain: SSRI’s

The SSRI (selective-serotonin reuptake inhibitor) class will cause most people to gain weight. Some have been suggested as being “worse” than others for weight. Many people regard Paxil as being the easiest to gain weight on, but there are cases of individuals gaining weight on all of these medications. Medications that are geared primarily towards preventing the reuptake of serotonin tend to yield more weight gain than other classes of drugs.

SSRIs tend to increase a person’s appetite while decreasing the individual’s metabolism. So no matter how healthy the person is eating and how much they are working out, they are going to pack on a few pounds.  For more information, read “Antidepressants and Weight Gain.”

Best antidepressant for weight loss: Wellbutrin (Bupropion)

Although there are older antidepressants that may cause a person to lose weight, most are associated with weight gain with the exception of Wellbutrin. For this reason, if weight is a big concern, I would recommend trying this particular medication before others. It tends to have less side effects than other drugs and is easier tolerated. When it comes to losing weight from taking an antidepressant, this may contribute to improving your mood.

With that said, your goal shouldn’t be to get on Wellbutrin just to lose weight. This is a powerful drug that should be avoided unless you absolutely need it for depression. The weight loss is a secondary benefit that you may experience if you are overweight. Not everyone experiences weight loss even while taking Wellbutrin – everyone reacts differently to medications.  Although extremely rare, some people have noticed weight gain on Wellbutrin.

Final thoughts: Antidepressants and weight fluctuation

Unless you can say that you are in peak physical condition before starting medication, you could lose or gain weight while on any medication. For example, take someone who is ridiculously obese, put them on an SSRI and let’s say it increases their energy level. If the SSRI works well and the person never exercised before and starts exercising, they are likely still going to lose weight.

Additionally someone who starts eating healthier and/or exercising while on an SSRI may actually experience weight loss if they never were healthy before the drug. Each situation is so unique and different that it’s impossible to know how you will be affected. Someone in peak physical shape may find that an SSRI makes them lazy and they may gain a decent amount of fat.

This is simply because when you are already in good shape with a lot of lean mass, and you are on an antidepressant, it’s going to throw your body out of homeostasis – making it harder to convert fat to muscle and maintain a high metabolism. The nice thing is that even if you do gain weight from an antidepressant, you will lose it relatively easily after you stop the medication.

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{ 90 comments… add one }
  • Dana September 5, 2014, 10:21 pm

    I am taking 75mg lyrica twice daily for chronic arthritic pain. Over about one and a half years I have gained about 10 kilos. I am NOT suffering from depression over the gain, BUT, would love to shed heaps!! I eat sensibly and not a lot. Would Wellbutrin help my metabolism work at a greater rate and thus help my weight? I cannot exercise at the gym, but go to the pool and get myself moving to some degree.

    • GLOOM September 6, 2014, 2:11 am

      Hey Dana, I personally wouldn’t mess with Wellbutrin just to lose the weight. It’s primary purpose is for depression and it will have an affect on your neurotransmitter levels and brain chemistry. Ultimately it’s not really worth adding to your regimen just to lose weight. Best wishes.

    • EBel March 22, 2016, 6:58 am

      I am taking Wellbutrin, Zoloft and Abilify. In my personal experience, I have been talking them for a month and in that period of time, I have lost 30 pounds and it has helped me get my energy back. But we are all different and if you want me to be honest, it is not so much the weight I have lose, but the person that I have become.

      • Kim October 3, 2016, 7:52 pm

        I am also taking Wellbutrin and Zoloft and have been for over a year. I on the other hand have gained over 20 pounds that I can’t get rid of. That in itself is very depressing. I have no energy and no motivation to do anything. I would love to find something to help me lose the wait and give me back the energy I used to have.

  • curious September 10, 2014, 10:21 pm

    I am a sufferer of intrusive thoughts, OCD, anxiety, and an eating disorder… I don’t want to gain weight. I trip on the little things, and constantly am afraid that boyfriend is stepping out on me. I worry about it constantly. Do you think Wellbutrin is something that will help me? I have a small daughter and want to enjoy her more than constantly checking up on him, worried about where he is, who’s he’s with, what he’s doing…

    • GLOOM September 10, 2014, 10:45 pm

      Hi curious, most of the newer antidepressants (e.g. Viibryd) will not lead to significant weight gain. Generally Wellbutrin is not recommended for things like OCD and anxiety (as it can make them worse). I’d recommend seeking psychiatric help and finding a medication that’s a better fit for your individual circumstances.

    • Honest August 1, 2015, 12:44 pm

      Wellbutrin should not be taken if you have an eating disorder.

    • Observor November 14, 2015, 4:13 am

      What you should take for OCD and anxiety is N-Acetyl Cysteine. Start at 1200mg daily and build up to 2400mg and even higher to 3600mg. That will likely solve some of those issues.

  • Jennifer September 22, 2014, 5:43 pm

    After gaining over 50 pounds in 2 years, (despite eating healthy), I finally convinced my psychiatrist to prescribe me something else. She placed me on wellbutrin. How long does it take before weight loss can occur?

    • GLOOM September 24, 2014, 3:04 am

      Hi Jennifer, there’s no specific timeline to follow for weight loss on this drug; each person reacts differently. Not everyone is guaranteed to even lose weight on it. In most cases, people will lose some weight over the course of several months treatment, but it will probably not be a drastic amount. Best of luck.

    • Rickymac February 15, 2015, 8:13 pm

      I agree 100%. These doctor’s think the weight gain is all in our heads. I stopped my Prozac and lost considerable weight. It puts on the pounds and makes me eat like a pig. I’m a carpenter, I work hard and work out 4 times a week and when I’m on prozac I still put on the weight. I asked for wellbutrin and she said you don’t want to take that. I said yes I do. She prescribed viibryd… from the testimonials I’ve read, that puts on weight also (even though they say it doesn’t). So now I’m on nothing and edgier and angrier than ever.

      • DJ November 16, 2015, 12:22 am

        I am taking Wellbutrin for anxiety. I still have some anxiety but just started to increase from 150mg to 300mg. I have lost 10 lbs on this med. I gained a lot of weight on Lexapro. Go to another doctor. Good luck.

        • Cynthia December 17, 2015, 2:38 pm

          I have gained over 20lbs on Lyrica. How long did it take to lose 10lbs and on what dose?

        • Bailey December 22, 2015, 4:19 pm

          I’ve been on lexapro (escitilopram) for my anxiety for a year now and have gained almost 50lbs!!! Although this medication does work really well for anxiety, I’m going to have my doc switch me to wellbutrin. I tried wellbutrin for a little while but found that lexapro worked better for anxiety, but since gaining all this weight I am more depressed than ever.

          My anxiety is under control, but I don’t have the motivation to do anything and feel seriously sad because of gaining the weight. So you will feel less anxious but you will be depressed – not my idea of how to solve a problem. I do see a psychiatrist for my anxiety and it has been helping so hopefully I won’t need the lexapro and will be ok with wellbutrin.

        • Fae February 29, 2016, 8:24 pm

          Hi DJ. I am switching from lexapro to wellbutrin now. Did your anxiety get any worse after switching?

          • Lee April 14, 2016, 2:05 am

            From my experience Wellbutrin increases anxiety. I felt angry. Wasn’t worth the weight difference.

          • Renee May 31, 2016, 9:18 pm

            I didn’t gain weight on Lexapro. My doctor wanted me to switch to Wellbutrin because of pain/depression. I’ve now not only gained weight but I have these crazy cravings for sweets I never had before. I honestly think everyone’s body just responds different to a medication.

        • Oppy May 25, 2016, 12:54 am

          I was on Lexapro for many years and gained a lot of weight. I have been on Wellbutrin for 2 weeks and I have been having a lot of nightmares. Also I have started to eat more. My Psych said its from withdrawal of Lexapro. I hope the nightmares stop and weight loss begins.

      • SomeoneLikeYou June 20, 2016, 11:01 am

        Hey Rickymac, I have experienced the same and I am with you bro.

    • Cathy June 4, 2016, 12:20 am

      I lost 25 pounds after a year of being on Wellbutrin. Everyone is different but typically I hear people lose at least 10 pounds.

  • Cuddle fluff lol October 24, 2014, 8:03 pm

    I am currently taking Paxil. I have been on it for a long time. It does make you gain weight. Although it does work well for me it does make me hungry all the time as if I can’t get full. It’s the downside to this medication. If I did not need it I would not be taking it. I would love to find something else that works for me the same as Paxil without the all you can eat side effect, but I am not one to try different pills. So I guess I am just leary trying new meds lol

    • Emily September 8, 2016, 3:08 am

      I have used paxil and in 3 months I gained 50lbs. I barely ate and worked out several times a week. It was horrible. I switched to Wellbutrin and have been on it for 4months and I haven’t gained or lost any weight. I am more clear headed and less tired than before. It seems to work well for me but it does make me feel more aggressive and short tempered.

  • Gerilee October 27, 2014, 11:10 am

    Hi I’ve suffered from Depression for many years I’ve been on several medications. At the moment I’m on Sertraline and I’ve started gaining weight and constantly hungry and no matter what I eat it doesn’t satisfy (so I eat more). Gaining weight is a big problem for me it makes my depression a lot worse. Would I benefit from asking my doctor to put me on Wellbutrin? I live in Scotland so not sure why my doc wouldn’t consider giving me this as he knows weight gain is a big problem for me and he has never mentioned this to me.

  • Dori December 3, 2014, 6:06 am

    I have struggled with both anxiety and depression my entire life. I am currently age 26 and it got to the point in which I got on Citalopram. It’s a great medication, but has caused me to gain 45 pounds in 9 months! It really angers me because I am a very fit person and cannot stand gaining weight, especially when I work so hard to keep it off. The person who recommended I get on this stuff stated it has no effect on weight gain. She had no idea what she was talking about, especially considering all the information posted online about SSRIs linked to weight gain.

    When I realized the Citalopram was causing my weight gain, I got off it… gradually and it’s been a nightmare without it! But I’d rather starve myself to lose the weight than feel better. It’s nuts because I have to choose between my mind or my body, both of which I greatly admire! I am not really sure what to do from here. A month ago, I was so desperate, I started taking a very low dose of Citalopram, again daily. I got on Nutrisystem and have been exercising myself to death! I am just really frustrated and don’t know where to turn from here.

    I don’t think Wellbutrin is a good solution for me because I, too have anxiety and don’t want that to increase, as well. I thought about trying something else like Zoloft, but I am always skeptical to try new medications. I am on the verge of wanting to quit Citalopram again, but don’t think I can handle it, as I need to be me to function and work during the day. I’m sick of this whole mess. Please help!

    • Courtney January 21, 2015, 5:18 pm

      I would try Wellbutrin before saying absolutely not. I have been on it for depression and to see if I could lose weight with it and it has worked pretty well for the depression. I also have very bad anxiety and it has helped me for that too even though it says it might make it worse. As for weight loss I’m going to give it a little while before I change to something else to see if I lose anything. So far I have only lost a couple pounds. But weight has always been a big problem for me and I would hate to stop taking Wellbutrin.

    • Kayla February 19, 2015, 12:41 pm

      I started taking Wellbutrin after a really bad bout of depression and anxiety. My anxiety was so bad I made several trips to the ER. The first two weeks on Wellbutrin were no easy, doc prescribed Xanax because he said initially it could irritate my anxiety. I stuck it out and after week 3 on Wellbutrin I felt better than I had in a very long time. I had energy, started going to the gym, libido was back big time, I lost 30 lbs and I was Happy.

      My mood overall was great! This lasted 2 years then sadly, like many antidepressants it kinda pooped out. I have been off of it for a year now and overall I feel much better than I did before I started taking it. I feel mild depression and I may try something new for it, but my anxiety never returned! Best of luck to everyone searching.

    • Cyndi kuhlman May 4, 2016, 12:11 am

      Zoloft caused weight gain for me. I lost a child a year ago and developed severe anxiety after he died. I’m not suffering from depression just the anxiety and have been switched to wellbutrin a week ago. It works much better for my anxiety and I feel I’m not eating as much. I was starved on the zoloft all the time!! I love the wellbutrin!

    • Renee May 31, 2016, 9:32 pm

      Hey Dori, I’ve seen where a lot of people don’t want to try different meds on here. It’s taken me years to find the right combination of medications. Mine have to be balanced between neurological medicines and mental health meds. Not an easy combination. The only way to get it right is to remember it’s your body… you deserve a doctor that will do what’s best for you and listen to what you want to accomplish.

      If that’s not what they are doing get a different doctor. If the medicine isn’t working don’t be afraid to try something else. You will never know if you don’t try…right?! Discuss it, Google it, research it whatever you need to do to feel comfortable before you take it.

    • TiredRunner August 6, 2016, 7:45 pm

      I’ve been taking Zoloft for a year a cannot lose weight. My calories are where they should be, I’ve tried low carb yada yada and work out at the gym 3-5 days a week! No budge on pounds. It’s def the meds.

      • Liezel September 6, 2016, 1:23 pm

        I used Nuzak for 12 years – gained a LOT of weight and constantly felt like I was on a trip. Switched to Wellbutrin 150mg and within 2 months lost all the weight. But I kept feeling angry and exploded for nothing. Increased to 300mg and still felt depressed. Dr added Cymbalta 30mg. Seems to be working. I have been on the combination for about 8 months and I will NEVER go off it again!

  • Howard December 20, 2014, 11:59 pm

    I have exact same problem. After 7 years am tapering of cymbalta cause of stubborn weight that won’t come off. Hardly eat… And wife cooks health food . Even treadmill a few times a week brings a few pounds down; then a few back up. Am taking vibryd just a few days now while tapering off cymbalta. So far I don’t know how it will affect me mentally or weight wise.

    Almost went to Wellbutrin but the activating anxious effects made me subliminally DISSUADED my doctor from starting me on it. Everything I have read seems to indicate Wellbutrin is OUR only safe choice for maintaining weight. You might try it; I might as I take small amount of Xanax for anxiety. It is the only hope for the weight problem we and others will continue to experience

  • Aaron February 24, 2015, 6:05 pm

    I took bupropion for three months as a trial run. Perhaps three months isn’t long enough, but I did not notice any decrease in my depression. I did get terrible nausea from it, so much that an hour after taking a pill I would have to induce vomiting to feel better. I had to lower my daily dose from two pills a day to one.

    • Allie July 20, 2016, 8:14 pm

      Three months was not enough for me! I felt nauseous every single morning and would puke if I didn’t hold it in (it was absolutely horrible) but it would pass two hours later… TBH it’s gotten a bit better and I’ve been on it for 5 months approximately and it does get better although I still can’t eat in the morning and I sometimes feel sick but not nearly as bad! Also helped me with weight loss (people around me have noticed it too) but I’m also on Paxil and even though I eat healthy… I’m pretty sure the Paxil ruins it.

  • jenny March 10, 2015, 3:20 am

    I have been on sertraline (generic for Zoloft) for a year and 5 months and have gained 41 pounds since I’ve been on it. No matter how healthy I eat or how much I exercise I can’t lose weight. 41 pounds is a lot and not only is it expensive to buy all new jeans and clothes because of my “new body” it is also depressing which counteracts the purpose of the drug. I am on 50 mg and after almost 2 years and 41 pounds later I feel more depressed than before.

    I told my doctor originally I wanted NOTHING to do with any medicine that would cause weight gain and she assured me it wouldn’t. To this day she says the weight gain is my fault. I am over being fat! I asked to be switched to Wellbutrin hoping I will be less depressed, lose weight and have more energy. Not to mention sertraline makes me lazy and on my days off I can sleep all day! I have zero motivation so I hope this medicine changes things for the better.

  • Alex April 14, 2015, 9:04 pm

    I gained 50+ pounds over three years on Prozac, and am now taking Wellbutrin. I just got prescribed it today, actually. On Prozac I was constantly snacking and I tried going to the gym regularly and eating healthy, but I couldn’t find the motivation or energy to keep up with it. Since I was a teenager at that time, the doctors were only comfortable with the prozac and kept upping my dose even though it never really worked. I hope Wellbutrin is better.

    I am glad to hear it energizes people and can speed up metabolism. I have been off meds for about six months and haven’t lost any weight, though I tend to eat two meals a day and barely get out of the house. I really want to get back into the swing of things and start running and lifting, again! Hopefully with the summer coming up, I will start feeling and looking much better!

  • anastasia May 31, 2015, 5:12 pm

    Holy shamoly, I didn’t think I’d be part of the weight loss experience with wellbutrin, but from may 12 – may 30 I’ve lost almost 10 lbs! Without doing anything either. And it helps tremendously with depression.

    • Katelynn March 17, 2016, 11:46 pm

      What dosage were you on, Anastasia?

      • Lauri June 5, 2016, 7:52 pm

        I’m curious about dosage too. I’m on 150 and haven’t noticed any weight loss. :(

  • Danielle June 12, 2015, 5:26 am

    I’ve been on 3 different antidepressants over 8 years and am currently taking paroxetine (Paxil). Its made me pile on so much weight and I feel incredibly depressed from this as I haven’t eaten more or done anything less than I originally would of. Should I try Wellbutrin? I’m desperate for help.

  • Regina June 17, 2015, 3:53 pm

    Hey all. I have RX resistant depression. So I’ve been on many meds over the years. I researched psych meds online because whatever I was on was not helping anymore. My doc agreed to let me try it. I was started on 300mg/day. I honestly did not notice the change in my weight loss until someone mentioned it to me. I started paying attention and the scale went down so fast I was afraid I would lose too much weight.

    I lost 35 lbs in about 6 months. I was living on Hershey bars almost the entire time. The weight loss stopped and I remained the same weight for almost a year. Then it came back over about the same time as it took to lose it. I’m permanently disabled. I have around 6 different psych diagnoses and take 3 different psych meds right now. I’m probably different from most of you. I literally live in my bedroom and only leave home for doc appt’s and to visit my mom.

    The bupropion added to my other meds have me feeling better than I have in a long time, no more laying in bed at night writing suicide notes in my head or having nightmares every night for years. But still in my room, but the loss of suicidal thoughts/nightmares was a huge change for me. But remember that I do have med resistant depression, so that was all it changed. Anyhow let me stop my rambling and say yes I lost 35 lbs on bupropion which stayed off for about a year. Being as depressed as I am , and having other psych issues, the bupropion was a wonderful thing.

    Unfortunately it has run it’s course like all the others over the years. So if you are looking for a possible great depression med for you talk to your doc about it and maybe it will help you lose weight too. One last thing, I have several anxiety disorders and the bupropion did not make them worse, even upping the dose another 150mg/day. Good luck to you all.

  • Mark June 24, 2015, 10:24 pm

    Wellbutrin is a miracle.

  • Arthur Samuels June 28, 2015, 5:21 pm

    I am 59, 5’10”; and weigh 267 pounds. I started on generic prozac about two months ago. Before I started, I weighed 300 pounds. That’s right: I have lost 33 pounds in two months, due to antidepressants. I think my binge eating has always been an attempt to self-medicate my depression.

    • mamiel May 20, 2016, 2:58 am

      I’m the same. I’ve been on Prozac many times, it always made me lose weight. When I’m on prozac I don’t feel excitement about eating food and I don’t feel panic when I’m hungry. Consequently I end up skipping a lot of meals and losing weight. I did experience bigger weight loss with Wellbutrin, though.

  • Tori July 23, 2015, 8:50 pm

    I have been on Celexa 20mg for 2 years. I started lowering my dosage about 4 months ago to 10mg because the weight gain was so bad. I have gained 40 lbs in the past 2 years… and the libido is blah… I hate it. I cold turkeyed it and stopped taking them almost 2 weeks ago. I’ve been biting everyone’s head off and crying again over stupid things. I need the weight loss but something to help smooth out my mood. I want to get on wellbutrin but afraid of the anxiety increase. I’ll update once I get into the doctor and find something out or if wellbutrin helps.

    • Tina D Stanton May 18, 2016, 5:58 am

      I’ve been on Celexa for 6 years now and I haven’t gained any weight whatsoever. I suffer from depression. And anxiety but I’m also on xanax for my anxiety too.

    • Allie July 20, 2016, 8:24 pm

      I have major anxiety (I’ve been on pills for more than a year now) and I also have depression (I quit school because my anxiety was so bad) and I’m on Paxil, and found out about Wellbutrin, and TBH it does make me fidget a bit more like my eye will twitch, lol. But it has made me lose weight that is actually noticeable! It made me sick at first for several months (in the morning like morning sickness lol) but it got better! Definitely would recommend it!

  • Margie August 18, 2015, 8:22 pm

    At one time when I was much younger, I was on Wellbutrin and loved the energy level and did well on it. I’ve been off and on antidepressants all my life, mostly off. But now I am in my 60’s, have weight gain and mildly depressed. I have tried almost all of them. SSRI’s and SNRI’s (Prozac, Zoloft etc) and mostly quit taking them because of the side effects (sedating, dry mouth etc) thinking I was cured and because of the weight gain.

    About 5 years ago, I needed an anti-depressant and requested Wellbutrin, against my doctor’s advice. He was so right. The anxiety level was way over the top. I’m once again mildly depressed and need to return to them. I wish I could find one that works and one that I feel good about, but without the weight gain. Being menopausal will really make my weight gain skyrocket.

    I am obviously one that needs to stay on an antidepressant long term- forever. Though I exercise almost every day, I’m obviously over eating and not losing weight, even without an appetite. I have gained some 25+ lbs in 3-4 years. And once again, I am reluctant to returning to anti depressants because of more weight gain, but need some help.

    Sure wish one would work for me. Think there are maybe two that I’ve not tried without getting into the tricyclics. Reading the comments have really been beneficial; as some doctors will swear by the minimal weight gain but yet for me just isn’t true.

  • Linda August 20, 2015, 9:58 pm

    I took Wellbutrin for many years, I lost a total of 112 lbs in an 18 month period. It really helped for my Depression. I was trying to go a healthier route and was getting off of meds. I must put in that I’ve got insomnia EXTREMELY bad. I got off the Wellbitrin and was put on Remeron for my insomnia and this caused me to put back on 85 lbs. This weight gain has caused the Depression to come back. and I’m thinking about going back on the Wellbutrin again for it.

    I’ve been on many different medications over the years for the Depression, and am most happiest with the Wellbutrin. It did great for the depression and gave me energy to be up and moving around. I want to STRESS that I wouldn’t even consider taking it just for the weight gain, I truly believe that it should be used to treat Depression, not as a weight loss medication. I just consider the weight loss a bonus! I’d love to be medication free, but I don’t want to live in a downward spiral.

  • Jess August 24, 2015, 4:35 am

    I’ve been taking bupropion for nine months after years on citalopram. Weight loss: paired with efforts to eat less and exercise more, I’ve lost 33 pounds. I want to note that this diet was also used with citalopram, with which I’d lost 22 pounds over a ten month period.

    Side effects with citalopram: extreme drowsiness throughout the entire day. Withdrawal symptoms. Sexual desire decreased. Side effects of bupropion: extreme increase in anxiety. For me, the anxiety is much more controllable than extreme, constant drowsiness. Weight loss is a perk. Depression levels hard to determine chemically, but weight loss in general has done so much to alleviate my depression.

  • Angelina September 10, 2015, 10:21 pm

    I was on celexa for 1 year exactly & gained 40 pounds! Like everyone else’s doctor, she reassured me that it would not make me gain weight! Now here I am 204 pounds & I am only 5’1! Also, I felt like it wasn’t working for me. My doctor switched me to Wellbutrin, I’ve been taking it for a week now. Hopefully it works well!

    • Hopeful October 20, 2015, 11:51 pm

      How is the Wellbutrin going? I am considering switching Wellbutrin from Lexapro – the weight gain from previous antidepressants is horrible and it’s hard to shed the pounds. 5’3″ and hit my peak of 207…I’m so over it! Just the weight gain alone from antidepressants is enough to increase said depression and the Lexapro I’m on now still causes sluggishness and I have zero energy. What are your thoughts now that you’ve been on this new medication for a few weeks? Worth giving it a shot?

    • Katie April 8, 2016, 5:15 am

      I’ve been on wellbutrin for about 2 weeks and I feel lighter but haven’t checked the scale. I have 18 month old twins boys and I have to wake up at 8 every morning. Before this medicine I would fall asleep on the couch until 11am. I felt like a terrible mother. The first day I took this pill I didn’t fall back asleep. My energy is so high now and I feel great!! I just hope I can lose weight on it. Being 4ft 10in and weighing 215lbs is embarrassing, depressing and not easy.

  • Jordan September 29, 2015, 5:18 pm

    I recently began taking bupropion, and after being on it for a month I must say it works for me. I have bipolar 2 disorder, seasonal depression, and mild anxiety. I will agree that for the first few weeks to a month the side effects are annoying. I mostly had dry mouth and jitteriness, but it didn’t affect my anxiety. If anything, it’s helped.

    I currently take 150 mg of bupropion SR twice a day, along with 150mg of lithium carbonate twice a day as a mood stabilizer, and my depression has increased tremendously. The only negative long lasting effects I’ve had include insomnia, a constant ringing in my ears, and weight loss. I was borderline underweight when I began (weighed 119 as a 5’7″ female) not due to an eating disorder, simply a high metabolism.

    Since starting bupropion I’m now down to 109, and can’t seem to gain weight. It doesn’t matter what I eat, healthy or not, the weight stays off. The combination of decreased appetite and increased metabolism are what the med is intended to do, so it works in that aspect.

    • Katie April 8, 2016, 5:19 am

      I’m sorry you can’t gain weight but I am glad to hear that you lost it while taking lithium as well. I take lithium at night and bupropion in the morning.

  • Jean October 12, 2015, 4:41 am

    I have been on Cymbalta for 3 1/2 years. I was already 40 lbs overweight, but Now I’ve added another 25 lbs! I’m very depressed because of my appearance. I’m only 5’2″ tall. It’s a nightmare. 15 years ago my new family dr prescribed Serzone, an SNRI antidepressant. It was a miracle drug. Over the next few months I dropped all the drug related weight gain and began exercising again. My mood greatly improved. Then Serzone was taken off the market because there were a few cases of death caused by complications with liver or kidney issues. I was devastated!

    Went on Celexa and the weight gradually returned. Six years it stopped working so I went on Cymbalta and Wellbutrin. I’m ready to switch psychiatrists because my current one won’t let me change meds, even though my weight is worse and worse and I cycle between days of deep depression, suicidal thoughts, and days of feeling normal. Some days I think I’m getting dementia (I’m 64), my memory is so bad). I’d like to hear from others with similar experiences. And i’d welcome any sensible advice.

  • Mary October 15, 2015, 10:11 pm

    I started taking Wellbutrin about 2 and a half years ago for anxiety and depression at age 65. I am 5’6″ and went from 178 to 145 in the first 18 months. I also went to Weight Watchers to have someone else weigh me weekly and to reinforce healthy eating habits. The med helped with depression and did not increase anxiety. Losing weight was welcome side effect.

    My doc told me the weight loss would occur initially and may not last after a year. The reason I went off Wellbutrin about a month ago was because I was having so much trouble with concentration. I started Paxil 2 weeks ago and have been miserable. I can’t stop eating, gained 6 pounds and am constantly sleepy. So I am not taking any more Paxil.

    I have recently had three ongoing events that have caused me a lot of worry, so maybe as those are handled, it will be enough time to start Wellbutrin again or maybe even try Viibryd. Depression has been a life long condition so I would like to tell the younger folks that it does get better. My 20’s and 30’s were the worst. Best wishes to all of you. It makes me so happy that you all are trying to find ways to feel better.

  • Dawn October 20, 2015, 6:16 pm

    Depression is more of my problem than anxiety and I had take Lexapro for 2 1/2 years. In the beginning I was feeling better but then the weight gain started and it made me more depressed and frustrated. I went off cold turkey (not smart), but I just couldn’t take how I looked. I feel sad and edgy. My doctor is prescribing Wellbutrin and I am nervous but feel I have to go back to something. I will update how it goes.

    • Halle November 6, 2016, 10:51 pm

      The same thing happened to me with Lexapro, how is the change with new meds?

  • Maria November 14, 2015, 4:36 pm

    My doctor just prescribed Bupropion. I am scared to start taking it because I pride myself at 52 at having been on no medications. I am feeling depressed and have gained weight over since menopause 2 years ago. I tried SottoPelle, bioidentical hormone pellets and the side effects outweighed any positive outcome they had for other people. I am worse off now, overweight and depressed. Should I be scared to go on them? I’d like to be on them just temporarily, if anything.

    • Agi September 12, 2016, 9:54 am

      Dear Maria, Don’t be scared of medication, remember you are in a total control of it, if for some reason you will Bupropion to be working an ain’t you rather than for you, you can always talk to your doctor about it and change it for something else. Depression is a crippling disease and medication can truly benefit you in fighting with its symptoms.

      I was myself against any firm of medication until I couldn’t cope anymore, some of the meds helped some not so much but I learned to observe my body and always took action when felt that the meds were not suitable. I know it’s scary and I won’t persuade you but sometimes meds can really help. I know they helped me.

  • Nina November 22, 2015, 10:22 pm

    All I can say is I have been taking this drug and it does make you lose weight. I lost 7 pounds in 5 days and it’s melting off. And also I feel great, I am not depressed anymore.

  • Anna November 24, 2015, 2:58 pm

    I have been taking Wellbutrin for several years and it is the best thing that I have ever done. It increased my libido tremendously and I lost a ton of weight. My mood was lifted and I felt awesome. Unfortunately, I am at the maximum dose and it seems to have stopped working. Any suggestions on what to do?

    I am very upset about this since I really thought this drug was a life and marriage saver for me, and I notice my depression increasing and my libido decreasing. I do not want to take any antidepressants since I do not want to gain any more weight. Also, I am afraid of the sexual side effects… basically, I don’t want to go backwards regarding my mental health. Thank you.

    • Nichole September 13, 2016, 1:40 pm

      Have you told your doctor about this? I take Wellbutrin 300mg extended release and 10mg celexa and the combo helps tons. I didn’t lose a ton of weight taking Wellbutrin alone but I have not gained any once adding the celexa. The celexa seems to help my depression more than Wellbutrin.

  • Kate November 29, 2015, 1:51 am

    Gained 20 lbs taking antidepressants but finally got on Wellbutrin. Helped me lose it gradually, felt better. Last June my doc added 20 mg Lexapro daily to my regimen and I gained 15 pounds in 4 months. Stopped the Lexapro…no fun, believe me. Am currently on 300 XL daily and have upcoming doc appt and I will request going to 450 XL daily. Anytime I add any other drug to Wellbutrin I gain a lot of weight. Added weight makes depression worse.

    I have very severe depression with immune system problems…I feel lousy physically then get into deeper depression, then feel depressed and my health gets more fragile. Gotta fight it. Don’t give up. Keep slugging it out with your doc if you need to. We should be able to feel our best. Don’t let a doc put a guilt trip on you. Never give up, never let depression win.

  • Hailey December 7, 2015, 9:49 pm

    I am 19 years old & I have suffered from anxiety, severe depression, insomnia & mood dysregulation disorders since I was about 5. Last year I got prescribed to Celexa & I lost a lot of weight with it due to the loss of appetite & constant nausea. I quit taking it & gained all the weight back. I just went to the doctor & got put on Latuda but I’ve read that it can make you gain weight. I’ve noticed that I’m actually not sleeping with it & nor do I have an appetite. Would Wellbutrin be a good medication for me? I don’t want to gain weight.

  • Marlene December 13, 2015, 2:38 pm

    Not true about weight loss… This drug is causing me to be constantly hungry and have gained 15 pounds. I have read that this has happened to others. Done with it. The weight gain is not only depressing, it is not good for my COPD.

  • Rosi December 14, 2015, 6:38 pm

    I have been taking Mirtazapine for about 4 months and I started out weighing 115 lbs and now I weigh 147 lbs, I’m not even exaggerating. I really want to try Wellbutrin but I suffer from anxiety disorder so I know that’s not a wise choice.

  • Katie December 22, 2015, 6:16 pm

    Hi. I’m currently taking 75mg of venlafaxine (SNRI) as prescribed by my doctor for 4 months now, I had been taking escitalopram-lexapro SSRI for a year before, however I requested to be switched as I felt the lexapro was helping me gain weight, but I’m finding the venlafaxine no better! I have put on at least one stone since going back onto antidepressants.

    I asked my doctor to put me on bupropion but he didn’t want to put me on it, even though it’s clear that I’ve put on weight and I’m not happy about it, I was also trying to quit smoking at the time and apparently the Wellbutrin is good for this? I would like to try wellbutrin, any opinions, advice etc. welcome. Thank you.

    • Katie April 8, 2016, 5:26 am

      I used to smoke a pack a day. After taking bupropion (wellbutrin) for two weeks now, a pack lasts me close to two days. It helps with smoking!!

  • Cindy January 11, 2016, 7:54 am

    I was prescribed lexapro 6 months ago. I have noticed that I gained 25 lbs since I was put on this medication for depression. I saw my primary care physican to ask why would I gain so much weight when I don’t eat bad and haven’t changed my eating. My doctor tested my thyroid and that came back negative. It clicked in my head that it was the damn lexapro that caused my weight gain. I have never been 200 lbs before. This sucks big time and it’s making my depression and insomnia worse.

  • Leah January 31, 2016, 11:13 pm

    My Mother started me on zoloft when I was ten and average weight, by the time I was 19 I was almost 300 pounds and constantly hungry and still anxious/depressed. At 20 I moved out and dropped the drugs. After just a year of walking and being a little more healthy I dropped more than a hundred pounds! I still have some problems with depression but not like before. I will say I have body issues now that I wouldn’t have had if not for zoloft!

  • Kathy February 1, 2016, 11:43 pm

    I have suffered depression my entire adult life. Lately it has been to the point of me staying in bed all day. I’ve been on Cymbalta for four years. As it’s no longer working, I need to go off of it. I quit taking it about a year ago and it was a total nightmare. I see my Dr. This week and am hopeful to get started on Wellbutrin. I certainly need the energy.

  • Sanchez February 19, 2016, 6:49 pm

    Looked this site up because am 68, extra overweight, exhausted with the weight, constant depression, plus physical burden of all the weight. I exercise 5 days/week and get nowhere with gaining strength or loosing weight. Have dealt with serious depression “on my own” 90% of my life and I WAS ready to start asking for drugs to help. Did Zoloft once and quit due to side effects and was scared to try other meds.

    So… after reading all this I REALLY don’t want to try the drug route. Sounds like everything that helps one thing makes another worse and vice versa… I certainly don’t need help gaining weight. So I’ll continue to “live with it”. If that’s what you call it. What a nightmare, but no different from what seems to happen even on the medicine!

  • Lauren March 7, 2016, 6:08 am

    I’m 64 and have been depressed and highly anxious since I was about 22. Way back then, they put me on elavil, vivactil, zoloft, etc. – badly tolerated all of them. I just tried to manage my symptoms myself. Finally in 1997, a new doctor gave me Paxil and I swear it saved my life. The anxiety took a big dive and the depression lifted considerably.

    Still not perfect, but so much better. My biggest side effect was weight gain, which I hated. So I asked for, and was given, Phen-fen, which helped me dump 60 pounds. I was one of the lucky ones and only wound up with a minor heart issue. I was back to a reasonable weight and felt good. Didn’t last though. Paxil effects began to diminish and side effects began to increase, including the horrible brain zaps.

    A new doctor last year switched me off Paxil and on to celexa along with Wellbutrin. Wow. I began to feel pretty darn good. Better yet, I noticed that I was losing about 1-1/2 pounds a week and lost over 20 pounds. Then she added lyrica for trigeminal neuralgia and fibromyalgia, and increased the celexa. Yuck, yuck and yuck. Gained the 20 plus more back, the pain was undiminished, I lost motivation and was just exhausted all the time.

    I self-adjusted the celexa back to what it had been, and stopped the Lyrica and continued with the Wellbutrin. That’s about three months ago now, and nothing has changed. No weight loss, more anxiety, same pain, no motivation, tired all the time. What I really want to do is find an herbal supplement to assist with weight loss, like the new askorvil (spelled wrong, I’m sure).

    It’s a natural herb that is supposed to help melt pounds away, but if you read the reviews, it’s scary. If anyone finds a supplement or drug that works WITH psych drugs, please let me know. I’m desperate. Email is pidpat[@]gmail.com.

  • Dave W April 5, 2016, 3:54 pm

    The comments here are extremely helpful- the best discussion so far I’ve read on weight issues and anti-depressants (and I have looked around a lot!). I have been on Lexapro for almost two years now, Cymbalta before that for 6 years. At 252 I’m probably 60 pounds overweight, if not more. Ten weeks ago I started on a rigorous training and diet schedule, and I also stopped drinking (I am an alcoholic so this was going from 1.5 liters of wine a day to zero – lots of calories there).

    I have been running in significant daily calorie deficits and since I started I have lost a total of only four pounds (with intense workouts 5+ days a week and 1,800 calories of food daily). My trainer is baffled as to why I have not lost more weight, so I started reading about weight issues with anti-depressants. Had blood tests done today to hopefully eliminate thyroid or other metabolic issues (doc also brought up sleep disorders as potentially affecting metabolism).

    If blood tests come back negative my doc suggested trying Wellbutrin instead of Lexapro. I am 48 and used to be super active outside. I want this life back, and if I have to work my a** off in the gym and dieting for a very minimal weight loss, I want off the medication. Anyone know about any info on alcohol, metabolism and SSRI interactions? I know I wasn’t supposed to drink like I did on anti-depressants. Hopefully my body and metabolism will forgive me!

    Thanks to you all and good luck.

  • Jeanette May 6, 2016, 1:08 am

    Started Zoloft 19 years ago. I was 140 lbs. Now at 310 lbs. Dr said Zoloft increases appetite. Why did no one ever tell me this. Dr put me on Effexor last month. So far bad dreams and anxious, angry, and exhausted. Appointment in a few days and will ask about Wellbutrin. I have PTSD. Pray for me.

  • Costa May 18, 2016, 3:08 am

    I was on Viibryd for 7 months. I am 5’2″ and went from 127 to 150 lb, even with the laxative effects. I am working out more than ever and, still, I am covered in cellulite. My doctor took me off of the medication a month ago. I am hoping that I will soon start to lose pounds.

  • Tan June 2, 2016, 8:52 pm

    Hi I have been on citalopram since Feb 2015 40mg which I believe is the highest dose. I suffered a tragic incident in my life which caused depression and initially stopped eating due to anxiety n panic attacks. I still feel like my depression hasn’t gone but is a he’ll of a lot better than it was. I weighed 9st7lb in Feb 2015 and I am now 15st4lb.

    I am adamant it’s the citalopram which has made me gain weight I am now 4 sizes bigger than I was a year ago and gained 6 stone! My GP reckons antidepressants don’t cause weight gain… I have even become more active than I was before. I’ve tried dieting etc. and to be honest I don’t eat much wrong, being from a healthy family. Any suggestions if a change of medicine could help?

    • Agi September 12, 2016, 10:02 am

      I’m sorry but your GP is wrong. Majority of antidepressants cause weight gain, on 20m of citalopram I gained over 23 kilos which is a massive 50 lb’s, not only that… I couldn’t stop eating, I would wake up in the middle of the night and rush to the fridge. I also noticed an increased craving for very unhealthy foods (I’m vegan but was vegetarian back then) like tons of bread butter cheese and sweets.

  • shar June 7, 2016, 6:37 pm

    I’ve been on Wellbutrin XL 300mg for 3 years. There was an initial weight loss of about 10 lbs, and increased energy. However, it did taper off, and now I find it to be ineffective with regard to gaining or losing. I do have anxiety, but am in sales & cannot afford to be drowsy or medicated, so Wellbutrin was my only shot at relief.

    I use it in the morning, and beta blockers at bedtime. This combination has been a miracle cure for me, and keeps the anxiety, depression, and OCD at bay. If I miss a few doses, it’s a mega heavy rebound effect on all of my symptoms though, so you cannot skip or forget to take it. Hope this helps.

  • Penny June 16, 2016, 4:03 am

    I have been taking Wellbutrin 150mg twice a day and I never experienced any weight loss or weight gain by just taking the medication. I just saw a new psychiatrist as my other one retired. The new doc changed my Wellbutrin to 300mg in the morning as she said it’s a 24 hour release. She also added Zoloft and Doxepin.

    I’m hoping I don’t have any weight gain issues. I had put myself on a high protein low carb diet and lost 65 pounds in 6 months. If I notice any weight gain, I can always return back to that diet. Anybody else taking those 3 meds together? I’m hoping they don’t whack me out.

  • Karen June 26, 2016, 2:20 pm

    I was on abilify and gained 20lbs. It did not help my depression so my doctor put me on Wellbutrin. I immediately lost the 20lbs and then 10 more. I was thin to begin with and now I’m down to 100lbs. It works great for my depression but I look kinda anorexic.

  • Cindy June 30, 2016, 5:38 pm

    Female 61 y/age, been of Celexa for 4 years. I have severe Anxiety/depression. My clothes are fitting tighter where I need to go up a size. Went from 119 to 150 # in 3 years. I exercise, and still the weight builds up. My libdo… there is none. Doc tells me to try Whey protein mix to cut down on my carbs craving. I starve myself to death and still put on the weight. Asked to change to another antidepressant and he tells me not during the summer months?? Told me to wait until winter. I am so depressed about my weight… I am liable to do my own plastic surgery.

  • Anna July 3, 2016, 6:06 pm

    I was put on a combination of mirtazapine 30mg olanzapine 15mg and Lycria 150mg, have gained almost 3 stone (about 36 pounds) in 3 months. Initially it was to help me taper off Xanax and help me to sleep but it’s been total crap. I suffer from anxiety and told the psych that weight gain would be a problem and now I’m left even more depressed.

    I will consult my doc and see what can be done. Tried citalopram did not gain weight but none lost either. The side effects of antidepressants are worrying. When I quit citalopram I had brain zaps for years after. I’m only 24, forced to lower Xanax but left with anxiety and insomnia and mirtazapine is the only sleeping aid I can get prescribed to help but I have no energy and gain lots of weight.

    I’d rather leave it in the bag. thinking of trying St. John’s wort for depression if Wellbutrin isn’t an option despite the fact it may higher anxiety, it’s worth a go. This thread has helped, there are lots of people battling with mental health just remember you’re not alone and there are numerous routes to help, don’t be angry about what’s happened, change in the present and set goals to make yourself feel good.

  • Pat August 10, 2016, 9:43 pm

    I am on hormone treatment for Endometriosis and have experienced weight gain, among other things. I have asked my doctor for diet pills or something to counteract the tiredness, constant hunger, no motivation leading to depression as I have gained more than 10 pounds in the last 3 months. My doc says he doesn’t do that. I am going to approach it differently, so my question is what would be the reaction, symptoms, side effects and/or expectations taking both the progesterone and the Wellbutrin?

  • Val August 20, 2016, 5:09 pm

    I’ve been on wellbutrin over a month. It works for me. Not as agitated, cravings for sweets and food has decreased. I don’t eat nearly as much. But I have dry mouth, vivid dreams, less sleep… Since I can now get things done, run errands without dreading it, I will endure the side effects. I’m enjoying life again!

  • Jo September 20, 2016, 8:56 pm

    I was on Lexapro and I gained 7 pounds in about a year. I exercise at a gym and do pretty intense routines. I also watch my calories. I got off it because although it worked for my depression at first, I started to have days of deep depression so I figured why deal with that and the weight gain?

    I’ve always had somewhat of an eating disorder so any kind of weight gain is detrimental to me. I’m looking for an alternative drug however because my depression is back in full force. I can’t manage to shed the extra pounds gained while in Lexapro either.

  • Kim October 29, 2016, 1:05 am

    I have been on Wellbutrin & latuda for over a year but before that I was on a few different drugs that packed the pounds on me. In the year I have been on those drugs I have lost about 50lbs I couldn’t believe it. It just literally fell off without any trying no dieting etc.

  • Halle November 6, 2016, 11:23 pm

    I have been on Lexapro for 3 years. I have lost and gained weight while on this medication. Blaming the medicine is not the answer for any of us. (Trust me, I would love to blame Lexapro for the weight gain). Sugar and Carbs is the route of all evil. No matter what drug you take for depression, if you are not cutting out sugar or carbs, YOU WILL gain weight.

    Switching back and forth trying new pills is not the answer. I wish I could take a new pill and lose weight but I know it’s not worth me feeling more anxious or angry. Lexapro works really well. Let the medicine do what it’s suppose to do. While the pill is doing it’s job, we should be doing our job and take care of our bodies.

    Self Discipline is the answer. As we get older our metabolism slows down. Your body and mind deserve to feel great. Fuel your body with healthy foods and you won’t need to switch meds. P.S. Think about personal trainers – how do you think they got that way? By eating clean and exercise!

  • allison November 17, 2016, 6:33 pm

    NOT MY EXPERIENCE AT ALL! I don’t want anyone who is considering medication to not take it because of the supposedly inevitable weight gain. I have only lost weight on anti-depressants! Even Lexapro, which is under the “worst” category in this article. Effexor too. I am consistently about 5-8lbs thinner if I am taking them. (I didn’t have a lot of weight to lose to begin with, so it makes a big difference).

    They lessen my appetite and help me focus so that I’m not constantly thinking about my next snack or having unbearable cravings. As an added benefit, they help elevate my mood and energy so that I can go to the gym after work – something that is incredibly hard with depression. Please don’t assume the worst! Your mental health is most important but I know how much appearance can make you feel better or so much worse.

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