Antidepressant is the term given to any type of drugs that have been created to prevent or treat depression. However, while their primary purpose is to counteract the effects of mental gloom, they are also known for having notable side effects, which may include, among many others, weight loss.
How can antidepressants aid weight loss? There are essentially three ways in which some antidepressants may cause a reduction in weight and they are as follows:
1. Increase in energy – When many people suffer depression they lose their drive and a serious decline in motivation can cause a person to feel tired all of the time. These individuals may lack the will to do anything because even getting up from bed can be a huge effort. Since this is the case, some antidepressants are actually designed to increase your energy by boosting neurotransmitters known as norepinephrine and dopamine, while reducing histamine. To put it plainly – when you have more energy, you burn more calories.
2. Metabolism Boost – Antidepressants of the dopaminergic variety have an effect on thyroid gland function and decrease the hormone prolactin, which in turn increases your thyroid hormones. When you increase thyroid function you speed up your body’s metabolic activity, which allows you to burn calories faster.
3. Appetite suppressant – Antidepressant medications that increase the neurotransmitter, norepinephrine, tend to cause you to eat less, as increasing norepinephrine can lead to a reduction in hunger, which naturally results in having less calories to burn. When you do not crave food you are less tempted to eat it, and when you do eat, you will likely ingest smaller portions.
You should also keep in mind that many antidepressants are prescription drugs and can have serious side effects, even when taken properly. Furthermore, you should not take antidepressants for the sole purpose of losing weight, unless otherwise recommended by your doctor, as they are designed to treat depression and have an impact on the brain. In addition, while some antidepressant medications may help you lose weight, others can actually make you gain more. Therefore, if you are depressed and overweight and are thinking of seeking medicine to help relieve your depression, make sure you find out if the side effects of the drug you might be prescribed cause you to lose or gain extra pounds.