Depression affects up to 18 million people a year in the United States. There are over 8 types of depression disorders, including atypical and major. Symptoms of depression can be mild to severe and require antidepressant medication to regulate them. Symptoms of depression disorders include fatigue, guilt, loss of concentration, insomnia and anger. Other symptoms are more severe and these include thoughts of dying and suicide. Although depression medications are good in alleviating these symptoms, they can also affect your weight loss efforts. If you are one of the millions who are experiencing this illness, here is a guide to 5 depression medications that affect weight loss.
Trycyclic antidepressants were among the first drugs used to treat depression. They treat the symptoms of depression by creating more serotonin and norepinephrine. The brain produces neurotransmitters called serotonin and norepinephrine to regulate moods, feelings and emotions. When these neurotransmitters are disrupted or damaged, you may experience mood swings, health problems and depression. This type of drug causes both weight loss and weight gain. You may experience weight loss due to the nausea and vomiting caused by this type of medication. If you take any one of these medications and suddenly gain weight, speak with your doctor.
1. Anafranil (clomipramine hydrochloride)
Anafranil causes weight gain, fatigue and sleepiness. This drug is used in any obsession-compulsive disorders. If you have any concerns or worsening symptoms when taking anafranil, speak with your doctor immediately. Thoughts of suicide, tremors and hallucinations are some of the serious side effects you should report.
2. Elavil (amitriptyline HCI)
Elavil increases weight gain and appetite by speeding up your metabolism. The need to eat more than normal leads to weight gain.
3. Pertofrane (desipramine hydrochloride)
Pertofrane is not only prescribed for depression, it’s also used to treat eating disorders such as bulimia. This drug could increase your appetite, but this side effect varies in the individuals who take it. An increased desire for sugary foods and drinks are also side effects that may or may not go away as your treatment progresses.
4. Vivactil (protriptyline)
Vivactil causes both weight loss and weight gain. Side effects include nausea, vomiting and upset stomach. It increases hunger, restlessness and agitation as well. Be aware that you can easily become upset when taking this medication. Another major side effect is increased depression.
5. Norpramin (desipramine)
Norpramin is often prescribed for other health problems and disorders. It’s another drug used to treat bulimia. Norpramin has the same ingredients as pertofrane, which increases your appetite. Bulimia is also a side effect of depression in some people. Your doctor may consider norpramin if this is your case.
Only a physician can make the correct diagnoses of which type of depression you have and what medications you need to treat it. Also, your symptoms and side effects of anti-depression medications may not be the same as other people. Report any side effects and symptoms you have to your doctor. Depression is treatable and it is possible for you to lead a healthy life. This includes maintaining a healthy weight as well.