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Date of last update: 8/24/2017.

Forum Name: Antidepressants

Question: Lexapro and weight gain

 dansmail26 - Mon Oct 17, 2005 7:03 am

I was on lexapro for about 10 months for test anxiety at school, recently quit it without any problems.
My issue is I gained about 20 pounds on it, all in my mid section. I worked out and ate right while on the drug, and I am trying even harder while off it, but nothing seems to work!
Are there any good weight loss supplements I should look at, or does anybody have any ideas?
 Dr. Tamer Fouad - Sat Dec 10, 2005 6:43 pm

User avatar Escitalopram (Lexapro) - An active isomer of citalopram (Celexa) which both belong to a class of antidepressants known as Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

SSRIs are not likely to cause weight gain if used for 6 months or less.
Opinions vary as to whether they cause weight gain when used for 1 year or longer. Paroxetine (Paxil) may be more likely than other SSRIs to cause weight gain.[2]
In its revised practice guideline for the treatment of major depressive disorder,[1] the American Psychiatric Association acknowledges that the literature differs as to whether patients taking SSRIs beyond the acute phase experience weight gain as a medication side effect.[1]

Fighting weight gain once it has occurred can be very difficult, and it is advisable to consider the likelihood and potential consequences of weight gain when choosing an antidepressant.[2,3]
It has been found that adding low-dose bupropion (Wellbutrin) (100 to 150 mg/day) or topiramate (25 to 50 mg/day) may help weight loss when used in addition to diet control and exercise.[4] In general, bupropion (Wellbutrin) is more likely to cause weight loss.
Please discuss these options with your psychiatrist.

1. American Psychiatric Association. Practice guideline for the treatment of patients with major depressive disorder (revision). Am J Psychiatry 2000; 157(suppl 4):1–45.
2. Zajecka JM. Clinical issues in long term treatment with antidepressants. J Clin Psychiatry 2000; 61 (suppl 2):20–25.
3. Masand PS. Weight gain associated with psychotropic drugs. Review. Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy 2000; 1:377–389.
4. Rashmi Deshmukh, Kathleen Franco. Managing weight gain as a side effect of antidepressant therapy. Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine 2003; Vol. 70.

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