If you’ve ever taken an SSRI type of antidepressant, you may have noticed an increase in appetite, but does Prozac make you gain weight? This increased appetite phenomenon is known as the reverse serotonin effect or SRE loop. As a result of the increased appetite and food intake, most patients tend to gain weight while on these medications.
However, they are also observed to lose weight after some time since they start eating less. In addition, some people with depression develop cravings for specific foods. How does this happen? Prozac side effects include weight gain from increased appetite and carbohydrate cravings – Let’s find out…
Prozac (fluoxetine) has been the go-to drug for depression and anxiety for decades. But in recent years, it’s fallen out of favor among many doctors and patients because of its side effects. One of the most common side effects is weight gain. Many people who take Prozac assume that the drug directly causes weight gain, but the truth is a lot more nuanced.
An article published by The New York Times in November of 2018 brought attention to this side effect once again. The article focused on a growing body of evidence that suggests a correlation between taking Prozac and gaining weight. However, this was not the first time Prozac has been associated with weight gain.
- 1 Prozac: the basics
- 2 Reverse serotonergic effect (SRE) and its consequences
- 3 Weight gain associated with antidepressants
- 4 What is the cause of weight gain?
- 5 Prozac and carbohydrate cravings
- 6 How does Prozac make you gain weight?
- 7 Does 20mg Prozac cause weight gain?
- 8 How to prevent the weight gain while on Prozac
- 9 Does Prozac make it hard to lose weight?
- 10 Which causes more weight gain Prozac or Zoloft?
- 11 Does fluoxetine affect metabolism?
- 12 Do Prozac side effects go away?
- 13 Conclusion
- 14 FAQs
Prozac: the basics
First, let’s start with the basics. Prozac is a brand name for fluoxetine, an antidepressant of the SSRI type. It is used to treat depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), bulimia nervosa, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).
Prozac is also prescribed to treat anxiety disorders and panic disorder. These are just some of the many disorders that can be treated with the use of an SSRI antidepressant like Prozac.
The medication’s effectiveness in treating various psychiatric disorders has been demonstrated by three large studies involving patients who had not responded to psychotherapy or other drugs. There are many different side effects associated with taking prozac like weight gain, headaches and nausea.
Reverse serotonergic effect (SRE) and its consequences
SSRI antidepressants work by increasing brain levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter. This chemical messenger is responsible for mood stabilization, sleep regulation, and sexual functioning. The medication in this class are fluoxetine (Prozac), citalopram (Celexa), fluvoxamine (Luvox), sertraline (Zoloft), escitalopram oxalate (Lexapro).
The SRE loop works like this: SSRI antidepressants increase serotonin. Serotonin release suppresses your appetite and inhibits the production of ghrelin in the stomach. Ghrelin is a hormone that stimulates hunger, so it indirectly results in weight loss.
However, after some time, people start eating more to compensate for the increased appetite. As a result of this, they tend to gain weight while on these medications. It’s important to point out that not all patients will experience weight change due to their medication.
But because it’s such a common side effect most doctors will ask you about any changes you experience before prescribing an antidepressant type medication.
One study found that 55-90% of patients who were prescribed Prozac gained significant weight after taking it for nine months or longer; however, it appears that the risk is much lower in women than men.
Weight gain associated with antidepressants
The common side effects of antidepressants are: weight gain, dry mouth, and eyes, insomnia or sleeping too much, sexual problems, and feeling agitated. The most common type of antidepressant is the SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) drugs like Lexapro, Paxil, Prozac, and Zoloft.
These medications can cause a weight gain of 10 pounds or more. In addition to this weight gain, there’s an increased appetite with these types of antidepressants that causes people to eat more than they normally would and crave carbohydrates. Weight gain is so prevalent with SSRIs that it has been dubbed the “prozac poop out effect”.
What is the cause of weight gain?
Antidepressant-induced weight gain is tied to appetite changes. In a nutshell, when you’re taking an antidepressant, the medication causes increased appetite and carbohydrate cravings in some people with depression.
A person’s weight may fluctuate from week to week or month to month for many reasons. These include changes in exercise, fluid intake, and eating habits. When it comes to antidepressants, these fluctuations may be magnified by the medication causing some patients to gain weight while others lose weight.
Prozac and carbohydrate cravings
One of the most common side effects of Prozac is an increased appetite. This may be the result of serotonin being blocked in the brain, which leads to a craving for carbs and sugary foods. When someone eats sugary or starchy food, serotonin levels are increased in the brain.
High levels of serotonin lead to a feeling of well-being, happiness, and satisfaction. SSRI antidepressants such as Prozac work by blocking your ability to produce serotonin on your own. Therefore, when you eat carbs or sugared foods while taking Prozac, you end up feeling much better because your receptors are getting temporarily full with serotonin.
The benefits only last for a short time like 30 minutes so it’s important that this behavior is controlled and not done too often as it will lead to weight gain from excessive calorie intake.
The process does not stop at feeling better from carb cravings since patients also start having carb cravings after some time. This happens when eating less since most people who take prozac typically have an increased appetite and eat more frequently than before they started taking medication.
Does Prozac cause food cravings?
The side effects of Prozac may include weight gain, due to the increased appetite. In addition, some people who take SSRI type antidepressants develop cravings for carbohydrate-rich foods, such as bread, pasta, and desserts.
Prozac and appetite increase
Increases in appetite occur with antidepressants and medication for anxiety disorders. Medications like Prozac are known to cause an increase in appetite. In addition, this is also observed with medications for anxiety disorders.
For example, you may experience an increase in appetite if you’re taking Zoloft for depression. If you’re taking Xanax for generalised anxiety, you may find that your appetite increases.
Prozac is a type of SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) and they are also linked with increased appetite as well as carbohydrate cravings. This can lead to weight gain but how does prozac make you gain weight?
Does Prozac affect your appetite?
Yes, with reduced anxiety and elevated serotonin, people get increased appetite. Prozac side effects include weight gain from increased appetite and carbohydrate cravings – but does Prozac also make you gain weight? Let’s find out… Prozac is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) type of antidepressant. The SSRIs increase the effect of serotonin in the body.
The increase in serotonin levels reduces anxiety and elevates mood, which leads to increased appetite. In some cases, patients may crave food as well, as high levels of serotonin can lead to carbohydrate cravings.
This phenomenon is known as reverse serotonin effect or SRE loop. As a result of the increased appetite and food intake, most patients tend to gain weight while on these medications. They are however also observed to lose weight after some time since they start eating less.
Why does Prozac make me hungry?
Antidepressants interfere with serotonin, the neurotransmitter that regulates anxiety and mood while also controlling appetite. Abnormal serotonin levels cause you to feel hungrier. When you take an SSRI antidepressant, it is supposed to increase serotonin levels in the brain.
Unfortunately, this also increases appetite and food intake. It’s been suggested that this is why people on antidepressants tend to gain weight. The good news is that many people stop gaining weight over time because they start eating less once the cravings for certain foods go away.
However, some people never lose the weight and continue to put on pounds while taking antidepressants. If your antidepressant is making you gain weight, talk to your doctor about a different medication or reducing your dosage.
How does Prozac make you gain weight?
It’s been observed that people who take antidepressants like Prozac have increased appetite and cravings for carbohydrates. This is also known as a reverse serotonin effect or SRE loop.
The increased appetite results in weight gain, while the carbohydrate cravings lead to weight loss at the same time. It is seen that after some time, most patients on these medications tend to lose weight due to reduced food intake.
The question you may be asking is does prozac make you gain weight? Due to the increase in appetite and carbohydrate cravings, it is quite likely that these medications may lead to a person gaining weight.
However, this phenomenon can also lead to patients losing weight by eating less due to decreased desire for foods that are high in fat and sugar content. So does prozac make you gain weight? It’s possible but not always the case!
Does 20mg Prozac cause weight gain?
Yes, 20mg of Prozac can cause medium weight gain as compared to other SSRIs
20mg of Prozac does cause weight gain as a side effect, but there is no conclusive evidence about the extent of the weight gained and how long it takes to notice the difference.
Some people have reported significant weight gain with 20 mg of Prozac, while others have not noticed any significant difference in their body weight. Although prozac can cause weight gain, it is not considered to be one of the most effective SSRI medication for managing depression or anxiety.
Did you gain weight on Prozac?
A small percentage of people eventually gain weight, especially when the medication is taken for six months or more (long-term). No matter what antidepressant you take, it’s possible to gain weight. And while some people will be more likely to gain weight than others, the exact cause of prozac weight gain is not known.
So, what are the downsides of taking Prozac? Aside from the possibility of gaining weight, some people have negative side effects when they start taking an antidepressant.
These could include nausea, diarrhea, increased anxiety, headache or dizziness. But in most cases these side effects go away after a few weeks and if they don’t you might need to change medication.
How much weight do you gain on Prozac?
The amount of weight that you gain is variable and can be from as low as 5 pounds to as high as 15 pounds. This is due to the various factors that contribute to weight gain. Things like your age, gender, genetics, medication dosage and other medical conditions may have an impact on how much weight you gain.
Prozac has a number of side effects too, which can make matters worse for some people. It’s important to talk with your doctor about the various SSRI side effects before taking them. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or have already experienced them in the past, it’s best to talk to a doctor before taking prozac and seeing whether there are alternatives available.
Which antidepressants cause the most weight gain?
Amitriptyline (Brand name: Elavil), mirtazapine (Remeron), paroxetine (Paxil, Brisdelle, Pexeva), escitalopram (Lexapro), sertraline (Zoloft), duloxetine (Cymbalta), and citalopram (Celexa) are all antidepressants that are associated with weight gain.
How to prevent the weight gain while on Prozac
For those who are trying to lose or maintain their weight while on SSRIs, there is a way to do it. It will require work and discipline but it can be done. The first step is to participate in a formal weight management program such as Weight Watchers.
This will help you eat less and become more aware of your eating habits which can prevent overeating. Second, you’ll need to increase physical activity. Increase your time spent being active by about 30 minutes each day for one week and then add another 20 minutes every week until you have reached at least 120 minutes per day.
You should also try to spend less time sitting down, like when using your phone. Lastly, try not to eat too much of anything, even healthy foods like vegetables and fruit.
These methods may seem restrictive, but they’re worth the effort when it comes to managing the side effects of prozac especially if you want to avoid gaining weight while taking the medication.
Does Prozac make it hard to lose weight?
Prozac does not typically lead to excessive weight gain but moderate weight gain with long-term use is possible. SSRI’s have been shown to cause weight gain and cravings for sweets, carbs and other high-calorie foods, which can add up quickly.
Studies have shown that this increase in appetite can last for as long as 14 days after discontinuation of the SSRI medication. Some people may experience weight gain while taking Prozac but this is not common.
For most patients, there is no significant change in weight with short-term use of antidepressants. However, long-term use (14 days or more) of SSRIs has been associated with moderate weight gain averaging 7 pounds over 5 years. There are a few factors that could help you to maintain healthy weight while on prozac:
- Eat healthy — Monitor your diet and eat nutritious meals
- Exercise regularly — Consider incorporating exercise into your daily routine
- Drink plenty of water — Stay hydrated by drinking at least 8 glasses of water per day
Which causes more weight gain Prozac or Zoloft?
A 2008 study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that while Prozac and Prozac-like drugs were associated with a general weight gain of about 5 pounds, Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) like Zoloft was linked to an average weight gain of about 12 pounds in a year.
Does fluoxetine affect metabolism?
Fluoxetine increases resting energy expenditure and basal body temperature in humans, which may be associated with weight loss. On the other side, it increases serotonin in the body which increases appetite and carbohydrate cravings.
The weight loss is due to increased metabolism, also known as thermogenesis. Fluoxetine increases the rate at which your body burns calories by 5-6%. This means that while fluoxetine may cause you to gain some weight, it can also help you lose weight!
Do Prozac side effects go away?
Prozac causes mild side effects which in most cases go away withing a few week after starting to take the medication regularly. This is because the body is able to adjust and tolerate the drug better. However, some side effects such as weight gain, sexual side effects, tremors, and suicidal thoughts and behaviors may persist for the duration of the use of the medication
If the side effects don’t go away, it is possible that the medication may need to be altered. Most antidepressants are not recommended if you have a history of eating disorders. Antidepressants can also cause weight gain, though most commonly in people who were already overweight before they started taking them.
A study by the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and Harvard Medical School found that people who are obese can experience as much as a 20-pound weight gain from antidepressants like Prozac, Paxil, Lexapro and Zoloft.
The National Institutes for Mental Health says that for some people with depression, antidepressant medications can lead to an increase in appetite or cravings for specific foods. However, research suggests that long term use of these medications does not lead to weight gain.
The serotonin levels in the brain are known to affect appetite and carbohydrate cravings. For example, if you have low serotonin levels, you may experience a decreased appetite and increased carbohydrate cravings.
If your serotonin levels are high, then you may be more likely to experience an increased appetite and decreased carbohydrate cravings. As a result of the increased appetite and food intake, most patients tend to gain weight while on these medications.
They are however also observed to lose weight after some time since they start eating less. In addition, some people with depression develop cravings for specific foods.
Prozac side effects include weight gain from increased appetite and carbohydrate cravings – but does prozac also make you gain weight? The answer is no! It’s just one of the possible side effects of this medication.
The truth about prozac is that it can increase your appetite, which may lead to weight gain. But not all antidepressants cause weight gain. It’s important to speak to your doctor about the possibility of weight gain as a side effect when taking this medication.
SSRI medications are used to treat depression because they work by increasing serotonin levels in your brain. This increased level of serotonin may lead to an increase in food intake and thus result in a higher body weight.
SSRI medications are used to treat depression by increasing serotonin levels, which may lead to an increase in food intake and thus result in a higher body weight. If you or someone you know has taken Prozac or other SSRI type of antidepressant, they may have noticed an increase in appetite or food consumption while on these medications.
Eating more than usual is one of the most common Prozac side effects, sometimes leading people to put on pounds without realizing it (that’s where the term “Prozac pudge” comes from).
Does prozac make you gain weight?
Prozac side effects include weight gain from increased appetite and carbohydrate cravings. Too much uptake of carbohydrates can increase your weight. In the long-term, SSRIs can cause a weight gain of 10 pounds or more. That depends on the person. Some people do gain weight while on SSRIs, like Prozac, and some people lose weight. Scientists are still studying why this happens in some patients but not in others.
What are the potential causes of increased appetite while on antidepressants?
One possible cause is the SRE loop, or ‘reverse serotonin effect’. This phenomenon is observed in many patients taking SSRI antidepressants and it involves an increase in appetite and food intake. Another possible cause of increased appetite is a change in taste perception, which can include decreased sensitivity to sweetness and saltiness, as well as an alteration of the body’s ability to perceive fat content in food (known as reduced saccharin preference).
I’m taking an SSRI antidepressant and am wondering if I should take it with a meal or after a meal?
Studies have shown that taking an SSRI with food helps inhibit the appetite for carbohydrate foods. For this reason, it is recommended to take your medication on an empty stomach and wait at least two hours before eating to avoid interfering with the metabolism of your food.
Do antidepressants make you crave sugar?
As mentioned earlier, people who are depressed often crave sugars and carbohydrates – these are called somatic cravings. They can be difficult to resist, but they shouldn’t be indulged in as they can lead to weight gain or obesity (read more about how antidepressants make you crave sugar). It’s important to note that these cravings might also be due to other factors such as eating disorders, sleep deprivation, hypoglycemia or diabetes. You should consult your physician if these cravings persist as they could be symptoms of something more serious.