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Lee, 2016 Is increased antidepressant exposure a contributory factor to the obesity pandemic?


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Citation: Translational Psychiatry (2016) 6, e759; doi:10.1038/tp.2016.25
Published online 15 March 2016

Is increased antidepressant exposure a contributory factor to the obesity pandemic?

S H Lee1, G Paz-Filho1, C Mastronardi1, J Licinio2 and M-L Wong2


In United States of America, over the past two decades, the rate of antidepressant use has increased nearly 400%, where antidepressant drugs were the third most prescribed class of drugs for persons aged 18-44 years in 2005–2008.25 In 2010, it was reported that 52.3 daily doses were prescribed for every 1000 inhabitants in European countries.26 In Australia, 34 million prescriptions were issued for mental health-related diseases in 2013–2014, and 67% (23 million) of those were for antidepressants.27 In 2012–2013, mental health-related prescriptions cost the Australian Government over $788 million.27 With a rapid rise of individuals taking antidepressants, numerous studies have investigated the effects of different classes of antidepressants on body weight. Despite the concomitant occurrence of the frequent use of antidepressants and the high incidence of obesity in Western societies, the pathways and mechanisms by which antidepressants can induced weight gain remain unclear.

In this review, we examine the pathophysiology of MDD and obesity, and their complex interactions. More specifically, we discuss the role of antidepressant use in weight gain, and the role of interactions with environmental factors, such as stress.


In addition to the clinical studies described above, case studies have reported extreme weight gain in patients with SSRI treatment.9798 In the study conducted by Bouwer et al., treatment with citalopram led to weight gain and carbohydrate craving in eight out of eighteen patients. In a 4-week period, one female patient gained 8kg, whereas in a 5-week period one male patient gained 9kg.98 In another case study, a 33-year-old schizophrenic female patient was treated with fluoxetine (40mg per day) for a 9-month period following antipsychotic treatment with risperidone (6mg per day) and clorazepate (15mg per day).97 The patient was discontinued from fluoxetine because she underwent excessive weight gain (52kg) accompanied with carbohydrate craving.97Therefore, some individuals may be more sensitive to weight gain induced by SSRIs than others.9798



Had a car accident in 85
Codeine was the pain med when I was release from hosp continuous use till 89
Given PROZAC by a specialist to help with nerve pain in my leg 89-90 not sure which year
Was not told a thing about it being a psych med thought it was a pain killer no info about psych side effects I went nuts had hallucinations. As I had a head injury and was diagnosed with a concussion in 85 I was sent to a head injury clinic in 1990 five years after the accident. I don't think they knew I had been on prozac I did not think it a big deal and never did finish the bottle of pills. I had tests of course lots of them. Was put into a pain clinic and given amitriptyline which stopped the withdrawal but had many side effects. But I could sleep something I had not done in a very long time the pain lessened. My mother got cancer in 94 they switched my meds to Zoloft to help deal with this pressure as I was her main care giver she died in 96. I stopped zoloft in 96 had withdrawal was put on paxil went nutty quit it ct put on resperidol quit it ct had withdrawal was put on Effexor... 2years later celexa was added 20mg then increased to 40mg huge personality change went wild. Did too fast taper off Celexa 05 as I felt unwell for a long time prior... quit Effexor 150mg ct 07 found ****** 8 months into withdrawal learned some things was banned from there in 08 have kept learning since. there is really not enough room here to put my history but I have a lot of opinions about a lot of things especially any of the drugs mentioned above.
One thing I would like to add here is this tidbit ALL OPIATES INCREASE SEROTONIN it is not a huge jump to being in chronic pain to being put on an ssri/snri and opiates will affect your antidepressants and your thinking.

As I do not update much I will put my quit date Nov. 17 2007 I quit Effexor cold turkey. 


There is a crack in everything ..That's how the light gets in :)

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Good question.

Thought for the day: Lets stand up, and let’s speak out , together. G Olsen

We have until the 14th. Feb 2018. 

URGENT REQUEST Please consider submitting  for the petition on Prescribed Drug Dependence and Withdrawal currently awaiting its third consideration at the Scottish Parliament. You don't even have to be from Scotland. By clicking on the link below you can read some of the previous submissions but be warned many of them are quite harrowing.


Please tell them about your problems taking and withdrawing from antidepressants and/or benzos.

Send by email to petitions@parliament.scot and quote PE01651 in the subject heading. Keep to a maximum of 3 sides of A4 and you can't name for legal reasons any doctor you have consulted. Tell them if you wish to remain anonymous. We need the numbers to help convince the committee members we are not isolated cases. You have until mid February. Thank you

Recovering paxil addict

None of the published articles shed light on what ssri's ... actually do or what their hazards might be. Healy 2013. 

This is so true, with anything you get on these drugs, dependance, tapering, withdrawal symptoms, side effects, just silent. And if there is something mentioned then their is a serious disconnect between what is said and reality! 

  "Every time I read of a multi-person shooting, I always presume that person had just started a SSRI or had just stopped."  Dr Mosher. Me too! 

Over two decades later, the number of antidepressant prescriptions a year is slightly more than the number of people in the Western world. Most (nine out of 10) prescriptions are for patients who faced difficulties on stopping, equating to about a tenth of the population. These patients are often advised to continue treatment because their difficulties indicate they need ongoing treatment, just as a person with diabetes needs insulin. Healy 2015

I believe the ssri era will soon stand as one of the most shameful in the history of medicine. Healy 2015

Let people help people ... in a natural, kind, non-addictive (and non-big pharma) way. J Broadley 2017



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I was a healthy fit and trim woman before antidepressants. I am ashamed to describe what I look like now 20 years later. My husband lost 30 lbs on the max dose of celexa. Pure unadulterated poison these drugs.

100 mcg levothyroxine, 5 mcg 1× day liothyronine, Losartan 50 mg, claritin, B12 (hydroxy) instramuscular 1 ml weekly injection, vitamin D3 5000 iu daily, Magnesium glycinate, fish oil, bee pollen. Recovering from CIRS. 

Started on doxepin in 1985 after a biopsy then drug cocktail after drug cocktail to finding the way out and becoming drug free September 9, 2019! 47 different psych drugs. Over 57,000 pills taken. Maximum dose Geodon for 12 years. The healing continues. So worth the effort to come off the drugs. Amazing journey.


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