June 05, 2014
1 min read

Weight gain differed among antidepressant type

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Weight gain among patients on antidepressants varies by type of antidepressant, according to recent study findings published in JAMA Psychiatry.

Roy H. Perlis, MD, MSc, of the department of psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital, and colleagues evaluated 22,610 adult patients (19,244 treated with an antidepressant at least 3 months; 3,366 who received a nonpsychiatric intervention) to determine weight gain associated with specific antidepressants during a 12-month period.

An anxiety or depression diagnosis and receiving concomitant antipsychotic treatment were associated with greater weight gain.

Compared with citalopram, less weight gain was found among nortriptyline hydrochloride (P<.001), amitriptyline (P=.001) and bupropion (P=.02). Duloxetine was not found to be statistically significantly different from citalopram (P=.06).

Also compared with citalopram, significantly less weight gain was found with weight loss medications and the asthma treatment albuterol.

Among individuals completing 12 months of treatment, differences in rate of weight change from citalopram were found among patients taking bupropion, nortriptyline and amitriptyline.

“Taken together, our results clearly demonstrate significant differences between several individual antidepressant strategies in their propensity to contribute to weight gain,” the researchers wrote. “While the absolute magnitude of such differences is relatively modest, these differences may lead clinicians to prefer certain treatments according to patient preference or in individuals for whom weight gain is a particular concern, such as those with the other weight gain risk factors we report here.”

Disclosure: See the study for a full list of researchers’ financial disclosures.