Is Weight Loss After Stopping Antidepressants a Withdrawal Effect?

Gradual tapering down on antidepressants can lead to some unusual behavior in the body, which may include anxiety, nausea, irritability, or a fluctuation in weight. However, weight loss after stopping antidepressants is less likely to happen. 

Nevertheless, some people on SSRI drugs may have short-term weight loss. So, do you lose weight when you come off antidepressants?

In most cases, withdrawal or discontinuation of antidepressants can result in weight gain, not weight loss. Despite the increase, it is manageable and can be reduced with time. 

However, stopping antidepressants may cause anxiety symptoms that may prevent you from eating, thus resulting in weight loss. Nonetheless, how common is it to lose weight on antidepressants? 

In this guide on “Weight loss after stopping antidepressants,” you will find a detailed guide on antidepressant withdrawal effects and weight management.

Weight Loss After Stopping Antidepressants

Typically, antidepressants don’t lead to weight loss. During the antidepressant treatment, chemical neurotransmitters are released in the body that can increase appetite and improve digestion.

Also, when people stop using antidepressant drugs, they may experience a little weight gain. 

weight loss after stopping antidepressants

Nonetheless, in some cases of Bupropion, Zoloft, and Prozac, you may have a gradual weight loss. Probably, after stopping drug usage, you may have fewer cravings and an appetite, which can reduce your calorie intake. Or your hunger may be suppressed due to depression and anxiety symptoms. However, these are some exceptional cases and are absolutely normal!

Nevertheless, the weight you lose or gain may retrieve after some time of drug withdrawal. 

Antidepressants: How Do They Work?

Antidepressant is the classification of drugs that help to treat and prevent anxiety disorders, OCD, panic attacks, dysthymia, and other major depressive disorders. Also, it helps to manage withdrawal symptoms due to addiction. 

antidepressant

It works by balancing the serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine levels in the brain, which act to relax your muscles, improve the quality of sleep, calm your mood, and make you feel emotionally stable. 

Stopping Antidepressant Side Effects

People mostly experience the following side effects after stopping antidepressants under supervision or on their own:

  • Tiredness
  • Anxiety
  • Difficulty to sleep
  • Irritability
  • Achy muscles
  • Loss of appetite
  • Recurrent episodes of depression
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Weight gain

Do You Lose Weight When You Come Off Antidepressants?

Many people gain weight during drug use, and when they go off antidepressants, they lose weight suddenly. But, the situation does not apply to everyone. Can you lose weight when you stop taking antidepressants

People may lose weight after stopping taking antidepressants as withdrawal symptoms may have a significant effect on the stomach and digestive health. Moreover, recurrent episodes of panic attacks, depression, or anxiety may also reduce calorie intake, which can lead to unexpected weight loss.

Which Antidepressant Is Most Likely to Cause Weight Loss?

Mainly, antidepressants contain chemically active neurotransmitters that can help in curbing appetite. After stopping some antidepressants, an imbalance of some neurochemicals may lead to unusual weight loss. Weight loss is reported to be the most prevalent side effect of these antidepressants.

Rapid Weight Loss After Stopping Zoloft

Zoloft, medically known as Sertraline, is an SSRI antidepressant mostly prescribed for the treatment of social phobia, panic attacks, OCD, PTSD, and other anxiety-related disorders. Rapid weight loss after stopping Zoloft may happen due to loss of appetite or mental relapse. 

Weight Loss After Stopping Paxil

Paroxetine, which is clinically available as Paxil, is also an SSRI antidepressant. It is mostly used for anxiety and depression-related disorders associated with menopause. Weight loss after quitting Paxil may occur as it impacts your appetite greatly. 

Weight Loss After Stopping Prozac

Prozac is the clinical name of Fluoxetine, it is also an SSRI drug. It is widely used for the treatment of eating disorders, cognition problems, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and anxiety disorders. Weight loss after stopping Prozac typically results from a flare-up of depression or lack of appetite. 

Bupropion Weight Loss

Bupropion is clinically available as Wellbutrin. It is an atypical antidepressant widely used for the treatment of smoking cessation, MDD, SAD, and other unstable emotional conditions. It is one of the major anti-depression associated with weight loss during or after drug withdrawal.

Weight Loss After Coming Off Duloxetine

Duloxetine is clinically available under the brand name Cymbalta. Primarily, it is used for sensitization, neuropathic pain, generalized anxiety disorder, and related symptoms. Cymbalta may cause long-term weight loss.

How Common Is It to Lose Weight on Antidepressants?

It is unusual for antidepressants and SSRI drugs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) to cause weight loss. However, in some cases, anti-depression and anti-anxiety drugs can cause weight loss. Typically, 2 to 3 users out of 10 report weight loss. However, weight loss after withdrawing antidepressants is temporary, and you may recover without any side effects.

How to Manage Withdrawal Side Effects?

You can find many weight loss stories after antidepressants as a side effect. Usually, you can manage the withdrawal symptoms with some care, emotional support, and mild medication. However, you may find the following suggestions helpful in dealing with drug withdrawal side effects:

  • Eat well and stay hydrated
  • For pain or irritability symptoms, take OTC medicines
  • Ask for help from a doctor if you have severe side effects
  • Do exercise
  • Take an adequate rest
  • Talk with your family and friends and ask for emotional support

FAQs

Let’s figure out some of the frequently asked questions.

What Is an Antidepressant That Does Not Make You Fat?

Effexor and Nefazodone may contribute less to weight gain. Moreover, using Wellbutrin for depression and anxiety disorders is less likely to cause weight gain and fat buildup. Instead, using Wellbutrin may help you lose weight effectively along with managing psychological problems. 

What Is the Best Anxiety Medication That Does Not Cause Weight Gain?

Typically, anxiety medication contributes to gaining weight. Still, some medicines may help manage the anxiety symptoms while losing weight. For instance, Remeron, Sertraline HCl, Nefazodone, Cymbalta, Effexor, and Bupropion may contribute less to weight gain.

Can Antidepressants Cause Weight Gain?

Antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs might cause weight gain. It is due to the interference of serotonin in the body, which can augment your crab’s cravings and increase appetite as well. Therefore, it contributes to weight gain.

Do All Anti-anxiety Meds Cause Weight Gain?

Typically, anti-anxiety meds can cause weight gain, but it is not the case for all drugs. Some drugs may have a neutral effect on weight, while others may work to reduce the weight. It greatly depends on the drug type and interaction. 

What Counteracts Weight Gain From the Medication?

You can control your weight gain from the medication with the help of eating a balanced diet and increasing physical activity. 

Conclusion 

Weight loss after stopping antidepressants can occur for a variety of reasons. Since every individual behaves differently to drugs and medical treatments, so, you may experience withdrawal symptoms differently from others. Nonetheless, weight loss after stopping anti-depression meds can be managed by eating a healthy diet, regular exercise, and taking OTC drugs. However, if you have severe side effects, then consult your doctor to control antidepressant withdrawal effects.

Aneeza Pervez

Aneeza Pervez

Hello, I'm Aneeza Pervez, I am a certified psychologist. Writing about mental health, wellness and a healthy lifestyle is something I specialize in. I also enjoy traveling, reading, entertaining, and composing. As a health advocate, I create content that educates people about how to be healthy. Health is wealth, so do your best to keep it!

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