When diets fail, people may turn to unconventional methods to lose weight. Instead of following a doctor’s plan or a combination of diet and exercise, some people are tempted to try other methods of losing weight. Some drugs, such as depression medications, have been used to aid in weight loss efforts, even though they have not been approved for such use. People are able to purchase depression medications that cause weight loss on the Internet without the knowledge of their physician. The danger is that these medications can interact with other drugs and produce dangerous side effects. Depression medications often help with cravings, which can in turn help people control their appetites and eat sensibly, but it’s important to know that losing weight through the use of unconventional methods can be hazardous to your health.
What Are Depression Medications?
Depression medications are also commonly referred to as antidepressants. They are prescribed to an individual who is suffering from feelings of helplessness, extreme sadness, sleep problems, concentration problems, and even suicidal thoughts. It is not an illness that you can simply get rid of on your own or wish away. Most of the time, a person who is suffering from depression must seek counseling or psychological help along with a prescription for depression medications. If you are prescribed antidepressants, you may need to take them for eight months to a year, and your depression may come back once you stop taking your medication. This is why it is extremely important to be monitored by a physician when you are taking this or any other type of prescription drug. Researchers have noted that there are some depression medications that cause weight loss as a side effect.
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Weight Changes Due to Antidepressants
While some antidepressants cause weight loss, some may cause you to gain weight. In fact, experts say that as many as one in four people gains ten pounds or more while taking antidepressants such as Lexapro, Paxil, Prozac, and Zoloft. The reasons behind the weight gain vary, but researchers suspect depression medications slow down the metabolism, causing a weight increase even though eating habits haven’t changed. Also, some people who are going through depression may turn to food for comfort, and the medication has no actual effect on appetite or eating habits. Another theory is that antidepressants help a person rediscover the pleasures in life, including food and eating. The truth of the matter is that some people will gain weight when they are depressed, and others will lose. The weight change may not be a side effect of the drug.
Antidepressants for Weight Loss
There are several depression medications that cause weight loss. The main problem with these medications is they may carry some dangerous side effects. Wellbutrin is one of the depression medications that can cause weight loss, especially when it is combined with diet and exercise. The medication comes with a strong warning that it can increase suicidal tendencies in both children and teens. It can also cause seizures and insomnia. Even if you can get your physician to prescribe this drug for off-label treatment of weight problems, most insurance companies won’t pay for it because it has not been approved for that purpose. Adderall is another medication used to treat depression and ADHD, and there have been reports the medication causes weight loss in some people. Even though it can help an individual lose weight, the side effects can include heart damage, fainting, increased blood pressure, tremor, hallucinations, blurred vision, aggression, and insomnia.
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It’s important to speak with your physician before you attempt any weight loss program, especially if you decide to use depression medications as an alternative method. Your physician can help you keep an eye on the side effects and can help prevent major damage to your body. While it may be tempting to avoid exercise and diet and take an easy approach to weight loss, if you need to lose a significant amount of weight, the best method is to develop good eating habits and manage your weight loss goals. Depression medications in general are safe to use when used correctly and when monitored by your physician. If you are using them for a purpose for which they were not intended, you are abusing the medication, and it can be dangerous. Antidepressants change the balance of chemicals in the brain; by changing the chemical makeup when it is not necessary, you may do more harm than good.