posted by admin on Mar 23

In thousands of patients studied in clinical trials before December 1987, Prozac was repeatedly found to induce weight loss, making it the first antidepressant ever marketed in the United States for which this is true. One study found that after six weeks, patients taking the older, tricyclic antidepressants gained about one pound while those on Prozac lost weight. And the heavier they were, the more they lost. Patients of normal weight lost about two pounds, while those considered obese dropped an average of seven pounds in six weeks. (After long-term treatment, the weight loss reached a plateau.) Other clinical trials show that after six weeks, patients of normal weight lost two to four pounds, while those who were overweight dropped an average of four pounds. In addition, about 13% of the patients in a controlled clinical trial lost more than 5% of their body weight while taking Prozac.

The explanation for the weight loss is simple: the patients ate less while on Prozac. But why they ate less is not agreed upon.

Although the weight loss Prozac produces is not enormous, it is statistically significant.

Many patients, especially women, are devastated when one of the older and well-known antidepressants causes their dress size to grow as their depression diminishes. Prozac, to the delight of most, has an opposite effect.

On the other hand, a small percentage of patients paradoxically gain weight, although this happens far less often than has been seen with tricyclic antidepressants. MAOI antidepressants, lithium, Depakote, and Tegretol, all of which are associated with some degree of weight gain in one-third of patients taking these medications.

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