What Is the Best Antidepressant for Weight Loss

With depression more and more common place in the 21st century, antidepressants have understandably become one of the best selling pharmaceuticals in the west. With diets also commonplace in today’s society then a common question is often ‘What is the best antidepressant for weight loss?’. This question should however be understood in the correct context. Firstly, under no circumstances should psychologically healthy individuals use antidepressants simply in order to lose weight. Not only is this unhealthy, but any kind of reliance on drugs should be avoided unless entirely necessary – particularly those that work on our brain chemistry. While this is the case, those who are clinically depressed and already on antidepressants may ask what the best antidepressant for weight loss is in order to make their selection in a rather overcrowded market. As depression is closely related to self perception and self esteem an antidepressant that causes the user to gain weight may be doing damage to the individual’s sense of self worth and so their chances of recovery.

The antidepressants that do cause weight gain may be Paxil or Wellbutrin (bupropion) among others. While the process by which this occurs is not fully understood it seems that such drugs can increase appetite and cause dehydration which can lead to increased consumption. As many antidepressants alter the amount of serotonin in the brain it is thought that this may be related to the control of appetite. Furthermore they can cause tiredness and lethargy which results in less movement and in more sugary foods being sought out by the sufferer to increase energy and as ‘comfort food’.

On the other hand however some antidepressants may lead to weight loss, such as Prozac and GABA. Others are ‘weight neutral’ so you can seek these out if you’re looking for a safe option. These include: Zoloft (sertraline), Luvox (fluvoxamine), Lexapro (escitalopram), Effexor (venlafaxine), Desyrel (trazodone), Celexa (citalopram) and Serzone (nefazodone). While these may lead to some tiredness and related carb consumption, they shouldn’t lead too much to increased appetite.

So these can act as some ‘road signs’ to help steer you through the plethora of antidepressants and pick an antidepressant that at least won’t exacerbate your weight too severely. Bust what is the best antidepressant for weight loss?

Well the answer to that question is most likely GABA, or gamma-aminobutryic acid. This drug is a serotonin-reuptake inhibitor which means it prevents the ‘re-uptake’ of serotonin. Serotonin is also known as the ‘feel good hormone’ however and for this reason it can leave the user feeling peaceful and relaxed. The reason GABA makes it to the top spot for weight loss however is that it also affects the pituitary gland and improves the body’s natural production of growth hormone. Growth hormone has several roles in the body including repairing wounds, building muscle, and crucially, burning fat. So effective is GABA in these last two departments that many companies actually package GABA as a bodybuilding supplement and many individuals use it (often illegally as such).

Of course there’s another way you can boost both weight loss and your mood – and that’s with actual exercise itself. Exercising not only releases growth hormone too, but it also burns fat and builds muscle. Furthermore however it will also lead to the release of endorphins which give the individual a powerful feeling of euphoria. Additionally the act of exercising in itself can be a great form of catharsis.

While those with severe clinical depression will still most likely need antidepressants, for the rest of us exercise can be a great natural cure. And for those who are on antidepressants then GABA combined with exercise will be a great way to help their mood and their physique – this combination is the best antidepressant for weightloss.


  1. Interesting article. The best antidepressants for weight loss and the ones which enabled me to lose 50lb in 6 months were all natural – fish oil, evening primrose oil and daily exercise. All drugs make the challenge much much worse in my experience.

  2. This article contains misinformation: Wellbutrin/Bupropion is more commonly associated with weight loss or weight neutral. SSRI's (Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) vary as to which are the most likely to cause weight gain, but weight gain is a likely side affect of all of them. Topomax is prescribed "off label" for depression and/or anxiety, and weight loss is a very common side effect. But with any of these drugs the affects vary greatly with the individual – for example weight gain is very common with Paxil but it does not happen with every person who takes it.

    1. Topamax causes depression. It is not used off label for what you suggest…

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Adam Sinicki

Adam Sinicki is a full time writer who spends most of his time in the coffee shops of London. Adam has a BSc in psychology and is an amateur bodybuilder with a couple of competition wins to his name. His other interests are self improvement, general health, transhumanism and brain training. As well as writing for websites and magazines, he also runs his own sites and has published several books and apps on these topics.

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