Obesity Linked to Anti-Depressants, Study Shows

Obesity may be linked to anti-depressants, a recent study shows.  While the researchers concluded that depression itself does not appear to increase the risk of obesity, they did find a link between obesity and the use of a specific type of antidepressant medications: the serotonin-reuptake-inhibiting antidepressants, or SSRIs. These include Paxil and many other widely-used antidepressant drugs.

counselingClinical depression is a serious disease that affects millions of people in North America. Researchers have concluded that depression in itself does not appear to increase the risk of obesity. But can the drugs used to treat depression be a factor?

Some researchers think so. A recent study out of the Hotchkiss Brain Institute of the University of Calgary and the School of Public Health of the University of Alberta examined data from the Canadian National Population Health Survey, a 10-year-long study of a representative sample of household residents in Canada.

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The researchers found that patients diagnosed with a major clinical depressive episode were no more likely to become obese.

Unexpectedly, the researchers did find a link between obesity and the use by patients of a specific type of antidepressant medications: the serotonin-reuptake-inhibiting antidepressants, or SSRIs. These include Paxil and many other widely-used antidepressant drugs.

The researchers concluded that depression itself does not appear to increase the risk of obesity; however, obesity does increase the risk of having a major depressive episode in certain cases, and the treatment of these episodes with antidepressant drugs may be associated with an increased risk of obesity.

The researchers suggest that psychiatrists come up with strategies to offset this risk when prescribing antidepressant drugs to patients with depression.

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