The use of antidepressants like Zoloft and Citalopram can lead to the question: does Zoloft cause weight loss? To answer this question, you have to understand how antidepressants work. Your central nervous system, or serotonin, is affected by the two chemical messengers Norepinephrine and Epinephrine. These two neurotransmitters control mood, appetite, sexual function, and other functions.
Some people have high levels of serotonin and Epinephrine. They are usually happy, calm, and have a stable mood. Other people have very low levels of serotonin or Epinephrine. They are normally irritable, restless, and have a cranky mood.
People with abnormally low serotonin levels cannot lose weight. It has been proven that taking antidepressants will make you lose weight because it alters the way your brain reacts to the food you eat. You may feel hungry but have trouble burning off the calories. As a result, your metabolism slows down, which makes it more difficult to burn off calories.
However, many people take antidepressants for years without realizing that there are serious side effects that come with the medication. Zoloft is one of the most common antidepressants prescribed for patients with depression. There are many questions that continue to surface about Zoloft and whether or not it causes weight gain.
One of the largest studies conducted was performed on a group of children who took the antidepressant sertraline for approximately six weeks. This study found that children in the control group who had low levels of serotonin at all were overweight. In the group that received Zoloft there was a significant increase in weight gain, particularly in the abdominal area. Children in the Zoloft group also had a higher rate of depression and had lower self esteem than did those in the placebo group. The study is important to note that this was a small sample size and the symptoms attributed to depression cannot be determined to be caused solely by the antidepressants.
Several other smaller studies have supported the notion that Zoloft can lead to weight loss. One study that compared elderly nursing home patients who received Zoloft to those who did not show a significant difference in the amount of weight lost. Another study comparing obese children inpatients and those who did not receive Zoloft at all showed that Zoloft users had a lower rate of overweight than non-Zoloft users. It is important to note that these studies showed only a slight difference in weight loss between groups. More research is needed to conclude whether there are harmful side effects associated with Zoloft use.
As with most antidepressants, Zoloft has some mild but transient side effects. Jitters, restlessness and anxiety are typically the biggest concerns. Children, especially those inadvisably obese, can have these symptoms greatly amplify and cause problems in their lives. Many children are unable to function well enough to participate in school activities or go about their daily lives without extreme difficulty. Long term complications, such as an increase in childhood suicide rates, have been linked to the use of antidepressants.
The use of Zoloft for weight loss in children should definitely be considered with caution. As with the use of all antidepressants, potential weight loss risks should be weighed carefully. It is especially important that young people be monitored closely for signs of depression, substance abuse and other health risks. In many cases, careful observation over time can help parents and children to maintain a healthy relationship and avoid serious consequences.
Because the primary mechanism through which Zoloft works to reduce weight loss is by affecting the serotonin system, concerns have been raised regarding the possibility of developing serotonin related side effects. Some studies have shown that children on Zoloft have lower levels of serotonin than non-Zoloft using children. Some children, however, have not had this lowered level of serotonin-related receptors. Serotonin and its related compounds, including Dopamine and Norepinephrine, are involved in a number of complex biological processes, and it is unclear whether or not the low serotonin levels result in poorer outcomes.
Another problem with the use of Zoloft for weight loss in children is that in most cases, the weight loss stops when medication is discontinued. If the child is then put on another medication, the weight returns once the other drugs are withdrawn. This is why Zoloft is often prescribed in addition to an appetite suppressant or other diet therapy medications. The combination of an appetite suppressant, anti-depressants, and anti-anxiety medications is most likely to lead to a problematic outcome.
In addition to these issues with children, some researchers are concerned that the use of antidepressants may increase the risk of substance abuse and depression in adulthood. Antidepressants have been shown to have similar results in children as they do in adults, but there is much unknown about how the different sexes respond differently to the medication. Because Zoloft is a commonly used medication for treating depression, it is relatively easy to find research on how adults react to Zoloft.