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Antidepressants Vary in Contribution to Weight Gain

Absolute differences in weight gain small, but may lead to patient preferences

Antidepressants Vary in Contribution to Weight Gain

FRIDAY, June 6, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Antidepressants vary in their propensity to contribute to weight gain, according to a study published online June 4 in JAMA Psychiatry.

Using electronic health records, Sarah R. Blumenthal, from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues identified 22,610 adult patients with available weight data who began receiving specific antidepressants. Additional index prescriptions, including the anti-asthma medication albuterol sulfate and the anti-obesity medications orlistat, phentermine hydrochloride, and sibutramine hydrochloride, were also evaluated.

After adjusting for sociodemographic and clinical features, the researchers observed a significantly decreased rate of weight gain among individuals treated with bupropion (P = 0.02), amitriptyline (P = 0.001), and nortriptyline (P < 0.001), compared to citalopram. For individuals discontinuing treatment prior to 12 months, differences were less pronounced.

"Antidepressants differ modestly in their propensity to contribute to weight gain," the authors write. "Short-term investigations may be insufficient to characterize and differentiate this risk."

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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