Study Suggests Weight Loss Regardless of Psychiatric Medication Use

Posted on August 27, 2019

As most of the medications prescribed to manage mental illnesses can lead to weight gain, patients who are being treated for their mental conditions might be at a higher risk of obesity or other types of weight-related disorders.

In order to find out whether the medications would hinder patients’ efforts in losing weight, a new study in Canada sought to analyze the weight loss outcomes in participants who are consuming anti-depressants or anti-psychotics. The research involved individuals who took part in a lifestyle weight loss program at the Wharton Medical Clinic. The participants recruited for the study have a body mass index (BMI) of greater than 27kg/m2 with at least one other weight-related comorbidity or have a BMI of greater than 30kg/m2.

Participants were grouped according to the medications they took – antidepressants alone, antipsychotics alone, both types of medications or none at all. Male and female subjects were also studied separately. Absolute and percentage of weight change were recorded, and weight gain potential was also measured.

The patients met with a physician every month to discuss dietary and exercise plans that could fit into their lifestyle. Height and weight were also measured by health professionals.

Findings revealed that male patients lost weight irrespective of the type of medication they took. However, men who took only anti-depressants lost less weight compared to men consuming both types of medications. On the other hand, the female participants’ weight lost outcomes were independent of their use of psychiatric medication. Overall, it was observed that both male and female patients had lost a significant amount of weight.

As such, this study concludes that individuals are able to lose weight whether they took psychiatric medications or not. Hence, this provides a greater insight into how healthcare professionals can better help patients who have both mental illnesses and weight-related disorders.


Source material from Science Daily