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  • Prozac (fluoxetine) causes weight loss or slight weight gain after one year

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    Monday, April 25, 2005 10:58 pm Email this article
    Prozac (fluoxetine) can cause considerable weight loss or slight weight gain according to a analysis by the RAND Corporation. 9 studies

    Their analysis included 9 studies.

    Six out of seven studies that reported weight loss after six months, reported weight loss.

    6 month weight loss: 2-20 lbs

    The weight loss after six months varied in these studies from 2 to 20 pounds more than placebo.

    1 year weight loss: 31.9 lbs to a weight gain of 0.8 lbs

    The weight loss after one year varied from a weight loss of 31.9 pounds more than placebo, to a weight gain of 0.8 pounds more than placebo.

    Comment: Depression can cause either an increase in appetite, which I believe is the most common by far, which, in my experience, is associated with stress, or a decrease in appetite, which, again, in my experience, is associated with exhaustion.

    I assume that the weight loss seen in these studies mostly included people with a depression-induced increase in appetite.

    Research has found that 5-HTP, which converts to serotonin in the body, is more effective at reducing stress-induced eating than at reducing hunger due to lack of food.

    Therefore, I imagine that Prozac (fluoxetine) caused weight loss in these studies, not because it is such an effective appetite suppressant, but rather it reduced stress-induced or depression-induced eating, perhaps allowing people to lose weight that they had gained due to their stress/depression-induced eating.

    Adverse effects

    Adverse effects from Prozac included nervousness, sweating, and tremors with are 6.4 times more common than normal; nausea and vomiting which are 2.7 times more common than normal; fatigue, drowsiness, sleeping more than normal, and muscle weakness which is 2.4 times more common than normal; insomnia, 2.1 times more common than normal; and diarrhea which is 1.7 times more common than normal.


    Li Z, Maglione M, Tu W, Mojica W, Arterburn D, Shugarman L, Hilton L, Suttorp M, Solomon V, Shekelle P, Morton S. Meta-analysis: pharmacologic treatment of obesity. Ann Intern Med. 2005 Apr 5, 142(7):532-46.


    Southern California Evidence-Based Practice Center
    RAND Health Division
    1776 Main Street
    Santa Monica, CA 90401-3208
    Tel: 310-393-0411
    Fax: 310-393-4818

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