Weight gain from amitriptyline


Taking tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline can lead to increased weight gain, depending on the dose.
This is one of the most common side effects, affecting one in 10 patients.
This side effect often occurs at the beginning of taking amitriptyline and as a result, many patients stop taking the medication early and thus act contrary to medical advice.

Many depressed people refuse to even attempt amitriptyline therapy because they are too afraid of the side effects. Both factors complicate and slow down the therapy of depression additionally.
In addition to amitriptyline there is still other antidepressants that may be associated with weight gain: To be mentioned here Imipramine, Clomipramine, Doxepin and Trimipramine; Like amitriptyline, these active ingredients belong to the tricyclic antidepressants or NSMRI’s (non-selective monoamine reuptake inhibitors).

Also Mirtazepine a weight-increasing effect is said, the active ingredient is one of the NaSSA (noradrenergic and specifically serotoninergic antagonists).

What causes weight gain?

Amitriptyline spreads its antidepressant effects in different ways.
Main effect consists in the Prevention of the resumption of the important messenger substances norepinephrine and serotoninafter this from Neurons were poured out.
Among other things, it also affects histamine and serotonin receptors; these are inhibited.
A resulting decreased release of histamine and serotonin can the weight-increasing effect explain by amitriptyline.
Histamine is a central transmitter in the brain and participates in the regulation of the day-night rhythm, the heat regulation, the release of Hormones via the pituitary gland, learning processes in the brain and food intake.
If in this case histamine binds centrally (i.e. in the brain) to the H1 receptor, this signals saturation to the body and food intake is terminated. It is the same with serotonin: binding of serotonin to the receptor in the central nervous system leads to a decrease in appetite.
Are now even these receptors were inhibited when taking amitriptyline, this can become a Increased appetite and increased food intake to lead.

More information about side effects of Amitriptyline you'll find here.

How can you prevent weight gain?

Usually an increase in weight is accompanied by an increased calorie intake. Those affected speak of food cravings and the feeling of insatiable hunger.
In some cases, however, the increase in weight is only noticeable on the scales. This can be remedied by avoiding high-calorie snacks and keeping a food diary to keep daily calorie consumption under control. A suitable diet measure can be discussed with the attending physician.
If these measures do not help you lose weight, you should consider switching the therapy to another antidepressant. Medicines with a different profile of action hardly increase weight and sometimes even reduce weight on the organism. Fluoxetine, sertraline, citalopram or venlafaxine should be mentioned as representatives here. The first three drugs mentioned belong to the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI’s), the most clinically relevant group of antidepressants alongside the tricyclic antidepressants. Venlafaxine is one of the serotonin noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors, or SNRI’s for short (noradrenaline serotonin reuptake inhibitor).