have you ever heard of this 10 Anxiety medication that causes weight loss?

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Anxiety Medication That Causes Weight Loss. Antianxiety medications are sometimes used as a component of anxiety disorder treatment. These medicines alter the levels of various chemical messengers in the brain, which can lead to reduced anxiety and related symptoms. As with any medicine, antianxiety medications can have side effects.

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Anxiety Medication That Causes Weight Loss

Reduced appetite and weight loss are not common side effects with medications used to treat anxiety but can occur in some people taking certain drugs. Weight-loss related to antianxiety medication is usually minimal and rarely a cause of concern.

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If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.

10 Anxiety Medication That Causes Weight Loss

Benzodiazepines

Drugs in the benzodiazepine medication group act as central nervous system depressants, meaning they tamp down brain activity. This effect makes benzodiazepines useful as sedatives, sleep aids, anticonvulsants and antianxiety medications. Common examples include alprazolam (Xanax), diazepam (Valium), lorazepam (Ativan), triazolam (Halcion) and clonazepam (Klonopin). 

Benzodiazepines act quickly, usually taking effect within a few minutes to an hour after an oral dose. Nausea, dizziness, vomiting, stomach upset and over-sedation are possible side effects that might lead to weight loss.

However, benzodiazepines are not typically recommended for long-term use to manage anxiety because of the high risk for dependence and addiction. Significant weight loss is unlikely with short-term benzodiazepine treatment.

Venlafaxine and Desvenlafaxine

Venlafaxine (Effexor) and desvenlafaxine (Pristiq) are closely related medicines in the serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) drug class. Like other SNRIs, venlafaxine and desvenlafaxine are used to treat depression. Venlafaxine has also been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder. 

Anxiety Medication That Causes Weight Loss
Anxiety Medication That Causes Weight Loss

As of 2016, desvenlafaxine has not been FDA approved for the treatment of anxiety disorders, but some doctors prescribe it for this purpose. These drugs do not have immediate antianxiety effects but may alter the chemical balance in the brain leading to decreased symptoms from an anxiety disorder over several weeks to months.

Decreased appetite leading to weight loss has been reported as a possible side effect of both venlafaxine and desvenlafaxine. However, this effect is uncommon and the amount of weight loss is typically inconsequential in terms of overall health status.

Buspirone

Buspirone is an antianxiety drug first approved by the FDA in 1986 for the treatment of anxiety disorders. The drug differs chemically from the benzodiazepines, is less sedating, and does not cause dependence leading to potential addiction. Unlike the fast-acting benzodiazepines, buspirone’s antianxiety effects are not realized for several weeks.

Therefore, the drug is not helpful for treating acute anxiety. Buspirone can have gastrointestinal side effects, including nausea, vomiting, dry mouth, upset stomach, constipation, and diarrhea. These side effects — which are uncommon and often decrease over time — could potentially lead to weight loss.

MAO Inhibitors

Older antidepressants drugs called monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) are sometimes prescribed to treat certain anxiety disorders if other treatments and medications have been ineffective. Examples include phenelzine (Nardil) and tranylcypromine (Parnate) 

Like newer antidepressants, MAOIs alter the balance of chemical messengers in the brain, which might lead to reduced anxiety disorder-related symptoms. Some weight loss is possible with MAOIs due to side effects such as nausea, dry mouth and stomach upset. However, weight gain is more common with these medicines. 

Dietary restrictions are necessary while taking an MAOI, so this might be a factor in losing weight for some people.

A List of Non Addictive Anxiety Medications

  • SSRIs and SNRIs
  • Pregabalin
  • Buspirone
  • Beta Blockers
  • Considerations

Anxiety disorders affect more than 18 percent of adults in the U.S. in a given year, according to the National Institute of Mental Health 

Anxiety Medication That Causes Weight Loss
Anxiety Medication That Causes Weight Loss

National Institute of Mental Health: Mental Health Medications

These disorders cause symptoms that can make daily activities difficult. Medications are sometimes used to help alleviate some symptoms of an anxiety disorder. Some of these medications, such as benzodiazepines, may be addictive and are used only on a short-term basis. Other antianxiety medications can be used on a long-term basis without the risk of addiction. See your doctor determine whether medication is appropriate to include in the management plan for your anxiety disorder.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.

SSRIs and SNRIs

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) are medications that alter the balance of chemical messengers in the brain 

Human Psychopharmacology: Serotonin Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (Snris) in Anxiety Disorders: A Comprehensive Review of Their Clinical Efficacy

These drugs were first used to treat depression, but are currently recommended as first-choice medications for treating certain anxiety disorders, according to the World Federation of Biological Psychiatry. SSRIs are particularly effective for obsessive-compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder 

Read also: Guidelines for the Pharmacological Treatment of Anxiety Disorders, Obsessive – Compulsive Disorder and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Primary CareSNRIs are generally recommended for anxiety disorders 

These medications can take 4 to 6 weeks to begin working. While SSRIs and SNRIs are not addictive, there can be side effects if the medication is stopped abruptly.

Examples of SSRIs and SNRIs that might be prescribed for anxiety disorders include: — SSRIs: citalopram (Celexa), escitalopram (Lexapro), fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil) and sertraline (Zoloft) — SNRIs: duloxetine (Cymbalta) and venlafaxine (Effexor)

Pregabalin

The World Federation of Biological Psychiatry recommends pregabalin (Lyrica) as a first-choice medication specifically for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder, but not other anxiety disorders.

International Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice: Guidelines for the Pharmacological Treatment of Anxiety Disorders, Obsessive – Compulsive Disorder and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Primary Care

Although pregabalin is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of any anxiety disorder, the medication can alter the release of certain chemical brain messengers that might reduce symptoms of anxiety.

When taken as directed, pregabalin is not addictive. However, there are reports of misuse and abrupt discontinuation can cause uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.

Buspirone

Buspirone was first approved by the FDA for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder in 1986, when it was hailed as an nonaddictive alternative to benzodiazepines such as diazepam (Valium).

The exact mechanism of action of buspirone remains unknown, but it appears to act as a mild tranquilizer by increasing serotonin and decreasing dopamine levels in the brain.

Buspirone may take up to 2 weeks to start relieving anxiety symptoms, compared to 30 to 60 minutes for benzodiazepines. Unlike benzodiazepines, however, buspirone can be used for more than a few weeks without risking addiction.

Beta-Blockers

Beta blockers are sometimes used to treat short-term, physical symptoms of anxiety like a rapid heart rate. But they do not address the brain chemical imbalances that might fuel anxiety disorders. These nonaddictive medications are most often prescribed for people with social phobias, who are greatly affected by the physical symptoms of anxiety in certain situations. 

Beta-blockers do not treat the emotional symptoms of anxiety, however, and are not FDA-approved for anxiety disorder treatment. Examples of beta-blockers that are sometimes prescribed for anxiety include propranolol (Inderal) and atenolol (Tenormin).

Considerations

There are many different types of anxiety disorders, and medicine for one type may not be helpful for another. Additionally, people react differently to different medications. Therefore, treatment for anxiety disorders must be individualized.

International Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice: Guidelines for the Pharmacological Treatment of Anxiety Disorders, Obsessive – Compulsive Disorder and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Primary Care

Working with your doctor is the optimal way to come up with a treatment plan that works best for you. Your plan may or may not include medications, and recommended medicines can change over time as new drugs become available. If your doctor recommends medication, talk with her about the potential risks and benefits – including the addiction potential of any drug you are considering.

Anxiety disorders affect more than 18 percent of adults in the U.S. in a given year, according to the National Institute of Mental Health4. These disorders cause symptoms that can make daily activities difficult. While SSRIs and SNRIs are not addictive, there can be side effects if the medication is stopped abruptly.

Examples of SSRIs and SNRIs that might be prescribed for anxiety disorders include: — SSRIs: citalopram, escitalopram, fluoxetine, paroxetine, and sertraline – SNRIs: duloxetine and venlafaxine The World Federation of Biological Psychiatry recommends pregabalin as a first-choice medication specifically for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder, but not other anxiety disorders.

Although pregabalin is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of any anxiety disorder, the medication can alter the release of certain chemical brain messengers that might reduce symptoms of anxiety.

If your doctor recommends medication, talk with her about the potential risks and benefits – including the addiction potential of any drug you are considering. Reviewed and revised by Tina M. St. John, M.D.

Talk With Your Doctor

Doctors and therapists create individualized treatment plans for people living with an anxiety disorder. Medications other than those mentioned might be recommended in some cases, which could potentially affect your appetite and weight.

If you experience weight loss while being treated for anxiety, talk with your doctor to determine whether it’s related to your medication or possibly another medical condition. This is especially important if you experience new symptoms along with weight loss.

Nearly 1 in 5 U.S. adults are dealing with an anxiety disorder in any given year, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. However, benzodiazepines are not typically recommended for long-term use to manage anxiety because of the high risk for dependence and addiction.

Significant weight loss is unlikely with short-term benzodiazepine treatment. Examples include phenelzine and tranylcypromine ‘)9’). Like newer antidepressants, MAOIs alter the balance of chemical messengers in the brain, which might lead to reduced anxiety disorder-related symptoms.

This is especially important if you experience new symptoms along with weight loss. Reviewed and revised by Tina M. St. John, M.D.

References

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