Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Depression Health Center

Font Size

Fat Pharms: Antidepressants and Weight Gain

Up to 25% of people who take antidepressants gain weight. Is there anything you can do about it?

Antidepressants and Weight Gain: The Diet and Exercise Link

Not surprisingly, experts also say that some of the same tenets that help us control our weight under normal circumstances may also help us while using antidepressants -- including eating healthy and getting enough exercise.

"The best thing you could do would be to head off the weight gain before it starts by switching to a more nutritious diet and increasing your daily exercise as soon as you start taking an antidepressant," says registered dietitian Samantha Heller, MS, RD.

If, in fact, you've already started packing on the extra pounds, Heller says switching to a healthier diet, cutting calories, and increasing exercise are still worth the effort.

"Even if you don't lose weight immediately, you can begin controlling the gain and help your body to stabilize for a while," says Heller.

Moreover, a steadily growing body of scientific evidence suggests that increasing your daily exercise may affect not only weight loss, but also help your depression. In one large study of more than 3,400 Finnish men and women published in the journal Preventive Medicine, researchers found that those who exercised at least two to three times a week experienced significantly less depression, anger, and stress than those who exercised less frequently or not at all.

"The bottom line here is that not only can healthy eating and exercise help control your weight gain, they can also improve your depression, which in turn may help you to cut down on your medication -- and that in turn make weight loss easier," says Heller.

Experts warn, however, not to severely restrict caloric intake while taking antidepressants. Not only may this affect brain chemistry in a negative way, any strong sense of deprivation may contribute to feelings of depression.

So how do you diet without feeling deprived? Heller suggests enlisting the help of a registered dietitian: "In the same way you may need the help of a psychiatrist in dealing with your depression symptoms, you may also need the help of a registered dietitian to devise an eating plan that can help you lose weight without impacting your depression in a negative way."

Today on WebMD

Differences between feeling depressed and feeling blue.
jk rowling
Famous people who've struggled with persistent sadness.
depressed man sitting on hallway floor
Learn the truth about this serious illness.
Sad woman looking out of the window
Tips to stay the treatment course.
unhappy teen boy
Health Check
jk rowling
Pills with smiley faces
Teen girl huddled outside house
Depressed man sitting in hospital hallway
antidepressants slideshow
pill bottle
Winding path