There are many fad diet pills on the market promising to drop the pounds using natural herbs and supplements, but at least one drug has been shown to help with weight loss. Wellbutrin has long been approved as a preferred antidepressant because of its lack of side effects, but more recently it has been seen to also be effective as a weight loss drug for those who are obese.
What is Wellbutrin?
Wellbutrin is a multiple uptake inhibitor, meaning it affects more than just one neurotransmitter in the brain unlike serotonin uptake inhibitors like Zoloft. Wellbutrin is used for the treatment of severe depression, seasonal affective disorder and has been shown to work in smoking cessation. Wellbutrin is a prescription medication and should be discussed with your doctor to make sure it is the right fit for your situation.
Wellbutrin should not be taken for multiple afflictions such as depression and smoking cessation as large doses have been known to cause an increase in seizures among patients. Other side effects of Wellbutrin include anxiety, mood changes, difficulty sleeping, aggression and restlessness. If you experience any of these symptoms, make sure to speak with your doctor. If you get hives, difficulty breathing or swelling of the face, get to a doctor immediately as it may be a sign of an allergic reaction.
Wellbutrin and Weight Loss
Doctors discovered that patients taking Wellbutrin began losing weight as much as five pounds without any change in diet or exercise. The mechanism of weight loss is unknown, but it may be linked to side effects like decrease in appetite, nausea and vomiting. Also, treating depression may also lead to a more positive lifestyle including diet and exercise. Dramatic weight loss can be a problem for those with an eating disorder like anorexia or bulimia. People with these disorders should avoid taking Wellbutrin.
A Duke University study showed that women on a 1,600 calorie diet and taking Wellbutrin lost considerably more weight than those on the placebo. The Wellbutrin was used specifically for weight loss in the study and not for the treatment of depression. According to the study, after the first eight weeks, 67 percent taking Wellbutrin lost more than 5 percent of their baseline body weight, while only 15 percent in the placebo group lost more than 5 percent.