It’s no secret that some medications have unintended side effects, good and bad. But when you have a chronic health condition, you usually have to put up with these unwanted consequences, until science comes along with a better pill.
This is especially true for people suffering from depression. Taking an antidepressant usually lifts your mood, but the life-saving drug can wreak havoc with your metabolism–and cause you to pack on some unwanted pounds.
One antidepressant doesn’t have that side effect, according to a new study. Researchers from Group Health Research Institute, a Seattle-based nonprofit consumer health group, found that after two years, people taking bupropion (Wellbutrin) were more likely to lose weight, not gain it. And the antidepressant worked just as well as the others in improving a person’s outlook. (It also is effective in helping people quit smoking.)
The evidence was so clear that the doctors involved in the study recommended that bupropion be the antidepressant of choice for depressed people who were obese or overweight. “It makes sense for doctors and patients to choose antidepressants on the basis of their side effects, costs, and patients’ preferences–and, now, on whether patients are overweight or obese,” one of them said in a statement.
So if you’re depressed and overweight, talk to your doctor about whether it makes sense for you to start–or switch to–bupropion.