anxiety medicine

Does Anti-Anxiety Medication Cause Weight Gain?

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Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illnesses, affecting more than 40 million Americans. Anxiety, depression, personality disorders, bipolar disorder, and schizoaffective disorder all create a lasting effect on an individual’s mind, body, and well-being. Even though mental health medication can be helpful, it is beneficial to be mindful of reactions. There is a variety of different forms of anxiety medicine known to promote weight loss or weight gain along with numerous other side effects. 

Once the medication dispenses itself, it crosses the blood-brain barrier and regulates the operation of the GABAA receptor alpha-1 subunits. Once the neuronal activation reduces anti-anxiety medication activity in the central nervous system, negative results occur such as:

  • A heightening of appetite change
  • A shift in metabolic rate
  • Energy level fluctuation 
  • Body composition change
  • Cognitive impairment that lessens self-discipline 
  • Decreases the discretion of creating healthier meal plans 
  • Fatigue causes lower physical activity
  • Food cravings
  • Gastrointestinal reactions
  • Hormonal changes
  • Social eating
  • Taste alterations

How to Avoid Weight Gain on Anti-Anxiety Medications?

Track Medication and Diet

The majority of people who gain weight on anti-anxiety medications change their exercise patterns and track their caloric intake. If an individual isn’t tracking calories, it’s difficult to know whether or not the weight gain is a byproduct of the medication. The weight gain or weight loss that individuals that take anxiety medications experience can be a result of physical activity or calorie intake. By adjusting those two factors, weight gain should be counteracted.

Adjust Anti-Anxiety Medication Dose

Individuals that take anxiety medications should aim to receive the minimal effective dose possible. When anti-anxiety medication regulates physiology in ways that alter one’s weight, the dosage should be reduced to experience a less degree of weight change and psychological impact. 

Manage Side Effects

The majority of patients that take anti-anxiety medications will experience weight gain partially and fully due to side effects. An individual administering this medication could encounter constipation, bloating, fatigue, and as a result, weight gain. By referencing a doctor, effective treatments can assist with counteracting the side effects of this medication. 

Consider Alternative Options

If an individual is experiencing weight gain, it is important to scrutinize other supplements and medications that he or she is taking. Discontinuing the use of unnecessary supplements while taking anti-anxiety medication can greatly reduce the amount of weight gain being displayed. The other option is to ask a physician to prescribe one with medications or supplements that will assist in avoiding anti-anxiety medication weight gain. 

Longer-Term Anti-Anxiety Medication Administration

The biggest takeaway is the longer a body has time to adjust to a medication, the less intense the side effects will be. There is an adjustment period for the body to adapt to the regular presence of medication. It is recommended to attempt the journey of a new medication longer than possible to see if unwanted side effects will vanish as psychology gets acclimated.

Why Does Trazodone Cause Weight Gain?

Trazadone, also known as Desyrel is an approved medication used to treat depression. It functions as a serotonin antagonist and reuptake inhibitor. Trazadone obstructs the overabundance of serotonin at several receptor sites, along with hindering the reuptake of serotonin. The combination helps with not only depression but insomnia as well. 

In a recent clinical trial, individuals who took Trazadone for a continuous six weeks gained an average of 1.2 pounds. Though that isn’t a significant weight gain, patients who stayed on this medication for a longer period of time gained more weight. Trazadone is known for weight gain due to the people taking it experiencing an increase in appetite and sedative effects. 

Appetite Increase

When a person is depressed, it is more likely that he or she won’t have a big appetite for food. So once the individual begins taking Trazadone regularly, the realization that they need to eat comes back rapidly. The weight gain that occurs in individuals that start taking Trazadone can also be due to neurochemical altercations. 

Carbohydrates Cravings

Many patients claim that the Trazadone medication enhances carbohydrates cravings. Scientists have researched and found that there is a direct link between eating carbohydrates and serotonin production. So it is best to watch out for the carbohydrate intake. 

 Hormone Levels

Many individuals took Trazadone for an extended amount of time and experienced hormonal changes. Antidepressants are known for making it easier to gain weight. So though the change might be gradual, it is feasible.

What is Anxiety?

The main factor of anxiety is persistent, excessive worry, or fear in non-threatening situations. Anxiety is to be diagnosed by a physician who asks about medical history and performs a physical exam. The doctor will then refer the anxiety-ridden patient to a mental health professional if the individual is absent from physical illness. There will be various tests to look for physical illnesses since there are no specific lab tests to diagnose anxiety:

  • Being easily fatigued
  • Being irritable
  • Difficulty controlling feelings of worry
  • Having difficulty concentrating; mind going blank
  • Feeling restless, on-edge, and wound-up
  • Having sleep problems, such as difficultly falling or staying asleep, restlessness, or unsatisfying sleep
  • Having muscle tension 

What Are Some Anti-Medications for Anxiety?

There are numerous medications to assist with anxiety disorders. Two anxiety medications that cause weight gain are tricyclic antidepressants and atypical antidepressants. The anxiety medications that result in weight loss are SSRI’s also known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and SRNI’s also known as serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors. The issue is the two medications’ biggest side effect is nausea which results in loss of appetite, therefore, resulting in weight loss.   

What Are Anxiety Disorders?

Anxiety disorders are a familiar group of psychiatric disorders distinguished by fear and anxiety that does not decrease over some time. Anxiety contains nervousness, restlessness, and stress. An anxiety disorder creates emotional and physical distress, therefore, intruding on an individual’s daily life. 

When an anxiety disorder is left untreated, the symptoms could prevent social engagement, participation in daily activities, and harm the person’s career. More than 18% of Americans are affected by a particular anxiety disorder.

What Are the Different Types of Anxiety Disorders?

It is likely for people to experience one or more co-occurring disorders such as anxiety with bipolar disorder, depression, or borderline personality disorder. There are many reasons that a person will develop anxiety. Some of these reasons include genetics, environmental stressors, or changes in the brain. When a person deals with long-term stress or trauma, changes in the brain causes anxiety which then regulates one’s mood. 

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Patients experiencing GAD, generalized anxiety disorder undergo immoderately worry and anxiety, for at least six months. Individuals with GAD fret over work, health, social interactions, relationships, family, and related everyday life situations. Suffering from generalized anxiety disorder will cause individuals to experience a remarkable effect on their school abilities, work abilities, and other social interactions due to fear and worry. 

Panic Disorder

Individuals with panic disorder undergo unforeseen and recurrent panic attacks. The alarming part of panic attacks is the unanticipated aspect of them. They come on very suddenly and can occur without reason and be brought on from a type of trigger as in a feared person, object, or situation. There are numerous symptoms of panic attacks such as:

  • Sweating
  • Sensations of shortness of breath or chocking
  • Feelings of impending doom
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Heart palpitations, pounding heartbeat, or increased heart rate
  • Feelings of being out of control

Patients with panic disorder will agonize when their next panic attack will transpire and actively avoid situations, places, behaviors, and people that have caused panic attacks in the past. Most times, individuals will stress about panic attacks which will cause outstanding issues in that person’s life.

Phobia Related Disorder

The definition of a phobia is an extreme fear of particular situations and objects. The fear is illogical regarding encountering the feared situation or object. There are particular disorders surrounding phobias revolving around heights, flying, blood, specific animals or insects, or similar objects. Individuals experiencing phobias will take the necessary precautions to bypass their fear and will undergo sudden and severe anxiety if they confront that feared situation or object. 

Social Anxiety Disorder 

People with this disorder experience a high level of angst when it comes to performance or social situations. Individuals with a social anxiety disorder will evade social situations with anxiety that they will be negatively judged. This intense fear and worry over social interactions will display in a span of circumstances. 

Find Help at Montare Behavioral Health Today

Montare Behavioral Health offers extensive and advanced mental health treatment facilities that specialize in various areas. Here at Montare Behavioral Health, we take a modern, inventive spin to recovery. Our philosophy is holistic and our therapy is cutting edge. We are here to help assist you on the journey of self-discovery.