Best Anti Anxiety Medication for Weight Loss

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Best Anti Anxiety Medication for Weight Loss

If you’re battling anxie­ty, some prescribed anti-anxie­ty medicines like be­nzodiazepines, buspirone, and ce­rtain antidepressants could be your saviors. But be­ware! They might lead to we­ight gain in some cases.

Here­ is the question – can you really ge­t a helpful anti-anxiety medicine­ that won’t interfere with your goal of losing we­ight? Be hopeful, folks! There­ are better alte­rnatives out there. Unde­rstanding how various anti-anxiety medicines affe­ct your weight, might help you and your doctor find the be­st treatment.

This article reviews the evidence on various Best Anti Anxiety Medication for Weight Loss and their effects on weight. Read on for insights into balancing mental wellness with weight management when dealing with anxiety.

How Best Anti Anxiety Medication for Weight Loss Lead to Weight Gain
Medication for Weight Loss


Best Anti Anxiety Medication for Weight Loss drugs can promote weight gain through several mechanisms:

  • Increased appetite and carbohydrate cravings
  • Slowed metabolism from sedation
  • Fluid retention from drug effects
  • Fatigue-reducing physical activity
  • Blood sugar and insulin level changes
  • Alterations in motivation, mood, sleep

However, not all drugs affect weight equally. Below we’ll break down the impacts of major drug classes.

Benzodiazepines and Weight Gain

Alprazolam (Xanax), diazepam (Valium), and clonaze­pam (Klonopin) are grouped as benzodiaze­pines. They’re common anxie­ty treatment.

  • Studies show using be­nzodiazepines can increase­ your chances of being overwe­ight or obese by almost 25%.
  • Persons taking the­se drugs for a half-year put on an average­ weight of 10.2 lbs (4.6 kg).
  • Those taking longer-lasting type­s, like clonazepam, gained more­ weight compared to people­ on short-acting ones.
  • Only 2-4 weeks of benzodiazepine administration increased food intake and visceral fat stores in animals.

Benzodiazepines foster overeating and metabolic side effects, making them a poor choice for anxious patients concerned about weight management.

Buspirone (Buspar)

Buspirone is another common anti-anxiety medication. Research indicates:

  • Most studies find buspirone does not cause weight gain. According to 1 study, they lost an average of 0.7 pounds.
  • Unlike benzodiazepines, buspirone does not stimulate appetite or increase food intake.
  • It may improve satiety signals and decrease cortisol levels that drive cravings.

For those wanting an anti-anxiety drug without weight effects, buspirone presents a solid option. However, it may take 4-6 weeks to see mental health benefits.

Antidepressant Options

Many antidepressants are prescribed off-label to treat anxiety as well. Their weight effects are complex:

  • SSRIs: Antidepressants like sertraline (Zoloft), fluoxetine (Prozac), and citalopram (Celexa) have minimal impact on weight for most people. They can initially cause mild loss or gain within 6-8 lbs for some users but are weight-neutral long-term.
  • SNRIs: Duloxetine (Cymbalta), and venlafaxine (Effexor) may lead to some weight loss initially but tend to stabilize weight with continued use.
  • Tricyclics: Amitriptyline and imipramine can promote weight gain of 10+ lbs in around 25% of individuals. Appetite stimulation is common.
  • MAOIs: Phenelzine (Nardil), and tranylcypromine (Parnate) often cause dramatic weight gain of up to 26 lbs or more.
  • Mirtazapine (Remeron): This atypical antidepressant frequently stimulates appetite and contributes to substantial weight gain in many patients.

Overall, SSRIs/SNRIs like sertraline, citalopram, and duloxetine appear best for avoiding weight effects.

Antihistamine Hydroxyzine

The antihistamine hydroxyzine is sometimes used for anxiety given its sedating effects. However, use carries high weight gain risk:

  • One study observed an average weight increase of 8.75 lbs over just 3 months of hydroxyzine use. About 75% of users gained weight.
  • Sedation decreases physical activity while increased appetite promotes overeating.

Due to profound impacts on weight, hydroxyzine and similar sedating antihistamines are not recommended for already overweight anxious individuals.

Lifestyle and Dietary Approaches

Best Anti Anxiety Medication for Weight Loss alone cannot resolve weight concerns stemming from anxiety. Holistic healing should address:

  • Stress management via counseling, meditation, yoga, CBT, or DBT therapy
  • Exercise regimens combining cardio, strength training, flexibility
  • Relaxation techniques like deep breathing, visualization exercises
  • Healthy eating with whole foods, portion control, regular meals
  • Treatment of any underlying conditions like depression, OCD, PTSD
  • Support groups for encouragement and accountability

Consulting a mental health professional allows the creation of a tailored weight-conscious treatment plan.

Which Best Anti Anxiety Medication for Weight Loss Are Safest for Weight Loss?

The below Best Anti Anxiety Medication for Weight Loss appears most weight neutral:

  • SNRIs – Duloxetine and Venlafaxine
  • SSRIs – Citalopram, Sertraline and Fluoxetine)
  • Buspirone
  • Benzodiazepines used (2 to 4 weeks)

To promote weight loss while managing anxiety, choose the Best anti anxiety medication for Weight Loss less associated with stimulating appetite and fatigue. Be alert for any changes in eating patterns or fitness levels after starting psychiatric medications.

Best Anti Anxiety Medication for Weight Loss: FAQS

Q: Do benzodiazepines always lead to weight gain?
Answer: No, but they carry the highest risk, frequently 10 lbs or more. Around 25% of people using benzodiazepines long-term experience significant weight gain.

Q: Can going off an anti-anxiety med help me lose weight?
Answer: Possibly. Stopping drugs like benzodiazepines linked to metabolic changes may support losing weight. However, work closely with your doctor and do not quit medications abruptly.

Q: Which antidepressant is best for anxiety with weight loss?
Answer: SSRIs like sertraline, citalopram, and SNRIs like duloxetine have the most minimal effects on weight for many anxious patients.

Q: Does buspirone cause weight gain?

Answer: No, most studies indicate buspirone does not lead to weight gain and may result in mild short-term loss for some users. This makes it favorable for weight-concerned patients.

Q: Can contrave help with anxiety and weight loss?
Answer: Potentially. Contrave is an obesity medication that may reduce anxiety symptoms. Discuss with your doctor whether it might be suitable.

The bottom line is that safer options exist to treat anxiety while avoiding weight gain. Collaborate with your psychiatrist to select optimal anti-anxiety medications and holistic supports that nourish the mind, body, and spirit.

Best Anti Anxiety Medication for Weight Loss: Summary

  • Benzodiazepines frequently stimulate appetite and contribute to clinically significant weight gain in anxious patients.
  • Buspirone does not lead to weight gain and may support short-term loss, making it favorable for weight management.
  • SSRIs and SNRIs like sertraline and duloxetine have minimal long-term effects on weight for most people.
  • Hydroxyzine, tricyclics, and MAOIs have the highest likelihood of substantial weight gain.
  • Lifestyle approaches addressing exercise, nutrition, stress reduction, and therapy greatly help weight concerns related to anxiety.
  • Working closely with doctors helps anxious patients find a tailored medication regimen that balances mental health with weight goals.


Anxiety and excess weight often coincide, but the right medications and holistic treatments can break this connection. There are safer pharmaceutical options for anxiety that avoid substantial weight gain seen with drugs like benzodiazepines, hydroxyzine, and some antidepressants. Lifestyle approaches further support physical and mental well-being. Buspirone, certain SSRIs, and short-term benzodiazepines present some of the Best anti anxiety Medication for Weight Loss for avoiding weight gain. With individualized and compassionate care, those struggling with anxiety need not resign themselves to obesity. Relief from distress while also maintaining a healthy body weight is absolutely within reach.

Best Anti Anxiety Medication for Weight Loss Sources:

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