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Antidepressants are the third most commonly prescribed drugs in the United States and are taken by 11 percent of Americans aged 12 years and over. Weight gain is one of the potential side effects of antidepressant use, with some sources estimating that 25 percent of people using antidepressants experience an increase in weight. Although the reactions to specific antidepressants vary between individuals, some antidepressant medications are more likely to lead to weight gain than others. Experts do not fully understand why antidepressants lead to weight gain in some people. One theory is that both metabolism and hunger levels may be affected. Also, depression itself may cause weight gain in some people and weight loss in others. In particular, these changes may increase cravings for carbohydrate-rich foods, such as bread, pasta, and desserts. When people are depressed, their appetites are affected.
However, weight gain associated with SSRIs depends on the length of time they are taken. The researchers wanted to look at how antidepressant prescriptions in electronic health records were associated with patients’ body mass index. Christensen to test for a solution that would address this vexing problem as well as the type.