Citalopram and Weight Gain (A Comprehensive Guide)

In this brief guide, we will look at citalopram and weight gain, as well as some other information about citalopram.

Citalopram and Weight Gain

Citalopram and weight gain are considered to be fairly common, as the medicine gradually improves appetite and makes the person more likely to eat better. Citalopram is one of the antidepressants most commonly linked with weight gain because of the changes in appetite it usually brings about.

Citalopram and weight gain is not something that has been proven beyond doubt, however, and in some cases it actually makes a person lose weight when they first start taking it. The reason for weight loss on citalopram, at least initially, is simply that it makes the person’s appetite reduce before it starts to get back to normal.

Citalopram, known commonly by its brand name, Celexa, is an antidepressant commonly used for other disorders like anxiety, Post Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and other psychiatric disorders. 

As with many other antidepressants, there are some side effects of Citalopram, and weight loss or weight gain is often one of them.

Other side effects of Citalopram include:

  • Nausea
  • Dry mouth
  • Loss of appetite
  • Tiredness
  • Drowsiness
  • Sweating
  • Blurred vision
  • Yawning 

While these are the more harmless side effects, one needs to consult the doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur after starting Citalopram:

  • Shaking (tremor)
  • Decreased interest in sex
  • Changes in sexual ability
  • Easy bruising/bleeding.

Antidepressants and Weight Gain or Weight Loss

Antidepressants are often criticised for causing weight gain, but the truth is that not all of them do so, in fact, in case of many antidepressants, they just bring appetite back to normal, and therefore the person experiences some increase in weight.

According to some researchers, the only antidepressant that has been linked to weight loss at all is Bupropion, which is commonly known by the brand name Wellbutrin.

However, in this same study, it was also found that smokers actually lost weight when on Bupropion, and it also helps curb the craving for tobacco, which is a major reason why Wellbutrin is often recommended for people who want to quit smoking.

The researcher in this study, David Arterburn, says about Bupropion: “We found that bupropion is the only antidepressant that tends to be linked to weight loss over 2 years, All other antidepressants are linked to varying degrees of weight gain.”

“Our study suggests that bupropion is the best initial choice of antidepressant for the vast majority of Americans who have depression and are overweight or obese.”

Celexa, or citalopram, has also been associated with slight weight gain, but most experts tend to think that that is not a direct function of the drug itself. It is believed that the weight gain on citalopram may be more likely because of the improved appetite from taking the drug, which is understandable considering that depression and other mental illnesses can reduce weight.

When a person starts taking citalopram, or Celexa, they may experience some weight gain because they have a better appetite after taking it.

However, in some cases, Celexa, or citalopram, can also cause weight loss, because it could also reduce your appetite, and there have been studies that have had both effects. 

In a 2014 study of more than 22,000 patient records, amitriptyline, bupropion (Wellbutrin SR, Wellbutrin XL), and nortriptyline (Pamelor) caused less weight gain than citalopram over the course of 12 months.

Citalopram Weight Gain Forums

There are many citalopram weight gain forums, as well as forums for depression where people discuss Citalopram weight gain, and some of the reviews from these are given below:

“I’ve been on Citalopram for 2 months now after a period of a year without any medication. It seems to be working…my depression has really eased and I feel very balanced right now.

However….I’m not eating any more than previously, my diet is basically perfect and am actually doing way more exercise (started going back to the gym x 3 each week) and generally more active after spending 3 months unable to get out of bed…but I’m putting on weight!!! I actually want to lose just half a stone but it will not shift! In fact, I’m putting on a pound or 2 a week right now which is kinda scary. I’ve never had trouble keeping my weight to it’s ideal before and I know how to lose weight when I’ve needed to in the past so this is really puzzling…I don’t like this feeling of being out of control of my body :flowers:

I want to be in control of my life again and this is really upsetting me.

Has anyone experienced weight gain that they can categorically attribute to Citalopram/Celexa??

What should I do?”

“Weight gain is a very common side effect with Celexa! I really enjoyed it as an anti-depressant too, as far as how it made me feel mental, but I gained 25 pounds (I am in America and don’t know the ratio of pounds to stones) in one month! I didn’t change my eating or exercise habits either, and it just packed on so fast!

I actually requested Celexa because I had been on it years back and knew it was a fast-acting drug with few adverse side effects, but I never equated it with my weight gain back then. I was at 130 when I started taking it and wearing a size 7. I am now at 160 and in a size 11. I am NOT happy about it.

My dr. changed my AD to Wellbutrin which has the side effect of weight loss. We shall see! And I was told that most SSRI antidepressants DO cause weight gain. It has to do with the effect they have on the Serotonin levels.

My advice: talk to your doctor …. the longer you stay on Celexa, or any SSRI, the bigger you are gonna get.”

Celexa Weight Loss Stories

As mentioned before, Celexa also causes weight loss, and in fact, weight loss is a more common symptom of Celexa. Here are some Celexa Weight loss stories that shed some light on Celexa Weight Loss.

“For Borderline Personality Disorder: I have BPD which makes me feel emotions to an extreme extent. I got bad to the point everyday I was crying couldn’t get out of bed or go out the house had anxiety over anything and everything was having panic episodes and intrusive thoughts, hearing voices all I just didn’t want to go on really couldn’t see a way out, decided to take citalopram (have been on it before and it worked wonders). I am day 3 this medicine always works straight away for me despite the doctor saying give it a month until it works properly. Since taking it I feel calm and happy none of the bad emotions have come up, a little anxiety came up but I only felt it mildly then it left. The first time I went on this medication it took my appetite and weight loss, hot flushes and was sleeping nearly all the time for the first month. This time I haven’t had any side effects at all it’s only day 3 but I feel amazing am getting out of bed early and getting on with my day, happy to go outside and Be in the world. My dose is 20mg”

“Celexa has actually helped me lose some weight because I’m not stress-eating so much.”

Citalopram Weight Gain Reviews

While there are a lot of studies that ten to imply that citalopram causes weight loss, there are a lot of citalopram weight gain reviews that seem to suggest otherwise. Here are some of the most appropriate citalopram weight gain reviews:

“After suffering such severe anxiety that I couldn’t even leave my room and stopped showering, eating, speaking to anyone etc. Citalopram saved me. I’m only on 10mg as I’m quite underweight and only 20 years old, but it reduced my anxiety so much that I’m now able to make myself leave the house for short periods of time with minimal anxiety. I used to have such severe panic attacks that lasted hours, I’d burn up, I couldn’t breathe, I was so dizzy and nauseous and couldn’t even bring myself to do anything but lie in bed and cry. This went on for 6 months until I started Citalopram. The side effects were absolutely horrible, it somehow made my anxiety even worse at first, and I was so nauseous and dizzy, blurred vision, dry mouth, constantly spacey. After two weeks the side effects reduced and after three weeks they were gone completely. My only issue with it now is that I’m still feeling a little spacey after being on them for around 6 months.”

“I used citalopram due to perceived depression. Actually I had a toxic home environment Citalopram caused huge weight gain almost overnight. It caused an animalistic hunger and screaming episodes (due to the family and citalopram caused it to be animal-like) 7 years later I still struggle with my weight and put it on if I overeat even once. Weight gain does not run in my family”

“I’ve been taking Citalopram for 8 months and it did work for me for my anxiety but my memory, usually good, has become very bad. I haven’t gained weight. You must only drink in moderation. Taste buds have changed. Lately, I’ve had my social anxiety back and because I dread Christmas anyway they haven’t helped me over this period. They are worth taking but I’m due a review of them in the new year which is timely.”

“Yes citalopram does level your mood and stop the super highs and super lows but for me it also caused – weight gain, sleeping problems and erectile dysfunction. These actually made me so miserable that it ended up counter acting the good the meds were actually doing. I took them for five years and I went cold turkey a few weeks ago and now feel like a new man. I would definitely say either try something else or better still steer clear of meds entirely.”


In this brief guide, we looked at citalopram and weight gain, as well as some other information about citalopram. If you have any other questions about citalopram and weight gain, please feel free to reach out to us at any time.

If you’ve enjoyed the ”Citalopram and Weight Gain” mentioned above, I would recommend you to take a look at ‘‘Does Clomid Cause Depression?” too.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Citalopram and Weight Gain

Can citalopram make you put on weight?

No citalopram does not always make you put on weight, on the contrary, some people may start losing weight after starting citalopram because it makes you feel less hungry. After some time of starting citalopram however, one might gain a little weight as their appetite returns. If one starts gaining too much weight after starting citalopram they are advised to see a pharmacist or their prescribing doctor.

Which antidepressants cause the most weight gain?

The antidepressants that tend to cause the most weight gain include amitriptyline (Brand name: Elavil), mirtazapine (Remeron), paroxetine (Paxil, Brisdelle, Pexeva), escitalopram (Lexapro), sertraline (Zoloft), duloxetine (Cymbalta), and citalopram (Celexa).

What is the best antidepressant for weight loss?

The best antidepressant for weight loss is Bupropion, according to a study conducted by David Arterburn, MD, Group Health Research Institute, who says “We found that bupropion is the only antidepressant that tends to be linked to weight loss over 2 years,” 

How can I avoid gaining weight on antidepressants?

To avoid gaining weight on antidepressants, one might try the following things:
Talk to your doctor about switching medicines
Exercise regularly
Try to eat healthier food
Try to get more active around the house
Try to find out the causes of gaining weight

What we recommend for depression

Professional counselling
If you are suffering from depression then ongoing professional counselling may be your ideal first point of call. Counselling will utilize theories such as Cognitive behavioral therapy which will help you live a more fulfilling life.


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