Pristiq and Weight Loss
Pristiq (Desvenlaxafine) is often associated with weight loss and while the drug is never to be used for the purpose of losing excess poundage, there is good evidence that it is indeed capable of producing such effect. Up to two percent of patients in clinical studies of Pristiq experienced weight loss that could be attributed to the drug. Increased Serotonin Bioavailability One way Pristiq works is by increasing the bioavailability of serotonin, or the amount of the neurotransmitter that can be used by the body’s system. Serotonin is a natural appetite suppressant that is produced by the body using tryptophan, the hormone’s building block obtained from foods such as vegetables, fruits and mushrooms.
When serotonin levels drop, the person experiences hunger as an attempt by the body to supply itself with tryptophan for serotonin production. Therefore, as Pristiq promotes increased serotonin levels, it reduces the desire to eat and weight loss becomes a natural effect. Increased Norepinephrine Bioavailability Norepinephrine is the other neurotransmitter targeted by Pristiq, and like serotonin, levels of this hormone are also increased by the action of the drug. However, the way a person loses weight from increased norepinephrine levels has nothing to do with hunger or appetite suppression.
Instead, it works by giving the person more energy and boosting metabolism, such that fats are burned more efficiently instead of being left to accumulate in the body. This capacity of Pristiq to pump up the body’s fat-burning process is one half of the drug’s ability to produce weight loss as a side effect.
Why Can’t Pristiq Be Used as a Weight Loss Agent?
Antidepressants are heavily regulated drugs, which means, not just anyone can take them, and even stopping them will require medical supervision. These drugs actually interfere with biological communications within the body and can thus wreak havoc on a person’s health when taken indiscriminately. Therefore, if the objective is to lose weight, Pristiq will never be prescribed by a doctor because it is may bring more harm than good, especially for the obese who are very prone to hypertension. As one of the more serious side effects of the drug is hypertension, an obese person taking it may be exposed to potentially fatal risks.
Then again, Pristiq is also associated with weight gain in some individuals, so it all boils down to body chemistry and the uniqueness of each person’s response to the drug. There are general guidelines for the use of Pristiq, and they are always best discussed with a medical professional.