Zoloft and Weight Loss

by on May 24, 2012

Weight loss is a common side effect of Zoloft but in most cases, it is not a serious concern. In children and adolescents, weight loss due to Zoloft is much more common and can become a very serious problem.

Weight Loss in Adults Taking Zoloft

In adults, weight loss due to Zoloft is usually only a pound or two when the treatment begins. Most patients report regaining the miniscule amount of weight after six months, or so, of treatment.

Some adults reported losing more significant amounts of weight, but that is a rare situation. In these rare cases the patients had to stop taking Zoloft to keep from losing unhealthy amounts of weight. It is unclear why Zoloft causes this weight loss but some doctors believe Zoloft may affect the metabolism.

Weight Loss in Adolescents and Children

Dangerous weight loss in adolescents and children taking Zoloft is much more prevalent than in adults. Most children lose one pound when they first start Zoloft. In some cases, children continued to lose weight. Seven percent of children taking Zoloft lost more than seven percent of their total body weight.

In young children, this can be very dangerous. In adolescents, two percent experienced weight loss of more than seven percent of their total body weight. In most cases, the children and adolescents regained the weight after six to nine months of treatment.

How to Combat Weight Loss Caused By Zoloft

In 2008 some companies even started marketing Zoloft as a way to help shed the last few pounds. Most doctors will not prescribe Zoloft as a way to lose weight because it is not completely understood why Zoloft causes weight loss. In people experiencing extreme amounts of weight loss, diet and exercise may help. It is used to lose weight, but can also help build strong muscle and ensure the body is healthy inside and out. Other patients choose to stop taking Zoloft to stop their weight loss.

Speak with a Doctor about Concerns

Patients taking Zoloft should discuss their concerns with their doctor before making any changes. Stopping Zoloft abruptly can cause withdrawal symptoms and this can be especially dangerous to Zoloft patients with heart conditions. A doctor may be able to help patients create healthy plans to stop weight loss or may have an alternative medication to stop weight loss. A health care provider will be able to assess a patient’s weight loss and determine if it is healthy or not. Children and adolescents experiencing weight loss should be monitored by a health care professional to ensure their health.

Zoloft, on average, is considered a safe medication that can be used to treat anxiety, depression and obsessive compulsive disorder. In a small number of patients, extreme weight loss can pose a problem. Patients concerned with Zoloft and weight loss should consult their doctor to ensure that they remain healthy.