BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh
BBCi CATEGORIES   TV   RADIO   COMMUNICATE   WHERE I LIVE   INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC NEWS
 You are in:  Health
Front Page 
World 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Background Briefings 
Medical notes 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 


Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

SERVICES 
Tuesday, 26 February, 2002, 00:26 GMT
Antidepressant drug 'helps weight loss'
Zyban
Anti-smoking drug Zyban is a form of bupropion
Taking antidepressant drugs can help seriously overweight people to lose weight, research suggests.

Obese patients who took a medication called bupropion hydrochloride - a form of which Zyban, is used to help people give up smoking - lost significant amounts of weight over a 24-week period.


They act to improve mood and perceptions of self-worth so that people are better able to yes I can stick to this diet

Professor Ian MacDonald
However, the medication was also combined with a strict diet and exercise.

Follow-up research showed that the patients who continued taking the medication for another 24 weeks kept the weight off.

A total of 227 patients completed the initial 24 weeks of the course, and 192 completed the full 48 weeks.

More than 200 clinically obese men and women took part in the study. None of them were clinically depressed.

The people who combined the medication with diet and exercise lost significantly more than those who just followed the diet and exercise regime.

Those who took 400mg/day of Bupropion lost a greater percentage of their initial body weight than those who took 300mg/day.

Some patients who took the medication experienced side effects such as headache, dry mouth and diarrhoea.

Lead researcher Professor James Anderson, of the University of Kentucky College of Medicine said: "We are encouraged by these preliminary results in non-depressed obese patients.

"Even modest weight loss, if maintained, could produce significant health benefits."

Other drugs

Professor Ian MacDonald, an expert in metabolic physiology at Nottingham University, told BBC News Online that Prozac had also shown promise as a potential treatment for obesity.

Another drug Sibutramine, which is currently used to treat obesity, was initially developed as an anti-depressant.

Professor MacDonald said: "It is not surprising that anti-depressants help some people lose weight. They act to improve mood and perceptions of self-worth so that people are better able to yes I can stick to this diet.

"But whether they will work for all obese people is another matter."

Professor MacDonald said there was also some evidence to suggest that antidepressants acted on the same areas of the brain that control food intake and appetite.

The results of the study were presented at a conference on nutrition in San Diego on Monday.

See also:

26 Apr 01 | Health
Smoking tragedy prompts warning
05 Apr 01 | Health
Exercise on prescription
13 Feb 02 | Health
Midnight feasts indicate stress
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Health stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Health stories