13 Drugs That Make You Fat

13 Drugs That Make You Fat

Many drugs influence weight, including antidiabetic, antidepressant, anti-epileptic and anti-psychotic.

13 Drugs That Make You Fat

They are supposed to treat you, but they sometimes make you fat or slim … Scientists at the Mayo Clinic (Rochester, Minnesota) publish a list of common drugs that influence the weight of patients in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism .

Weight gain or weight loss is a side effect that can be associated with different drugs. Doctors should be aware of these side effects when prescribing these drugs to their patients in order to inform them of the risks so that they adapt their lifestyle.

Here, scientists conducted a systematic literature review and a meta-analysis to synthesize commonly prescribed drugs and associated with weight changes. They searched international databases for clinical trials that compared a drug to a placebo and measured weight changes.

Results: 257 randomized clinical trials involving 54 drugs and 84,696 patients were included in the analysis. Weight gain was associated with the following drugs:

  • Antidepressants: amitriptyline (1.8 kg), mirtazapine (1.5 kg),
  • Antipsychotics: olanzapine (2.4 kg), quetiapine (1.1 kg), risperidone (0.8 kg)
  • An anti-epileptic: gabapentin (2.2 kg),
  • Anti-diabetics: tolbutamide (2.8 kg), pioglitazone (2.6 kg), glimepiride (2.1 kg), gliclazide (1.8 kg), glyburide (2,6 kg ), Glipizide (2.2 kg), sitagliptin (0.55 kg), nateglinide (0.3 kg).

Other drugs were associated with weight loss:

  • Anti-diabetics: metformin (1.1 kg), acarbose (0.4 kg), miglitol (0.7 kg), pramlintide (2.3 kg), liraglutide (1.7 kg), exenatide (1,2 kg) ,
  • Anti-epileptics: zonisamide (7.7 kg), topiramate (3.8 kg),
  • A drug used for smoking cessation: bupropion (1.3 kg),
  • An antidepressant: fluoxetine (1.3 kg)

For many other drugs, for example prescribed against hypertension or anti-histamines, weight changes were not significant or weak evidence.



Domecq JP, Prutsky G, Leppin A, Sonbol MB, Altayar O, Undavalli C, Wang Z, Elraiyah T, Brito JP, Mauck KF, Lababidi MH, Prokop LJ, Asi N, Wei J, Fidahussein S, . Drugs Commonly Associated With Weight Change: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2015 Feb; 100 (2): 363-70. Doi: 10.1210 / jc.2014-3421.