HealthDay News — Participants in a weight loss intervention can lose weight regardless of psychiatric medication use, according to a study published online Aug. 23 in Obesity.

Sean Wharton, MD, from the Wharton Medical Clinic in Toronto, and colleagues enrolled 17,519 adults in a lifestyle weight loss intervention. The correlation of taking antidepressants, antipsychotics, both, or neither was assessed with weight loss in analyses adjusting for age, initial weight, and treatment time.

Of the patients, 23% were taking at least one psychiatric medication. The researchers found that regardless of psychiatric medication use, patients lost a significant amount of weight. Women taking and not taking psychiatric medications had a similar amount of weight loss. For men, those taking antidepressants lost slightly less weight than those taking both classes or neither class of psychiatric medication (3.2 ± 0.3 kg vs 55.6 ± 0.9 kg and 4.3 ± 0.1 kg, respectively). For both sexes, similar significant decreases in weight were seen for those taking psychiatric medications that cause weight gain and those that are weight-neutral or associated with weight loss.

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“The results of this study are relevant not only to the health care professionals providing care to those who have both excess weight and mental illness, but also to the patients who experience these comorbidities themselves,” a coauthor said in a statement.

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