Topamax & Wellbutrin & Weight Loss

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Experts and users of Topamax and Wellbutrin have had questions regarding these two medications' efficacy regarding weight loss. However, before asking if these medications reduce weight, it is important to understand what they are and why doctors prescribe them.

What Is Topamax?

  • Topamax is used to stop seizures, and therefore is referred to as an anticonvulsant. Doctors also prescribed Topamax to prevent migraine headaches. However, Topamax is only used to prevent headaches from recurring; it will not stop a headache that has already started.

What is Wellbutrin?

  • Wellbutrin is an antidepressant and works on the neurotransmitters dopamine and nor-epinephrine to help raise an individual's mood. Doctors prescribe it to treat depressive disorders and SAD (seasonal affective disorder). Wellbutrin by another name, Zyban, is used to help people stop smoking.

Does Topamax Help With Weight Loss?

  • One of the listed side effects of Topamax is weight loss. However, how this mechanism works is not understood. Apparently, Topamax suppresses appetite, which causes the person taking it to not want to eat, hence he or she will drop weight. Also, the size of the dose is important: the higher the dose an individual is taking, the greater the weight loss will be.

Does Wellbutrin Help With Weight Loss?

  • A common side effect of Wellbutrin is weight loss. Because Wellbutrin affects dopamine, this is the most likely reason why it affects appetite and weight loss. Dopamine works on the pleasure centers of the brain and may affect appetite, just as Zyban (Wellbutrin's other brand name) works to help people stop smoking. Wellbutrin appears to work by suppressing appetite, so individuals have less interest in food.

What To Remember about Topamax and Wellbutrin

  • According to medical literature regarding these medications, Topamax and Wellbutrin both cause weight loss. However, that is not why these drugs are prescribed. Both are prescribed for medical conditions that have nothing to do with weight loss. Weight loss is just a side effect that some patients might see as beneficial to their treatment.

References

  • Depression for Dummies Laura L. Smith
  • Davis's Drug Guide for Nurses Judith Hopfer Deglin and April Hazard Vallerand
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