A study in the September issue of Obesity Research suggests that the anti-depressant drug bupropion (Wellbutrin) is effective at producing weight loss.
According to Reuters Health, the study is the first randomized, placebo-controlled trial to show that the drug may be effective in non-depressed, obese subjects.
Researchers from Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, randomized 50 non-depressed overweight and obese women in an eight-week trial. Subjects began with once-daily, 100-mg doses of Wellbutrin or placebo. Dosages were gradually increased to 200 mg twice daily. Patients who responded to therapy continued treatment for an additional 16 weeks.
The patients were also prescribed a 1,600-calorie-per-day diet and were given food diaries to help ensure compliance.
Reuters reports that over the first eight weeks, Wellbutrin-treated subjects achieved a mean weight loss of 4.9 percent, compared to 1.3 percent by placebo-treated subjects. The average weight loss among the 14 Wellbutrin patients who completed 24 weeks of therapy was 12.9 percent with fat accounting for most of the loss.