Objective: To compare weight loss after birth in women who took the antidepressants nortriptyline or sertraline or placebo in 2 clinical studies designed to prevent recurrent postpartum major depression. Method: Data were collected from 1995 to 2001. All subjects had at least 1 prior episode of Research Diagnostic Criteria- or DSM-IV-defined major depressive disorder. Data on weight were available for 467 weeks from 60 women who were weighed 8 times from 2 to 17 weeks postpartum. The dependent measures were weight at weeks 11 and 17 and weight change from weeks 2 to 17 postpartum. Results: At week 17, the women's weights ranged from 109 to 268 lb. Their weight change ranged from + 14 to -19 lb over the 15-week postpartum period (mean = -1.8, SD = 5.1 lb). After controlling for week 2 weights, the mean weights at week 17 for the women treated with nortriptyline, sertraline, or placebo were not significantly different. Of 60 women with 3 or more weight assessments, those who were randomly assigned to nortriptyline lost weight more rapidly than the other 2 groups; however, the mean weight change across all groups was only -1.8 lb (SD = 5.1 lb). Conclusions: Weight loss was not compromised by antidepressant pharmacotherapy. Postpartum weight retention occurred in this group of nondepressed women with previous histories of major depression independent of drug treatment.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health