Antidepressant Side Effects Compared

(updated 12/2014)

Use this table with caution. The calculations here are based on the side effects frequencies in the PDR. Dewand  Except for the weight curves below, that’s direct 1-year weight gain data.

In addition, because these medications were not compared directly to one another (except in a few of the weight studies), the comparisons below might not be found in a direct comparison study. This table reflects a working estimate of side effect burden, based on available data.

Drug GI CNS Sexual Weight gain Total
Wellbutrin/bupropion ++ ++ + 0 5
Celexa/citalopram ++ + ++++ see below 9
Serzone/nefazodone +++ +++++ + see below 10
Prozac /fluoxetine +++ ++++ ++++ see below 13
Effexor/venlafaxine ++++ ++++ ++++ see below 13
Zoloft/sertraline ++++ ++++ ++++ see below 13
Remeron/mirtazepine +++ +++++ + worst 14
Luvox/fluvoxamine +++++ +++++ ++++ who cares? just look left! 15
Paxil/paroxetine ++++ +++++ ++++ worst 16



Let’s make it easy:  all antidepressants cause weight gain except for bupropion/Wellbutrin. Really. Here are the 1-year data on that.Blumenthal  There’s only one flat curve; if you can’t see the small print, yep, that’s bupropion.

Why isn’t bupropion the most widely prescribed antidepressant, you might ask?  So thought a bunch of mood experts.