Increased Appetite Side Effect

Tricyclic antidepressants (imipramine, amitriptyline, and doxepin) cause carbohydrate craving and increased appetite1. First-generation antihistamines, most antipsychotics and systemic corticosteroids also may cause increased appetite.

There is evidence that those drugs, which either antagonize or downregulate serotonin receptors, are more likely to stimulate carbohydrate craving and appetite, and promote weight gain8.

List of medications with orexigenic effects that cause increased appetite (polyphagia) and excessive food intake:

Drug Incidence
Abilify < 1%
Aceon 0.3% to 1%
Aciphex
AeroBid 1% to 3%
Alinia < 1%
Ambien Rare
Aricept Infrequent
Aromasin 3%
Asacol
Astelin Infrequent
Bextra 0.1% to 1.9%
Carbamazepine (Tegretol®)11
Caduet < 2%
Campral 1% to 10%
Celebrex 0.1% to 1.9%
Celexa Frequent
Cinnarizine (®Stugeron)12
Clomid < 1%
Clozapine (Clozaril®) < 1%
Copaxone Infrequent
Crinone 5%
Crixivan 2.1%
Cymbalta 3% to 11%
Cyproheptadine (Periactin®)5 Increases appetite through antiserotonergic effect on 5-HT2 receptors in the brain6
Depacon 1% to 5%
Depakene 1% to 5%
Depakote 1% to 6%
Diovan > 0.2%
Doxil < 1%
DynaCirc 0.5% to 1%
Evoxac < 1%
FazaClo < 1%
Gabitril 2%
Gengraf 1% to 3%
Intron A < 5%
Kaletra < 2%
Ketotifen
Klonopin Infrequent
Lamictal Infrequent
Levothroid
Levoxyl
Lexapro Frequent
Lipitor < 2%
Lofibra
Lupron < 5%
Maxalt Rare
Meridia 8.7%
Miacalcin < 1%
Mirtazapine (Remeron®)2 11%
Namenda Infrequent
Neoral 1% to 3%
Nexium < 1%
Norvasc < 0.1%
Olanzapine (Zyprexa®)3 upto 14.9% 7
Oncaspar < 1%
Orap
Orapred
Ovrette
OxyContin < 1%
Paxil 3% to 4%
Permax Infrequent
Prevacid < 1%
Prevpac < 1%
ProSom Infrequent
Prochieve
Prograf 3% to 15%
Prometrium
Protonix < 1%
Provigil > 1%
Prozac 1% to 10%
Quetiapine (Seroquel®)4
Relafen < 1%
Relpax Rare
Rescriptor
Reyataz < 3%
Rilutek Infrequent
Risperdal Infrequent
Salagen < 1%
Sonata Infrequent
Soriatane 1% to 10%
Spectracef 0.1% to 1%
Sporanox 2%
Sular < 1%
Symbyax 5% to 16%
Testim < 1%
Thalomid
Thiothixene
Topamax 1%
Toradol < 1%
Tricor
Trileptal
Trimipramine (Stangyl®)10
Uniretic < 1%
Vigabatrin (Sabril®)9 1%
Xanax 7% to 32.7%
Zelnorm
Zoladex 2%
Zoloft Frequent
Zomig Infrequent
Zyban 2%
Zyrtec < 2%

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References
  • 1. Yeragani VK, Pohl R, Aleem A, Balon R, Sherwood P, Lycaki H. Carbohydrate craving and increased appetite associated with antidepressant therapy. Can J Psychiatry. 1988 Oct;33(7):606-10. PubMed
  • 2. Hilas O, Avena-Woods C. Potential role of mirtazapine in underweight older adults. Consult Pharm. 2014 Feb;29(2):124-30. PubMed
  • 3. Murashita M, Kusumi I, Inoue T, et al. Olanzapine increases plasma ghrelin level in patients with schizophrenia. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2005 Jan;30(1):106-10. PubMed
  • 4. Suttajit S, Srisurapanont M1, Maneeton N1, Maneeton B. Quetiapine for acute bipolar depression: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Drug Des Devel Ther. 2014 Jun 25;8:827-38.
  • 5. Silverstone T, Schuyler D. The effect of cyproheptadine on hunger, calorie intake and body weight in man. Psychopharmacologia. 1975;40(4):335-40. PubMed
  • 6. Calka O, Metin A, Dülger H, Erkoç R. Effect of cyproheptadine on serum leptin levels. Adv Ther. 2005 Sep-Oct;22(5):424-8. PubMed
  • 7. Costa e Silva JA, Alvarez N, Mazzotti G, et al. Olanzapine as alternative therapy for patients with haloperidol-induced extrapyramidal symptoms: results of a multicenter, collaborative trial in Latin America. J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2001 Aug;21(4):375-81. PubMed
  • 8. Bernstein JG. Psychotropic drug induced weight gain: mechanisms and management. Clin Neuropharmacol. 1988;11 Suppl 1:S194-206.
  • 9. Turanli G, Celebi A, Yalnizoğlu D, Topçu M, Topaloğlu H, Banu A, Aysun S. Vigabatrin in pediatric patients with refractory epilepsy. Turk J Pediatr. 2006 Jan-Mar;48(1):25-30.
  • 10. Harris B, Young J, Hughes B. Comparative effects of seven antidepressant regimes on appetite, weight and carbohydrate preference. Br J Psychiatry. 1986 May;148:590-2.
  • 11. Lampl Y, Eshel Y, Rapaport A, Sarova-Pinhas I. Weight gain, increased appetite, and excessive food intake induced by carbamazepine. Clin Neuropharmacol. 1991 Jun;14(3):251-5. PubMed
  • 12. Navarro-Badenes J, Martínez-Mir I, Palop V, Rubio E, Morales-Olivas FJ. Weight gain associated with cinnarizine. Ann Pharmacother. 1992 Jul-Aug;26(7-8):928-30.

Published: May 28, 2008
Last updated: July 21, 2016

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