Weight suppression and weight rebound in ex-smokers treated with fluoxetine

Belinda Borrelli, Brown University
Bonnie Spring, Northwestern University
Raymond Niaura
Jean L. Kristeller
Judith K. Ockene, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Nancy J. Keuthen

Document Type Article


Fluoxetine's effect (30 mg, 60 mg, and placebo) on postcessation weight gain was studied among participants from a randomized, double-blind 10-week smoking cessation trial who met strict criteria for abstinence and drug levels. It was hypothesized that (a) fluoxetine would dose-dependently suppress postcessation weight gain and (b) drug discontinuation would produce dose-dependent weight rebound. During the on-drug phase, placebo participants gained weight linearly (M = 2.61 kg). exceeding both fluoxetine groups (30-mg group M = 1.33 kg, 60-mg group M = 1.25 kg). Weight suppression was initially greater for 60 mg than 30 mg, but both were followed by weight gain. Six months off drug produced greater dose-dependent weight rebound for 60 mg than 30 mg or placebo. Considering both on- and off-drug phases, weight gain for 60 mg of fluoxetine (M = 6.5 kg) was comparable with that for placebo (M = 4.7 kg) but greater than that for 30 mg (M = 3.6 kg). Fluoxetine appears to forestall postcessation weight gain, allowing time for the weight-conscious smoker to focus on quitting smoking rather than on preventing weight gain.