Article about the Effectiveness of Anti-Depressants after RNY

Jan 28, 2013

Those of you who have followed me for some time are probably aware that I suffer from debilitatingly Severe Clinical Depression and Anxiety. Often, people will PM me and ask me if and what type of impact RNY had on my depression and on the medications that I take to try to mitigate and manage my depressive symptoms.

I have to say that I have a great psychiatrist and she was really very good about closely monitoring me after my surgery to watch for signs that I might not be getting the full effect of the medications. When I had my surgery, there were not yet any studies documenting what happens to patients taking SSRIs which are among the cornerstone of the medication arsenal for dealing with depression. A small recent study released March 2012, examined the impact RNY has on patients that had been taking SSRIs to see how it effected level of the SSRIs found in their bloodstream. Their clinical research bears out what happened to me. Basically, the patients had been taking the drugs prior to their RNY. They tested the level of SSRI in the patients prior to the RNY, 1 month post op, 3 months post op, 6 months post op and 12 months post op and found that about 2/3 of the patients were likely to experience about a 50% loss in efficacy about 1 month post op, but that most patients were experiencing a rebound to close to normal levels by the time they were 6 months post op.

Here is a link to an article about the study.

I think that the take away here is that if you are on anti-depressants, you want to be sure that your health care providers are aware of this short term issue and that they monitor you closely to ensure your mental health. Remember that there are a number of other issues also at play when you have any surgery, but especially WLS because you are losing a coping mechanism that you have come to rely upon since you no longer have food as a crutch/drug of choice to lean on after surgery. Hopefully, if you do have depressive issues, you'll be working with a counselor through your weight loss phase to help you navigate the feelings, concerns, and issues that come up in a way that will allow you to maximize your weight loss opportunity and long term maintenance.


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Raleigh, NC
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Jul 27, 2006
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