A woman taking an antidepressant pill while intermittent fasting, highlighting the balance between mental health and fasting goals

Antidepressants and Intermittent Fasting: Do They Break Your Fast?

Kate Fowler

If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably been riding the intermittent fasting wave like a total boss babe. But I know what’s been keeping you up at night – how do those daily happy pills fit into your fasting routine?

Girl, I’ve got you covered!

Prioritizing Mental Health

First thing’s first, let’s get one thing straight, my dear. Your mental health is the MVP here, and we need to treat it with the utmost respect and care. If your doctor has prescribed you antidepressants, please, for the love of self-care, do not stop taking them without their go-ahead, fasting or not.

Your well-being comes first, always and forever. According to the World Health Organization, close to 800,000 people die by suicide every year, and it’s the second leading cause of death among 15-29 year-olds. Yikes!

Antidepressants and Fasting

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s dive into the juicy details of how antidepressants interact with intermittent fasting, shall we?

The good news is that most of the popular antidepressants out there, like Prozac, Zoloft, Lexapro, Effexor, and Cymbalta, are generally considered “fast-friendly.” These little guys are low in calories (typically under 10 calories per pill) and don’t seem to trigger an insulin response, which means they shouldn’t technically break your fast. Score!

Potential Side Effects

But hold up, there’s a tiny catch, girlfriend. Some of these meds can cause side effects like nausea, dry mouth, or appetite changes, which could potentially throw a wrench in your fasting game.

According to the experts, up to 25% of people taking SSRIs experience dry mouth, and up to 15% deal with nausea or vomiting. No bueno, am I right?

A study published in the Psychiatric Times also found that over 20% of patients taking certain SSRIs experienced appetite changes.

Appetite-Stimulating Antidepressants

There are also a few antidepressants out there, like Remeron and Wellbutrin, that have been known to stimulate appetite or cause weight gain in some people.

Studies found that folks taking Remeron gained an average of 7 lbs over 8-12 weeks! Another study showed that nearly a quarter of patients taking Wellbutrin experienced weight gain as a side effect. If you’re on one of these and it’s messing with your fasting mojo, it might be worth having a heart-to-heart with your doc.

Finding Balance

Remember, intermittent fasting is a tool, not a rigid set of rules carved in stone. It’s all about finding a sustainable approach that works for you and your fabulous lifestyle.

According to a recent survey, nearly one-third of Americans have tried intermittent fasting, with most aiming to shed some pounds. But out of those who tried it, only 10% stuck with it for a full year or more.

A woman journaling while intermittent fasting and taking antidepressants, symbolizing the importance of self-awareness and open communication with healthcare providers

Prioritizing Mental Health

But if those antidepressants are helping you maintain your mental health and overall well-being, that’s what truly matters most. Mental health conditions like depression and anxiety are no joke, affecting a whopping 264 million people worldwide.

And let’s not forget, ladies – studies show that depression is twice as common in women compared to men.

Open Communication

So, go forth and fast with confidence, knowing that your medication isn’t a roadblock, but a part of your unique journey. Stay in tune with your body, keep that communication open with your healthcare team, and remember – you’re a total rock star, and you’ve got this!

Over 80% of people with mental health conditions experienced improved quality of life after starting treatment.


At the end of the day, intermittent fasting and antidepressants can coexist in perfect harmony, but it takes open communication, self-awareness, and a personalized approach. Embrace the journey, prioritize your well-being, and trust that you’ll find the perfect balance that works for you, gorgeous! According to research, individuals who successfully maintain healthy lifestyle changes like intermittent fasting often do so by finding a routine that fits their unique needs and preferences. So, keep experimenting, listen to your body, and don’t be afraid to make adjustments along the way!

FAQs: Antidepressants and Intermittent Fasting

Q: Do all antidepressants break a fast?

A: No, not all antidepressants will break your fast. Most common antidepressants like SSRIs (Prozac, Zoloft, Lexapro) and SNRIs (Effexor, Cymbalta) are considered “fast-friendly” because they are low in calories and don’t typically trigger an insulin response.

Q: Can I take my antidepressant during my fasting window?

A: Yes, you can take your antidepressant medication during your fasting window. Since these medications are generally considered fast-friendly, they won’t break your fast.

Q: What if my antidepressant causes side effects like nausea or dry mouth during my fast?

A: If you experience side effects like nausea, dry mouth, or appetite changes from your antidepressant during your fasting window, it’s a good idea to discuss this with your healthcare provider. They may be able to adjust your dosage or explore alternative medication options.

Q: Are there any antidepressants that can cause weight gain or increased appetite?

A: Yes, some antidepressants like Remeron (mirtazapine) and Wellbutrin (bupropion) have been linked to weight gain or increased appetite in some individuals. If you’re taking one of these medications and struggling with your fasting goals, talk to your doctor about potential alternatives.

Q: Can I stop taking my antidepressant to make intermittent fasting easier?

A: No, you should never stop taking your prescribed antidepressant medication without consulting your healthcare provider first. Abruptly stopping antidepressants can lead to withdrawal symptoms and potentially worsen your condition. Your mental health should always be the top priority.

Q: How can I balance intermittent fasting and antidepressant medication?

A: The key is open communication with your healthcare team, self-awareness, and finding a personalized approach that works for you. Be honest about your fasting goals and any side effects you experience, and work together to develop a plan that supports both your mental health and lifestyle goals.

Remember, your well-being is the top priority, so don’t hesitate to speak up and seek guidance from your healthcare provider. With the right approach, intermittent fasting and antidepressant medication can coexist harmoniously.

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