Accumulating evidence regarding clinical, neurobiological, genetic, and environmental factors suggests a bidirectional link between obesity and depressive disorders. Although a few studies have investigated the link between obesity/excess body weight and the response to antidepressants in depressive disorders, the effect of weight on treatment response remains poorly understood. In this review, we summarized recent data regarding the relationship between the response to antidepressants and obesity/excess body weight in clinical studies of patients with depressive disorders. Although several studies indicated an association between obesity/excess body weight and poor antidepressant responses, it is difficult to draw definitive conclusions due to the variability of subject composition and methodological differences among studies. Especially, differences in sex, age and menopausal status, depressive symptom subtypes, and antidepressants administered may have caused inconsistencies in the results among studies. The relationship between obesity/excess body weight and antidepressant responses should be investigated further in high-powered studies addressing the differential effects on subject characteristics and treatment. Moreover, future research should focus on the roles of mediating factors, such as inflammatory markers and neurocognitive performance, which may alter the antidepressant treatment outcome in patients with comorbid obesity and depressive disorder.
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