Weight Gain on Antidepressants
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Antidepressants > Weight Gain on Antidepressants
I am considering antidepressents for anxiety and depression but I
am scared of the side effects esspecially the weight gain. I
would like to stay at my current weight because my selfesteem
would be gone if I turn into an overweight person. I heard it
slows your metabolism and makes you more hungry. I can controll
my appetite but I can't controll my metabolism. I am confused
about the stuff I read on the Internet. Most of it sounds so
negativ. I would like to know from peoples experience with
antidepressents. Did you gain lots of weight even with excercise
and eating normal ? Would you recommend taking it ? Is Wellbutrin
a better choice because I heard it doesn't make you fat ? I am
I recently went on Lexapro, which is an anitdepressant which also treats
anxiety. It has been 4 months now and I have LOST weight since going on
this medication. I take better care of myself in general, exercising
(joined a gym), eating well, making sure I get enough sleep, because I
am not anxious and depressed anymore!
I don't want to sound like a commercial for the drug companies, but I
have to say, I should have done it years ago. I am myself again. When
you are depressed, you are in pain and you see life through a veil of
pain. I was surprised when I started on Lexapro to find that it didn't
affect my ''mind'' so much as it my body. I felt a wonderful sense of
well-being, which didn't feel like being drugged at all. My
understanding of the science is that Lexapro is an re-uptake inhibitor
which means that it keeps the seritonin in my cells longer (instead of
getting reabsorbed by my
body) so it can work to calm uplift longer. Not all the therapy in the
world (well if I had all the time and money to engage thus
maybe) could have given me the boost I needed to thrive. I believe now
my depression was organic, in other words it was in my body. I am now as
brave and energetic a person as I need.
Before, I had to work so hard to struggle through the days. And my
relationships all suffered accordingly. I still sometimes have thought
processes like a depressed and anxious person, but they don't stick,
because of the overall sense of well being.
Good luck in your decision. If you feel better, you can and will be able
to take better care of yourself.
I am currently taking an antidepressant for postpartum depression.
Obviously, as I am postpartum, I have baby weight to lose, and weight
gain was also a concern for me. My personal experience has been a major
increase in appetite (which I think is not really an ''increase,'' it's
actually an appropriate appetite as during my depression I had a severe
lack of appetite). It has made me need to be careful in my food
choices, but I continue to lose baby weight at about the same rate I did
before the medication. Even if I did gain weight, my outlook, mood and
parenting are so much better now, I'd continue taking the
antidepressant. I hope that doesn't happen, but it has made an enormous
difference for me.
The bottom line is, if you need medication, you need it regardless of a
potential side effect. You need to choose the one that works for you,
not the one that might not effect your weight. It is more important to
be ''happy and chubby'' than thin and depressed.
(Not) Fat and Happy
I have taken two different types of antidepressants - old school
tricyclics and s new modern brandname ''Celexa''. I did not
experience weight gain with either of these medications. Celexa
was so much better than the old antidepressant and I had many
less side effects in general. If your doctor has suggested that
you use a medication to treat depression, I would recommend it.
You will feel worlds better about your situation and be able to
cope with life more realistically.
I have tried different antidepressants over the years, and it's
really important to remember that everyone responds differently
to them-but the truth is I have gained weight on them, I think
they do affect both my appetite and metabolism. Many people I
know have gained weight on them. I am currently trying to lower
the dose because I really cannot get any fatter-I can't stand it!
I am trying to find other ways to deal with the depression, such
as exercise, getting enough time to myself, do things that
nourish me. I couldn't tolerate Wellbutrin, but it doesn't have
the weight gain side effect, so I definitely think it's worth
trying. The other thing is if your depression is related to PMS,
they have found that the SSRI's can be used for that part of your
cycle only-they have some kind of hormonal effect, so you're much
less likely to gain weight that way. You should definitely talk
to a psychiatrist, not just a primary care doctor. Good luck!
I have tried several antidepressants (Prozac, Effexor, Zoloft)
before finding one that worked for me (Wellbutrin). I didn't
experience weight gain on any of them. I think the side
effects vary by individual, so if you feel you need them I
certainly wouldn't avoid them because of fear of weight gain --
there might not be any, and you can always lose a few pounds
later if you have to. Wellbutrin has a bit of an appetite
suppressant effect for me, but my weight hasn't changed. And I
think that it tends to rev you up a little more than some of
the others, so it might not be a first choice if anxiety is
part of your concern. Good luck.
No weight change
My doctor has just put me on Paxil for drepression I have been
experiencing for about a year now. Of course, my mental health is more
important than my weight, but I'm wondering if anyone who is on Paxil
has had any weight gain? Also, if you are on Paxil, are you happy with
I was on Paxil for about 2 years. I did not gain any weight, but
I felt like I was on a *happy* drug the entire time. I wasn't
exactly h appy all the time, but I was never sad. Actually, I
didn't really have any emotions either way. I was always even. I
was calm and I felt like nothing in the world could hurt me. It
also made me much slower and not able to think as clearly. I
wasn't able to organize and grasp thoughts like before. Like the
thoughts were there, but I couldn't get to them. After going off
of it, I had LOTS of family and friends tell me that I became a
different person while I was on it and thought I was a much
better *me* off of it. The positive thing that I think it did for
me was to let me know how it felt to not be nervous and depressed
all of the time; so that when I got off of it, I knew what
*normal* people felt like and how to get back to that.
Of course, drugs do different things to different people, so I
would take all of this with a grain of salt. I am just letting
you know my experience. Good luck!
My doctor says the average weight gain with the use of Paxil is twenty pounds
in the first year!! She only prescribes Paxil to those with eating disorders,
because of the weight gain issue. It has proven metabolic effects that cause
people to gain weight.
I don't want to scare you, but I hated Paxil. After about 6 months, I did not care
about anything anymore. Sure, I was not depressed, and I could sleep again,
but I didn't feel like working, studying, or anything. I was just blah. And I
gained twenty pounds, which I am still struggling to lose a year later because of
metabolic slowdown. My psychiatrist tells me this is a very common syndrome
of side effects from Paxil, so if you notice that you just don't care much about
anything anymore, but are still reasonably happy, you might be having the
If you are seeing a doctor, and not a psychiatrist, I would advise you to consult
with an actual psychiatrist--they are more in the know about Paxil. I am now on
Lexapro, which can be taken at a low dose. It has NO weight gain effects.
no more Paxil
I take Paxil and love it! But I also am gaining weight on it
because it makes me hungry ALL the time. To me it is worth it
and it is all I can take because I am nursing. But you should
talk to your psychiatrist. Perhaps 2.5 milligrams less would
help the weight gain. Or cocktailing it with another drug.
Lovin' life on Paxil
Oh yes, we who are on this drug can verify the weight gain. Is
it b/c of the drug, or b/c I'm not so anxious and can eat every
day? Who knows? But I'll certainly take the weight to avoid the
Plumper on Paxil
I have been taking Paxil for about 2 1/2 years now and have
gained some weight, but I can't honestly say it's due to the
Paxil as I don't exercise very much. More important to me is
the positive effect of the medicine. I have so much less
anxiety and depression that it is very worth a possible weight-
gain side effect. I hope you have as positive results as I have
had. I can honestly say it has changed my life. carla
I started taking Zoloft a few months ago for post partum
depression and although it has helped my mood tremendously, my
weight gain has gone beyond my control-- that is, despite
regular exercise (4 days a week of intense cardio) and
conscientious eating (not to mention, the 500+ calories burned
from breastfeeding), I have gained 20 pounds more than I weighed
right after giving birth. I have a history of depression and
have tried other medications, but to my knowledge, Zoloft is the
only one that is considered safe for breastfeeding mothers. I am
afraid of quitting zoloft because of how debilitating my
depression might be if it resurfaces; and I don't want to quit
breastfeeding because it has become one of my baby's greatest
pleasures in life (and, therefore, mine too) and I have heard
that weaning often sets off a whole other can of emotional and
hormonal worms. But, I am also terribly frustrated with my
inability to lose the weight I am gaining on this medication. I
am so conflicted as to what to do. I would appreciate any feed-
back that might help shed some insight or perspective on my
predicament. Has anyone out there had any similar experiences or
Don't know much about Zoloft, but I know from research and
personal experience that Paxil is as safe as any other SSRI in
terms of passthrough in breastmilk. As with other SSRI's,
weight gain is a possible side effect, but it may be worth
consulting your MD to see if it's worth trying to see if this
side effect is lesser for you than with Zoloft. For what it's
worth, I have been on Paxil continuously since before I became
pregnant, have a very healthy 5-year-old who nursed till
2.5years, and I have been able to keep my weight below pre-
pregnancy level, with the help of Weight Watchers.
First off, I feel for you. I myself was on Zoloft about five
years ago after having been in therapy for a year or two and
feeling like my psychological problems were getting harder to
manage as we uncovered more. My therapist finally ''broke down''
and had his own M.D. prescribe me Zoloft. It helped me
considerably too, and while i was not a nursing mother at the
time that I took it, I was terribly afraid of going off. My
therapist worked with me closely for the year that I was on it
and regularly checked in to see if I felt ready to come off. My
point to you is not so much related to the weight gain, but more
that if you stick with therapy in addition to the zoloft you may
be able to come off of it sooner and feel supported and
nurtured - not abandoned and left to no support without it. I
did not experience a weight gain, but I did experience fear and
when I did finally stop, I was ready and fully supported by a
good therapist. So, hang in there - the weight must be a hard
byproduct to handle, but i would really encourage you to find a
good counselor who can help you make the transition in six
months to a year, when you feel ready.
Poor Mama. I've been there. You are wise to take your medicine:
fat and happy is sooo much better than skinny and depressed.
Pudgy people can parent. Depressed people can't even enjoy Law
and Order reruns. Thoughts: 1) It might not be the medicine. I
took Serzone throughout my pregnancy (perfect baby) but blew up
like a balloon afterwards both nursing and exercising. Weight
Watchers plan for nursing moms helped some but mainly it was
time. Most of the weight came off in a year, but the rest didn't
go until nursing did at age 3 1/2. Yowza. Hormones and genetics
are mighty. Don't beat yourself up.
2)If it is the medicine, you could add another that is more
likely to cause weight loss (although zoloft usually DOES cause
weight loss). There's no evidence that these drugs harm nursing
kids. You might also still be depressed and not taking enough
3)I bet your baby thinks your body is absolutely beautiful and
perfect. Try to see yourself as s/he does.
I was diagnosed with postpartum depression, too, and am
breastfeeding, too, but am not on Zoloft -- I'm on Prozac. Are
you sure that Zoloft is the only safe one? My psychiatrist seems
to think that Prozac is fine, too. And my son seems fine. I've
lost weight since giving birth, although that may just be my
luck. I weigh less now than I have in years.
One alternative would be to try a homeopathic remedy for your
postpartum depression. I've heard it can work, with no side
effects. You have to get the right one for your constitution,
though, so you have to see a homeopathist (homeopath?), which
isn't cheap. The remedy is cheap, though.
Hope you find something that works for you.
Another new mom
I had a very similar experience on Zoloft. I finally went off for other
and back on the Celexa I used throughout my pregnancy. My doctor and I did
the research, and decided that the Celexa was safe. And I'm losing weight.
Which is making me much happier, I've got to tell you! Shallow shallow person
that I am.
I also took Zoloft while breastfeeding, but I lost weight
easily. (Shocking, since weight has always been a struggle for
me and I refuse to exercise and give up ice cream!) Everyone
reacts differently to medication and has different struggles
with post-partum weight loss, of course, but you might want to
look for something else contributing to the weight gain. Don't
give up breastfeeding OR Zoloft before you explore all the
options! (And don't let anyone tell you it's dangerous!
Zoloft has been tested. Personally, I took Prozac all during
pregnancy, and Zoloft during 20 months of breastfeeding. My
now 3 year old is thriving - healthy and strong, and possibly
I'm sorry that you were depressed, but glad that your medication
is working for you.
I gained about 15+ extra pounds, not from antidepressents, but
from 3 rounds of fertility treatment, that finally resulted in
my son. I'm not as good as you about the exercise, but I do
complain about the extra lbs, and wish they weren't there.
I just tell myself that they're in exchange for my baby. I think
I would try to tell myself the same thing if they were caused my
another med, e.g., the Zoloft--it's all for the best.
I don't mean to minimize your frustration, please, I know what
it feels like to walk around in a body that feels and looks
quite different from the ones we had pre-baby days, but it might
be better to accept your ''new'' body, at least for now. I think
people assume I'm still carrying around my pregnancy weight (i'm
not), and, as breastfeeding moms, we tend to be a bit heavier,
No, I wouldn't give up the breastfeeding--it's too precious, it
sounds like. And, I, too, have heard that Zoloft is one of the
safeset, and at least most well studied, however, there are
others, but maybe not worth changing if this is working so well
SOrry, not much help, I know, Hope you get some good answers
Newly overweight mom
I just want to say that whatever you decide, please don't go off
the Zoloft cold turkey. Perhaps you could slowly lower the dosage
and see if that helps? (tell your doctor if you do). I think
staying stable and happy is the most important thing in being a
good mom. If your weight is really out of control, you might need
to try other meds, and that might mean weaning your baby--I know
that's not what you want to do, but people have to stop bfeeding
for various reasons.
I have taken Zoloft for almost a decade now (significant weight
gain over that time), and when I decided to try to get pregnant,
I did a lot of research and consulted doctors and finally decided
it was a better choice for ME to stay on it through pregnancy
(baby is healthy as a horse). I am breastfeeding, and continuing
on Zoloft for the time being because I understand it's the safest
for breastfeeding. I've decided to stay with these meds till baby
is weaned, but after that I want to discuss trying something else
for depression. I'm not willing to experiment with it right now.
This probably isn't the most helpful answer, but I just wanted to
share my belief that it's important to maintain your mental at
this wonderful but difficult, hormonally precarious time! Best
wishes to you.
I too take psych meds that have caused me to gain weight (well, I
helped the process along) and was very discouraged about it.
Finally I went to Weight Watchers, which had worked for me in the
past, and I had a private conversation with the leader about my
problem and discouragement. She said that there was another group
member in the same boat who was doing well and asked me if I'd
like to speak to her. So, next meeting this woman approached me
and told me that despite taking heavy duty cancer drugs which had
caused her to gain a lot of weight, she was slowly losing it. I
was heartened and continued, and in fact lost weight much faster
than I expected. Even if you eat conscietiously, my experience is
that following an established program like Weight Watchers is
much more effective.
But my basic attitude is that my mental health comes first, that
life is not worth living if I'm seriously off-kilter. Real
depression is way beyond the depression of weighing more than
Good luck- there's hope!
I have heard of breastfeeding moms who take antidepressants
other than Zoloft. If you can find a copy of the
book ''Medication and Mother's Milk'' by a dr who's last name is
Hale you should be able to find information on the safety of
other medications. His book lists hundreds of medications and
their saftey to breastfeeding babies by looking at how the
medication is broken down by the mother's body to calculate how
much of the medication, if any, is transmitted through
breastmilk to the baby. A friend of mine had a copy and used to
say that 99% of meds were safe for use by breastfeeding moms
because for most the amount was negligible. I know you can buy
the book online, but check a library or lactation consultant
first. Your dr. might have a copy, but most drs rely on the
manufacturer's labels which always say not for use by pregnant
or nursing moms since they haven't tested the medications on
women in these conditions to prove that they are safe.
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