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    Old 01-08-2004, 08:27 PM   #1
    tgreyz
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    Zoloft/Paxil Weight Gain??!?!?

    Hi I was taking zoloft 100mg since June, and in December I switched to Paxil 20mg because of the cost. I'm 5'1" and weighed about 100lbs when I started zoloft. I gained about 5 which wasn't a big deal. But since starting Paxil I've gone to 110, and now 115. I've only been on Paxil for a few weeks. I know this may not seem like a big deal but I can't keep putting on the pounds and since my eating habits really haven't changed I can only assume its the medine. Anyone had a similar experience and did you have to go off of it to stop gaining weight?

     
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    Old 01-08-2004, 09:17 PM   #2
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    Re: Zoloft/Paxil Weight Gain??!?!?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tgreyz
    Hi I was taking zoloft 100mg since June, and in December I switched to Paxil 20mg because of the cost. I'm 5'1" and weighed about 100lbs when I started zoloft. I gained about 5 which wasn't a big deal. But since starting Paxil I've gone to 110, and now 115. I've only been on Paxil for a few weeks. I know this may not seem like a big deal but I can't keep putting on the pounds and since my eating habits really haven't changed I can only assume its the medine. Anyone had a similar experience and did you have to go off of it to stop gaining weight?
    I was on Paxil for a year and a half, during that time I lost some weight from just not wanting to eat more than anything else. I think I could have lost alot more but had no desire for anything and not a spare ounce of energy to work out. I was on Zoloft for only a few months and couldn't function at all so I can't say if it would help or hurt. I would suggest you look back through the posts for some information on the best meds for you, I've seen alot of post about your question in the past year or so.
    Black Circle
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    Old 01-10-2004, 01:22 PM   #3
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    Re: Zoloft/Paxil Weight Gain??!?!?

    the weight gain comes mainly from eating more, or sometimes from exercising or working less, the med doesnt alter your metabolism

     
    Old 01-11-2004, 02:40 PM   #4
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    Re: Zoloft/Paxil Weight Gain??!?!?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hry33
    the weight gain comes mainly from eating more, or sometimes from exercising or working less, the med doesnt alter your metabolism
    I disagree with this black-and-white assessement. I've been exercising at the same rate (weights 3 times a week and cardio for 30-45 minutes 6 times a week), have been eating 3 well-balanced meals a day, have cut out all alcohol and most sweets, and I have not been able to lose 1 pound of the 10 pounds I gained while on Zoloft. (I have been off of Zoloft for 3 months now. I gained 10 pounds very rapidly about the 4th month of being on Zoloft. I was on the medication for a total of 6 months.)

    Mind you, I lost 30 pounds 3 years ago by eating right and exercising, so I know what it takes to lose weight. (And I have been more diligent this time with regards to eating right.) It's very difficult and it takes patience and persistence. I have been trying to lose this 10 pounds since September.

    My body feels differently. My stomach is digesting differently. Something is not right.

    A friend of mine who was on Zoloft had the same thing happen to her. And the psychiatrist I saw admitted something was going on after I presented him with all the evidence of my diet and exercise. He said they [researchers, whoever] weren't sure why this kind of thing was happening.

    CarrieLynn

     
    Old 01-11-2004, 03:17 PM   #5
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    Angry Re: Zoloft/Paxil Weight Gain??!?!?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tgreyz
    Hi I was taking zoloft 100mg since June, and in December I switched to Paxil 20mg because of the cost. I'm 5'1" and weighed about 100lbs when I started zoloft. I gained about 5 which wasn't a big deal. But since starting Paxil I've gone to 110, and now 115. I've only been on Paxil for a few weeks. I know this may not seem like a big deal but I can't keep putting on the pounds and since my eating habits really haven't changed I can only assume its the medine. Anyone had a similar experience and did you have to go off of it to stop gaining weight?
    PAXIL DOES CAUSE WEIGHT GAIN; SO DO THE OTHERS
    They do not know why, but paxil, zoloft and the other SSRIS, usually cause weight gain. Furthermore the weight gain is very difficult to lose and seems to be more of a challenge for women than men. I gained 80 lbs.

    If I were starting over, I would be very careful and go on a diet when I go on the medication. Prevention is easier than the cure. Cut out all sweets and junk food and only eat high protein and low carbohydrate diet. The problem is the effect on serotonin, which they do not yet understand.

    Also exercise vigorously while on these medications. Otherwise you may gain weight.

    Good luck,
    Froggy

     
    Old 01-12-2004, 06:36 PM   #6
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    Re: Zoloft/Paxil Weight Gain??!?!?

    I was extremely paranoid about gaining weight when I realized that I had to get back on SSRI's. I took Paxil several years ago and went from 135 lbs to 183 lbs in six months and I did not change any of my eating habits, so I couldn't explain it. It took an addiction to pain pills to lose the weight (wasn't my intention, that's just what happened). That was the only good side effect of that addiction. I beat the addiction (well, I am clean, as there is no "cure" for addiction) and have managed to keep the weight down. Well, I had to get on Zoloft and I was PETRIFIED to the point that I thought I was developing an eating disorder on top of the many other problems I have. I refused to take the medication for a while and when I finally did it (my sickness just got to be too much for me to deal with) I didn't eat the first month just to prevent myself from gaining weight. As the medication kicked in, the fear subsided (could it have been my obssessive thinking and my irrational anxieties?). I began to eat normally again. So far it appears that my fears were unfounded. I have been on 100 mg of Zoloft for 4 months and lost 5 pounds, which I haven't gained back. When I began to eat again, I ate the way I always did and still no weight gain. I feel SO MUCH BETTER on the Zoloft. I hope to continue the progress and keep my weight down as well. Paxil is notorious for weight gain. More so than most others, although Zoloft has a bad rep too. As you will hear over and over again, everyone is different. Try something else if the weight is an issue. Insist on it, because doctors will try to tell you it's not the meds, but in most cases IT IS. Good luck.

     
    Old 01-13-2004, 12:58 AM   #7
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    Re: Zoloft/Paxil Weight Gain??!?!?

    I too, gained about 20lbs on Zoloft. I've been off of it for about a year and a half now, and I CANNOT lose the weight. Eating and exercise habits haven't changed, so I just have to keep trying different things.... Today I bought Winsor Pilates, and I will give that a try. After about 4 months of being on Zoloft, I actually lost about 10 lbs (I think it was because I had energy again, and was back to my regular weight--before I got depressed), and then I remained on the Zoloft for about a year and 4 months after that, and during that time, I gained 20lbs. I took myself off cold-turkey because I was SSSOOOO upset about all the weight I was putting on (I'm 5'3 and 140lbs--my regular weight when I'm not depressed, is about 115-120), and worked out like a mad-woman for over a year now, and not one pound have I lost.... Now, I am beginning to see symptoms of depression in myself again (crying at the smallest little thing that goes wrong, can't handle stress, can't sleep at night so I have to during the day, etc.--I'm still eating right and exercising though), and I should go back on meds probably, but I am not ready to at this point because I am so upset about this weight. When I got angry at my psyc. for not telling me in advance that I might gain weight, she said that she thought I had an eating disorder that was sitting dormant, and that's why I was so angry!!! So, to say the least, I think if I go to a psychiatrist again, I will have a hard time trusting him or her. Anyways, I know this story isn't very inspirational, but I just wanted everybody who is going through this same thing to know that I'm in the same boat with them.
    Cassi

     
    Old 01-13-2004, 08:39 AM   #8
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    Re: Zoloft/Paxil Weight Gain??!?!?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Cassi
    ... I took myself off cold-turkey because I was SSSOOOO upset about all the weight I was putting on (I'm 5'3 and 140lbs--my regular weight when I'm not depressed, is about 115-120), and worked out like a mad-woman for over a year now, and not one pound have I lost....
    Cassi
    I do NOT like hearing this!

    Tell me, do you lift weights? How much do you workout and at what intensity? I'm just trying to compare my situation with your's... I'm pretty close to your height and weight. Have you ever had to lose a significant amount of weight before (20 pounds more more)?

    Before I agreed to take Zoloft, I asked my pysch about weight gain. He assured me I wouldn't gain any weight... initially he said that he only saw weight gain in people who had been on the medication for over a year and he suspected it was because they were feeling better and eating more.

    So when I quickly gained 10 pounds after being on it for 4 months, I asked him about it and he then admitted that 5% of people do gain weight on it. I asked him for what length of study this 5% weight gain risk was based on. He said 3 MONTHS. The data he was quoting me was from a 3 month study of people taking Zoloft. He didn't have statistics on weight gain for a large group of people who have been on Zoloft for more than 3 months.

    Let's try to be a bit positive here. Here's a story that should help... I have a friend who was on Zoloft a short period of time (2 months), but she rapidly gained 20 pounds. She couldn't lose it after going off Zoloft, no matter how hard she tried. She said she would work out like a dog and lose a couple of pounds and it would all just come back on. But I think after about a year, she started having more success and started losing more weight. It took a long time, though, and she was quite discouraged.

    CarrieLynn

     
    Old 01-14-2004, 12:25 AM   #9
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    Re: Zoloft/Paxil Weight Gain??!?!?

    CarrieLynn,
    I began lifting weights 3 days a week, and also doing about 30 minutes of cardio on an elliptical 3 days per week, 2 years ago. I did it off and on, and it was "on" for about 4 or 5 months at a time. Then I would lose the motivation, so I'd be "off" for about a month or 2, before I'd want to start again. I've always been a pretty slim person, so I've never had to lose any weight (I'm only 20 right now, so I know that aging shouldn't be a major issue here).
    My psyc said, when I confronted her with this information about weight gain, that a lot of young women especially, notice weight gain after about year, because of a gradually slowed metabolism. I know that it was not because of me eating more, because I was eating much less on the meds, since they made me feel better (when I was severely depressed, a couple of years ago, I ate more). So, like I said before, I'm beginning to see signs of depression in myself again (but I'm not eating more than usual--yay for me), and I should probably go see a psyc before it gets out of control, but I just can't bring myself to do so at this time... I have so much anger because of the fact that she didn't tell me something that turned out to be very significant. I just don't know if I could trust what another doctor is telling me, since I feel like I've already been lied to. Anyways, I bought Winsor Pilates (videos), and I did it yesterday and today, so I really hope that it helps with the weight loss. I guess at this point there's not much I can do besides to keep trying new things.....
    Cassi

     
    Old 01-14-2004, 12:20 PM   #10
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    Re: Zoloft/Paxil Weight Gain??!?!?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Cassi
    CarrieLynn,
    I began lifting weights 3 days a week, and also doing about 30 minutes of cardio on an elliptical 3 days per week, 2 years ago. I did it off and on, and it was "on" for about 4 or 5 months at a time. Then I would lose the motivation, so I'd be "off" for about a month or 2, before I'd want to start again. I've always been a pretty slim person, so I've never had to lose any weight (I'm only 20 right now, so I know that aging shouldn't be a major issue here).
    Cassi
    I'm twice your age, just turned 40. I was also a very slim person until I turned 30... During my early thirties, I worked like a dog, traveled a lot, ate badly and drank a lot of alcohol (averaged 1-2 drinks a day) and I never exercised. I gained a lot of weight and during my pregnancies and after the births of my 2 children, I knew I needed to clean up my act. I started eating right, lifting weights and exercising. At the age of 37, I lost 30 pounds in one year. (It took an entire year because I did it the right way.) I kept the weight off through more healthy living, eating better and exercising.

    I then went through a bad time where I needed to take Zoloft for 6 months (I only took 25mg for 3 months and then started titrating down for 3 months, shaving the pills). It was during this time that I rapidly gained 10 pounds. I had to quit exercising for a couple of months because of some physical problems, so I kindof chalked things up to that. But in September I started feeling physically better, so I went back to my routines... eating better and exercising regularly (weight and cardio), the same exact way I lost 30 pounds. I can understand that it would be difficult to lose 10 pounds, and I'm told it gets harder when you get older. But frankly, I should have lost SOMETHING after 5 months of hard work.

    I didn't want to take Zoloft, but at the time I didn't know what other choices existed. While I was on Zoloft I started seeing a biofeedback therapist once a week... we're doing neurofeedback (brain wave training). Neurofeedback is sometimes described as "weightlifting for the brain." Anyway, I am feeling better mentally than I have in years. I was able to get off the Zoloft about 8 months sooner than the psychiatrist initially told me I could. (He also told me I would probably need maintenance meds for the rest of my life.)

    After my experience, I'm not a big fan of psychiatrists. They have one mind-set and that's medication. There are other therapies out there that work very well... and without the side effect of gaining weight.

    That being said, I don't know your personal situation, so you need to do what's right for you, even if that means taking medications. I just think it's important to know that there are some people who have been able to get better without them.

    CarrieLynn

    Last edited by carrielynn; 01-14-2004 at 12:23 PM.

     
    Old 01-15-2004, 12:22 AM   #11
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    Re: Zoloft/Paxil Weight Gain??!?!?

    Thanks for the reply, CarrieLynn. I have definitely considered going back on meds, but I just can't yet..... I am so frustrated with the whole situation. Some days I think "Okay that's it, I'm going to go see a psychiatrist..." (when things are really bad), but I think I'm just going to have to wait. I'm just really hoping and praying that these depression symptoms go away on their own. I don't ever want to be in that boat again. When I threatened to my psychiatrist that I would take myself off, cold-turkey if she didn't start easing me off, she said that if you do that (cold turkey), it's much more likely that you will become depressed again. Maybe she was right. Or maybe I would've become depressed again, even if I was slowly eased off. Well, things are okay for now
    Cassi

     
    Old 01-15-2004, 03:02 PM   #12
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    Re: Zoloft/Paxil Weight Gain??!?!?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Cassi
    ...I don't ever want to be in that boat again. When I threatened to my psychiatrist that I would take myself off, cold-turkey if she didn't start easing me off, she said that if you do that (cold turkey), it's much more likely that you will become depressed again. Maybe she was right. Or maybe I would've become depressed again, even if I was slowly eased off. Well, things are okay for now
    Cassi
    It irks me that psychiatrists say thinks like, "well, if you go off your meds you're more likely to become depressed again."

    Maybe they're right, statistically, but I don't think it helps to say that to patients to bully them to keep take medications when the patient wants to try getting off of them. Why not just let the patient go off and support him/her in that, then support them if they want to get back on? (Unless the patient is violent or something like that.) My psychiatrist told me all these things too and I defied his dire predictions. I just remember thinking that it didn't help that he was so negative in everything he told me.

    I know there are many causes of depression, but I think often it happens when we let our thinking turn negative. Over time negative thinking "chips away" at your brain and the more you do it, the harder it is to stop... .it's a vicious circle. And you don't even realize you're doing it, you just know you're not feeling good. I think that's why it's good to develop mindfulness of your thinking habits and turn them around.

    It's not that simple and clear-cut, of course, but it's a start.

    Enough blather... good luck with whatever you decide to do.

    CarrieLynn

     
    Old 04-23-2006, 07:30 PM   #13
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    Re: Zoloft/Paxil Weight Gain??!?!?

    I went off Zoloft for a couple of months because I was gaining weight. I am 5'9 and weighed around 185 before Zoloft. When I first got on it I lost about 20 lbs and felt very weak. I stayed on it for a year and regained my strength. I then began to notice that my pants didn't fit well. That's when I went off it for a while. I felt pretty good for a time but then I couldn't get a nights sleep. So I went back on Zoloft (Doctor told me about seratonin or whatever its called). So I have been back on it for about 6 months and have gained more weight. I'm up to about 220. I want to get off Zoloft but I risk not being able to sleep. By the way, I am on it because of anxiety attacks ( I would get panic attacks driving). I really wish I could take something with this drug that will boost my metabolism or something.

     
    Old 04-23-2006, 07:54 PM   #14
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    Re: Zoloft/Paxil Weight Gain??!?!?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by montreal1951
    PAXIL DOES CAUSE WEIGHT GAIN; SO DO THE OTHERS
    They do not know why, but paxil, zoloft and the other SSRIS, usually cause weight gain. Furthermore the weight gain is very difficult to lose and seems to be more of a challenge for women than men. I gained 80 lbs.

    If I were starting over, I would be very careful and go on a diet when I go on the medication. Prevention is easier than the cure. Cut out all sweets and junk food and only eat high protein and low carbohydrate diet. The problem is the effect on serotonin, which they do not yet understand.

    Also exercise vigorously while on these medications. Otherwise you may gain weight.

    Good luck,
    Froggy

     
    Old 04-23-2006, 08:23 PM   #15
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    Re: Zoloft/Paxil Weight Gain??!?!?

    carrielynn,

    You said:
    "Before I agreed to take Zoloft, I asked my pysch about weight gain. He assured me I wouldn't gain any weight... initially he said that he only saw weight gain in people who had been on the medication for over a year and he suspected it was because they were feeling better and eating more."

    That's a perfect example of how clueless many doctors are. SSRI weight gain is their MOST common side effect. The next one is sexual dysfunction. When I was on Paxil boards, so many people complained about how it was nearly impossible to stop the weight gain, no matter what they did or what they ate. Runners and other athletes couldn't even prevent the gain, let alone lose any of it! The gain is usually around the middle, which is even more dangerous, because it's a precursor for diabetes mellitus, another SSRI side effect. Those affected by the weight gain side effect, usually aren't able to get rid of the weight until they're long off the drug. It's a very big battle.

    SSRIs do seem to create a craving for carbs. I've heard that hundreds of times. Like everything, it's different for everyone. There's a small number of people who actually lose weight on SSRIs, but many of them say that some of it is due to nausea.

    Good luck.

     
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