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Does Zoloft Cause Weight Gain In The Long Term?


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#1 divastrop

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Posted 04 May 2009 - 04:55 PM

hi,i know this has probably been asked before but i cant find that much info on it.i have read that zoloft is less likely to cause weight gain than other ssri's ,and can even cause weight loss in some people,but i have just been reading a few threads about SE's and it seems that quite alot of people have gained weight on it.

i am wondering if its a long term thing,like with fluoxetine and effexor,ie do people generally lose weight in the first couple of months and then start to gain it as their body adjusts to the medication?

i am currently cross tapering effexor with zoloft.it was my 2nd time on effexor and i gained 10lbs in 3 months,i just couldnt stop eating,i felt constantly hungry and craved sweet things.it didnt do anything good for me either which is why i am switching.i am down to 18.75mg/day effexor and 50mg/day zoloft(well,sertraline as its the generic stuff).been on the 50mg zoloft for just under 3 weeks,and havent been as hungry as i was nor am i binge-eating like i was.im just worried this is temporary.
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#2 Pat1138

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Posted 05 May 2009 - 12:13 AM

i have read that zoloft is less likely to cause weight gain than other ssri's ,and can even cause weight loss in some people,but i have just been reading a few threads about SE's and it seems that quite alot of people have gained weight on it.

I read the same things before I started Zoloft, too. I was scared to death that I was going to gain a lot of weight, since I've struggled with my weight my whole life, but it seems like everybody reacts differently to it. Maybe it has more to do with our eating habits before we started the Zoloft. I don't know.

been on the 50mg zoloft for just under 3 weeks,and havent been as hungry as i was nor am i binge-eating like i was.im just worried this is temporary.

This line in your post is exactly what I experienced. It was after about 4 weeks that I got my appetite back, but it hasn't been an out of control appetite. I've been eating normally for about a month or so, and I just weighed myself. My weight is the same as it was before I started taking the Zoloft, so I guess it hasn't had the weight gain effect on me that it has had on some other people.
The strange thing is, I feel like I weigh more -- I feel heavier, and I actually expected the scale to show me that I had gained 20 pounds, but I haven't, I'm still at my pre-Zoloft weight.

#3 divastrop

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Posted 05 May 2009 - 06:27 AM

thanks for the reply.your experience sounds similar to mine on fluoxetine-i had no appetite at first but when it came back it was 'normal',unlike what i have experienced on other meds.so hopefully i will have the same thing with zoloft.
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#4 KaylaB

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 09:41 PM

thanks for the reply.your experience sounds similar to mine on fluoxetine-i had no appetite at first but when it came back it was 'normal',unlike what i have experienced on other meds.so hopefully i will have the same thing with zoloft.


I hired a personal trainer, and changed my diet, about 4 days after I started my first week zoloft at 50mg (went up to 100mg, and now im at 150mg, been on zoloft since beginning march). I worked out with him and in my pe class at college about every-other day. My trainer had expected me to lose a lot more than I did... I only lost 10lbs with him so far. He expected more towards 30!


For the past 2 weeks, ive done nothing (trainer out of town, and im kind of lazy, lol). And i lost 2lbs. lol.


SOOO, im really torn. I told my trainer to not be upset, b/c it may be the zoloft thats preventing weight loss... but maybe its not. Im not really sure.
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#5 christalonely

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 06:37 PM

I gained 50 pounds during the last 3 years on Zoloft...I was always one of them people who could eat a lot and not gain that much weight...not now

- Christa Lynn





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#6 divastrop

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 06:23 AM

ive just been to the gp because ive gained 9lbs in 2 weeks.he was nasty to me and said it wasnt fluid retention,and that sertraline doesnt cause weight gain,so i must just be eating more.i said 'how could i gain 9lbs in fat in just over a week?i havent been eating more but even if i had how could i put that much weight on so quickly?' he said that your metabolism can change. GRRRRRRRRRR!!!

i called my psychiatric nurse but shes off so im waiting for somebody else to ring me back as this has made me feel so awful,been in tears most of the morning and keep having thoughts about hurting myself.not suicidal,but just that i want to cut allthis horrible fat off me.
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#7 HH62

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 02:56 PM

ive just been to the gp because ive gained 9lbs in 2 weeks.he was nasty to me and said it wasnt fluid retention,and that sertraline doesnt cause weight gain,so i must just be eating more.i said 'how could i gain 9lbs in fat in just over a week?i havent been eating more but even if i had how could i put that much weight on so quickly?' he said that your metabolism can change. GRRRRRRRRRR!!!

i called my psychiatric nurse but shes off so im waiting for somebody else to ring me back as this has made me feel so awful,been in tears most of the morning and keep having thoughts about hurting myself.not suicidal,but just that i want to cut allthis horrible fat off me.


I feel for you. When I first went on sertraline I had about a week to 10 days where my appetite was lower than usual. I was pleased about that because on other SSRI's (citalopram and seroxat amongst others) I'd always had really bad food cravings and was always hungry, and wanted to eat a lot of sweets and pasta and bread etc. So at first i was really pleased about the sertraline. But then I got weighed and I'd gained 10 pounds in two weeks. Then the cravings kicked in just like with citalopram and seroxat.
I wish I knew the answer to this. Doctors are still telling people that SSRI's dont cause weight gain and it's obviously NOT true. So many of us have gained wieght on them. I'm feeling terrible ATM and I know I need to see my doctor. but more SSRI's will = more weight and that wtwill = more depression. I'm already 4st overweight and maiserable becuase of it.

#8 divastrop

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Posted 30 May 2009 - 03:56 PM

HH62-what dose were you on?

i never got to speak to anybody,so i figured that as this weight gain had happened since going up to 100mg/day i would try going back to 50mg/day.after 3 days on the lower dose i'd dropped 6lbs(not fluid retention my a**e!).

i know what you mean,many doctors just dont seem to understand about the relationship between weight gain and depression.they throw around lines like 'surely it doesnt matter if you gain a few lbs as long as the meds are working?' and 'just eat sensibly and take some excersise,then you wont gain weight' .its so frustrating!
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#9 Pat1138

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Posted 02 June 2009 - 01:25 PM

HH62-what dose were you on?
i never got to speak to anybody,so i figured that as this weight gain had happened since going up to 100mg/day i would try going back to 50mg/day.after 3 days on the lower dose i'd dropped 6lbs(not fluid retention my a**e!).

You were only on 50mg for 3 days, and you've already dropped 6 lbs? Wow! Did you do anything differently in those 3 days, or was it just the pill change?

My doctor just increased my dosage from 50 to 100mg/day and I am a little worried about gaining weight. I didn't gain any weight on the 50mg, but now that I've been on 100mg for two weeks I've gained 6 lbs. I don't know, maybe 6 lbs isn't a lot, but my pill was increased because of my social anxiety -- and I think my a lot of my social anxiety is about body image. So, I'm gaining weight on a pill that is supposed to be helping me.

#10 aewiel

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Posted 04 June 2009 - 10:11 PM

Before starting Zoloft, I weighed in at a consistent 145 lbs at just over 5 ft tall. Within two months of starting Zoloft, I had gained 10 pounds. Emotionally, Zoloft worked for me, so weight gain was just an unfortunate side effect. However, over the past 5 years, I have been entirely unable to actually lose weight. I had myself on diets while running 3-5 mornings a week, and walked everywhere I had to go for pretty much the entirety of the 5 years. I am now 175 lbs, still go running, bike to work, and eat a fairly healthy diet. (Age-wise, I'm 19, and this is the sort of weight-loss nightmare I heard my mother talk about going through in her late 40's....)


One of my close friends in high school had a similar experience with Zoloft. It didn't work for him overall, so he dropped it after a few months and promptly lost most of the weight he had gained. :hearts:

Edit: I have taken 100MG for the bulk of my time on this drug.

Edited by aewiel, 04 June 2009 - 10:12 PM.


#11 iknowthwtruth

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Posted 15 March 2010 - 01:02 AM

ive just been to the gp because ive gained 9lbs in 2 weeks.he was nasty to me and said it wasnt fluid retention,and that sertraline doesnt cause weight gain,so i must just be eating more.i said 'how could i gain 9lbs in fat in just over a week?i havent been eating more but even if i had how could i put that much weight on so quickly?' he said that your metabolism can change. GRRRRRRRRRR!!!

i called my psychiatric nurse but shes off so im waiting for somebody else to ring me back as this has made me feel so awful,been in tears most of the morning and keep having thoughts about hurting myself.not suicidal,but just that i want to cut allthis horrible fat off me.


I feel for you. When I first went on sertraline I had about a week to 10 days where my appetite was lower than usual. I was pleased about that because on other SSRI's (citalopram and seroxat amongst others) I'd always had really bad food cravings and was always hungry, and wanted to eat a lot of sweets and pasta and bread etc. So at first i was really pleased about the sertraline. But then I got weighed and I'd gained 10 pounds in two weeks. Then the cravings kicked in just like with citalopram and seroxat.
I wish I knew the answer to this. Doctors are still telling people that SSRI's dont cause weight gain and it's obviously NOT true. So many of us have gained wieght on them. I'm feeling terrible ATM and I know I need to see my doctor. but more SSRI's will = more weight and that wtwill = more depression. I'm already 4st overweight and maiserable becuase of it.


It's 1am and I am up because of Zoloft. That is my cross to bear, it keeps me up...oh and i have gained 10 pounds in one month. Here is how I found this awesome forum, and the truth about Zoloft. Yes, it has helped my depression symptoms, however I now have a new type of depression from the weight gain. Over the past year and a half I have lost 100 pounds. I did that by re-learning how to eat, running every day and replacing bad habits with good ones. I switched from another anti-depressant to Zoloft and watched my once flat stomach begin to sag, regardless of how much I watched my diet. So frustrating. I know this sounds drastic, but after reading many of your posts, I walked into the bathroom and dumped my remaining pills down the toilet and flushed it. I worked up from 50 ml to 100 ml in a month and bingo...a new reason to feel down. The reason I chose the login name (which i misspelled in my excitement to share this story with you all) is after some recollection of past Zoloft usage it dawned on me that this has happened to me several times in the past. From now on, I will try Valerian root or something natural to work through the rough spots in life. If anyone wants to chat about my weight gain experience on this drug, feel free to ping me.

#12 scarletquill

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Posted 25 April 2010 - 11:15 AM

I had absolutely no appetite at all on Zoloft. Bah! Never again. This was years ago...but I literally couldn't eat enough for months. Awful. I finally told my doctor...enough is enough! She tried to convince me to stick with it whilst I got skinnier and skinner. I packed back on the 10kgs straight after I stopped it. If something's not working for you and you know in your gut that it's causing you horrible side effects, please don't let your doctor tell you otherwise or convince you to stick it out...I was underweight enough as it was, I didn't need Zoloft to make it worse!

It seems these drugs either cause you to gain or lose...only occasionally there is a middle-ground, if they're weight-neutral for you, you're one of the lucky ones!
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#13 PostModernSleaze

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Posted 26 April 2010 - 04:35 PM

I've been on it for about 5 months now, just 50 mg, and haven't gained or lost--however, I've gotten much healthier as I've become vegetarian and began running again. My body composition has always meant I'm way heavier than I look so I just try to go by my measurements than my weight. And as long as I'm healthy...in both body and mind...I'm happy.

#14 Guest_Castiel_*

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Posted 26 April 2010 - 05:40 PM

It's been 5 days for me with 50mg of sertraline (generic form of Zoloft) and i have absolutely no appetite. In the past 3 days I've lost almost 5 pounds, my mother keeps reminding me to eat because with out the hunger pains to remind to eat i just go on with my day without ever thinking that i need to put some food in my belly! I'm guessing this is a early side effect that will go away in time but if it doesn't I'll have to do something about it. I already weigh 110lbs, i don't think it would be healthy to drop down into the 90-95lbs region.

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Posted 10 May 2010 - 12:41 PM

When I began Zoloft 17 years ago, I initially lost about 20lbs. I was about 125 and then went to 105lbs which was alarming.

Almost twenty years later I weight 157lbs at 5'3". Luckily I carry it well. I believe and have read Zoloft does cause weight gain in the long term, though most docs are not up on this. I have been weaning myself off (with doc's help) since last year and have gone from 250-300mg to alternating 100mg one day and 75mg the next at this point. At this rate, I should be done hopefully by Christmas. I don't know if I've lost any weight yet (mostly in gut and breasts), but I think maybe a little. From what I've read, it usually takes being completely off the Zoloft and the passage of a few months for it to be all out of the system before the weight starts to come off (with little dieting or exercise).

I can't wait, but I can't hurry this tapering process either.

#16 LonelySoul193

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Posted 16 May 2010 - 09:36 AM

I'm sure I've gained weight also. It doesn't help that it has definitely made me a tired person, I'm constantly knackered... Though I am a teenager :) haha. But I used to be so energetic, and now I just cannot be bothered doing anything!

#17 shadows

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 07:13 AM

I've been on 100mg for the last six months or so. I do remember feeling very tired and having no appetite at all for the first few days, but gradually that went away. I was just about 120lbs when I started on it, and I'm down to about 112 now. I'm not sure if it's because of the medication, though, since I've always been sort of obsessive about eating habits and calorie counting in correlation with my weight, and I walk a lot daily and do light exercise.

I talked to my psychiatrist about all of this since one of my first questions before agreeing to medication was whether it tended to cause weight gain, and he said that people are all different and it's impossible to know the effect it will have in advance, but that in his experience (he mostly deals with college students, so it's applicable to that age range, I guess) people who are already concerned about their weight or are smaller to begin with tend to be less likely to gain weight. He also pointed out that a person who tends to eat less when depressed will be more prone to gaining on antidepressants as their mood improves, while an emotional eater will probably end up moderating their eating a bit as they stop feeling down so often or so severely. I've generally been the type to eat less while depressed, though, but as I said, I have always been extremely weight conscious to an arguably unhealthy degree, and I've never been very big.

Either way, Zoloft has definitely not caused me to gain weight over the last 6-7 months (and if it has, not to any extent that it wasn't counteracted by my eating/exercise habits), and it certainly hasn't made it impossible to lose weight for me. I weigh myself every day, and I've made it clear from the start that I'll stop the medication as quickly as possible if I start to gain weight uncontrollably, but that has not happened yet.

I still do get tired pretty often and I'm positive it's because of the meds, but in terms of weight loss that's not necessarily a bad thing... I end up in situations every so often where I'm both hungry and tired, and the tiredness usually wins out, and I'm rarely hungry right after I wake up.

#18 divastrop

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 02:34 PM

wow, I forgot I posted this lol. Well, the weight kind of levelled out after a while on 50mg, then I had to go back to 100mg for a few weeks due to low mood and I put a few pounds back on. Nothing made the weight shift though, and I hovered between 11st 3lbs and 11 st 9lbs which is more than I should be at 5'3".
I have heard it all, the theory of those who don't eat when they are depressed gaining weight as the meds are working and those who over eat losing it is a favourite of the docs, but I think it's a lot of tripe really. There are reports which indicate these meds alter your blood sugar level (can't recall the proper term for it) which is why the weight gain happens and why it's hard to shift.
I have been off all meds( after a very slow taper) for five weeks now, and although I haven't lost any weight as such I feel more in control of my eating; I am no longer waking up feeling the need to stuff my face. I have also noticed I am no longer feeling as tired and needing to sleep in the afternoons.
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#19 bailunrui

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Posted 10 June 2010 - 04:27 PM

I gained 50 pounds during the last 3 years on Zoloft...I was always one of them people who could eat a lot and not gain that much weight...not now


I have a similar story. During the last 4 years on Zoloft, I've gained about 35 pounds (though, to be fair, I've also been on birth control). I've always been the skinny girl and that is gradually changing! Since I'm changing meds, I hope that I'll be able to get some of my metabolism back.

#20 divastrop

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 03:00 PM

well that all went to poo. I gained 7lbs off the zoloft, and after 7 weeks I decided I had to go back on it as I was feeling bad again.

I was always overweight when I was on the pill, and when I went on the injection I gained 35lbs in 6 weeks. I can't do hormones.
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#21 NotAVictim

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Posted 04 July 2010 - 08:48 PM

I am having similar issues to those mentioned above. I was initially on Prozac at university, on the maximum dose. I think that combined with stress eating and lack of exercise caused my initial weight gain. I came off the medication and started working out where I got in to better shape (I have no records of my weight for then unfortunately). I think the stress eating must have stayed because I still had some of the weight gain when coming off, despite working out regularly.

On starting Zoloft and hovering around 76Kg I dipped to 73kg initially then went up to 81Kg (some of which I am sure is muscle mass). Just this weekend, one of my friends remarked I am looking fatter and one of the belts I used for a few years no longer fits me. It appears to be mostly on my face and mid section.

#22 short

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 01:01 AM

Personally, i gained a good 20lbs during the 1.5-2 yrs i was on Setraline. Even though my workout routine/diet hadn't changed during this time(i actually worked out more often and more intensely just to try to shed the weight), i just couldn't keep that weight off. I've since transitioned fully off of the med about 2 months ago, and have lost that gained weight.

#23 alexgris

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Posted 27 May 2011 - 09:08 AM

hi,i know this has probably been asked before but i cant find that much info on it.i have read that zoloft is less likely to cause weight gain than other ssri's ,and can even cause weight loss in some people,but i have just been reading a few threads about SE's and it seems that quite alot of people have gained weight on it.

i am wondering if its a long term thing,like with fluoxetine and effexor,ie do people generally lose weight in the first couple of months and then start to gain it as their body adjusts to the medication?

i am currently cross tapering effexor with zoloft.it was my 2nd time on effexor and i gained 10lbs in 3 months,i just couldnt stop eating,i felt constantly hungry and craved sweet things.it didnt do anything good for me either which is why i am switching.i am down to 18.75mg/day effexor and 50mg/day zoloft(well,sertraline as its the generic stuff).been on the 50mg zoloft for just under 3 weeks,and havent been as hungry as i was nor am i binge-eating like i was.im just worried this is temporary.



YES, YOU ARE RIGHT. ZOLOFT DOES CAUSE SERIOUS WEIGHT GAIN AND FATIGUE. I took zoloft for less than a year, a minimum dose of 25 mg per day, and, after the first months when the drug is new once the body adjust with it, ZOLOFT is a downer that causes serious fatigue and weight gain. The less you feel like moving - because zolft is such a downer - the more weight you gain naturally. Zolft evens out your moods but cuts your edge. I decided to let it go and onky use it during the depressing winter months.

#24 elizabeth34

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Posted 29 May 2011 - 12:44 AM

Hi there

I am a former NSW Police officer and was medically discharged from the NSW police after being diagnosed with Chronic PTSD, anxiety and depression. I was taking Zoloft for four years after avoiding ADs for a long time. I was on 100mg. Before taking Zoloft I was a healthy 61kgs (5"9 tall). Within the first twelve months I started to gain a small amount of weight which was not so bad. After the third year I was weighing in at 89kilos. I have always been slim all my life, and my eating habits had not changed so I was a getting extremely distressed at this weight gain. I decided to go back to my Doctor who informed me that it does have that affect in SOME people. I mean 28 kilos...thats noticable. I started feeling worse about myself and sunk in to a deeper depression about my weight gain. I couldnt fit in to any of my clothes, felt unattractive to my husband and avoided going out. Its a hard thing to deal with when someone says " My god you got big".. and not being able to tell them it was medication related. Its such a personal journey going through depression and being alone is harder. I then decided that I had to go off Zoloft not only becuase of the weigh gain, but the other nasty side affects that come with it. Unable to sleep properly, dizzyness, being in a constant foggy state and cotton mouth all the time. Not nice. When I finally came off Zoloft, I lost 6 kilos, but the rest has stayed on. Since coming off this medication and being put on others, I am still struggling with the same issues. Weight gain again, feeling like I have a constant hangover and nauseated. Its a difficult pill to swallow when you are already suffering depression only to have matters complicated by a medication deemed appropriate by a Doctor to cause weight gain in a mentally ill person. I dont know if it was worth the side affects that came with it, but i am sure that there are some good aspects of the medication.

#25 emmietaylor

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 06:00 PM

Yes it does i ws gaining weight like crazy till i worked out why.
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#26 MaddieLouise

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 09:30 PM

I think this is unique to the individual because I've known people who have lost weight on Zoloft as well, so I think it's a possible side effect for some, but I don't think it's correct to say the everyone who takes it will gain weight on it. When I took it, I didn't gain weight on it. It was other ADs that caused weight gain.

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#27 Lisle

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 10:16 PM

Hi this is my first post. I have been on zoloft for 9 years with a 2 year hiatus 5 years ago. I lost weight in the beginning when i first started in late 2002 but suddenly gained 90 (ninety) pounds. I am just now finding sites online which talk about a connection between zoloft and obesity... And high cholesterol as well! Seems like studies are just now coming out...

#28 Rahul

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 10:28 AM

my simple brain tells me that no medication causes weight again. you gain weight because you eat more than the calories you expend. there was even a thread here in which a woman tracked her progress on mirtazapine (the most notorious for causing weight gain). she tracked her calories in and calories out (exercise) daily and at the end of the few months of experiment, reported no weight gain. i take mirtazapine AND lexapro. though mirtazapine did cause me to gain weight initially because of munchies, i now (4 years later) weigh the same as i did before starting the meds. so if you are gaining weight -- eat less and exercise more. even the munchies go away with time. i know ssris can make you less motivated to exercise but my experience is that after a a few months, the motivation returns (viz. the side effect -- lack of motivation -- disappears).

Edited by Rahul, 29 March 2012 - 10:33 AM.

I'm not a doctor or a health professional and any advice in my post is purely my personal opinion and anecdotal.

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#29 Donna_Maria

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 07:19 AM

I have been researching this medication through all available material in the public domain, from completed suicides to weight gain, from life saving mood lifter to weight loss, the ability to help with ocd and pmdd, though one thing runs through all the clincal trials, the effect on the brain and hypothalamus. I myself gained weight on this medication, so quit it, my experience was horrendous pain in my neural pathways, no wonder they tell you to taper off, I perservered and feel much better now.

If a medication messes with the brain, it will cause many other problems, if the medication works for you, CONTINUE TO TAKE IT...

It is widely know that pharmaceutical manufacturers make the medication first, them find an illness it will work for and then create more meds for the side effects... that is business... however, food can also help, so bear in mind that eat foods beneficial to helping the body stay in tip top condition...

I have come across information stating that weight gain caused by zoloft will not go, no matter what you do until you stop taking the meds... it is also know to cause food craving, especially carbohydrates... it make you less likely to be energetic as it is a downer and leads users to lead a sedentary lifestyle..

Hope this helps a little but remember, depression and mental illness is a serious issue and illness, NEVER LEAVE IT UNTREATED!!!




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