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Medication and weightgain

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Medication and weightgain

Postby electrongirl » Fri Feb 08, 2008 10:00 pm

There's always been talk about certain medications that cause weight gain: eg the pill, other contraceptives etc etc.

I have always been one of those people who argue against it as I believe there is no possible way a drug can cause you to gain weight if you havn't changed your eating habits or exercise habits.

What I beleive is people tend to take these medications when things in their lives change. I started Depo Provera when I began a serious relationship with my ex. At the same time I moved in with him, stopped going out, sat at home watching DVD's and eating pizza... BAM I gained 20kg!!!! And people said "Oh it must be the Depo!!"

Now I know there are drugs that do change things in your body like your metabolism etc, but in all honesty can we really blame it all on the medications?

The only reason I am asking this is I have just been prescribed Zoloft and after doing a bit of reading up on it I have come across alot of people saying it caused them to gain weight.

Now I am a pretty reasonable person and I still believe there is now way a drug, by itself can make me gain weight. Its still worries me a little. I am a little unstable at the moment so my mind is open to FREAKING OUT!!!

So any thoughts on this?
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Re: Medication and weightgain

Postby electrongirl » Fri Feb 08, 2008 10:01 pm

just to add, I do know that some medication can cause you to retain fluid etc but I am talking about gaining 20kg, not 2kg!
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Re: Medication and weightgain

Postby chubba momma » Fri Feb 08, 2008 10:13 pm

Not really sure, i was a skinny as kid ( i mean i would get fed by teh teachers casue they thought i wasnt getting fed at home!) and i used to get Migraines ALOT as a kid, they got so bad at one point i coulnt eat was just in agony. so i was 10 ( i think) and went to teh doctor and he put me on somethign to help teh headaches (dont ask me what i was too young and dint care i could have a normal life ithout head aches well i still got them but not as bad!) and from then on mum said some nights id be up eating at midnight! Not only that i just gained weight alot of it in no time! Since that point i have always had problems with weight and eating. Not saying its to blame (its mostly poor choices now) but teh medication did make me gain weight!
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Re: Medication and weightgain

Postby Kimmie » Sun Feb 10, 2008 2:19 pm

I'm not really sure, EG. I've never been on any medication other than a slew of monophasic pills (contraception), but I suspect that depression can cause weight gain, too, from a behavioural point of view. I think if it has been recommended that you go on Zoloft, that it would be for a reason. If you keep dieting and exercising as normal, you hopefully won't gain any weight (definitely nothing in the 20kg vicinity, anwyay!).

I also hypothesise that feeling better could be motivating to exercise more, become physically fitter and stronger along with your psyche. Maybe you could lose weight! :D

Anyway, I'm definitely of a mind that if medication can help the way you feel, improve you general quality of life, it will be *worth* it.
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Re: Medication and weightgain

Postby Mandie » Sun Feb 10, 2008 8:20 pm

No medication should make you gain as much as 20kg, except posssssibly for some antipsychotics that schizophrenics tend to be on long term...

Some medications can make you "gain weight" - Zoloft and other antidepressants tend to stimulate the appetite, and that's how some people gain weight. However, if you make healthy choices when you eat, eat often and sensibly, and continue to exercise, you should still be able to lose weight on this drug. Many people use medication as an excuse and while it may contribute, it is not the only thing! You are in control of your body and what you put in it. If you're hungry, you can choose fruit or chocolate, or a healthy filling dinner with loads of vegies, or KFC - it's all up to YOU!

Most studies that show weight gain in patients after certain medication shows minimal amounts.. I have had so many people blame the pill for gaining weight, when in reality, most studies show that even the "worst" pills on cause an average gain of 2kg... drop in the bucket really!

So you should definitely be aware that you may have an increased appetite Nikki - but arm yourself with healthy, low calorie snacks and keep up the exercise and you'll be fine! :)
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Re: Medication and weightgain

Postby electrongirl » Sun Feb 10, 2008 9:54 pm

thank you Mandie!! You have confirmed what I have always thought!!

And I am finding at the moment I have less of an appetite BUT I have only been taking them for like 2 days so not much time to really tell yet!!
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Re: Medication and weightgain

Postby Pandora » Mon Feb 11, 2008 12:56 am

hey EG, good luck with the zoloft - i hope you benefit from it :) i take a low dose of lexapro (10mgs) daily due to the funhouse that is my brain (anxiety and depression issues) and i haven't gained any more weight than expected. in fact, i've lost a kg! i have a friend who is a (functioning) paranoid schizophrenic and he's on every med under the sun. he claims they make him fat, but he friggin BINGES! different for everyone i suppose, but i don't completely agree with meds/thyroids being totally blamed for weight, i know quite a few people who manage it :)

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Re: Medication and weightgain

Postby ali76 » Mon Feb 11, 2008 9:48 am

Hi EG,

I was exactly the same when I started on my medication. The first few weeks I was a bit of a mess and couldn't eat (I'm an emotional starver though and felt terrible about 'needing' medication to cope with things). Apparently the medication takes about 5-6 weeks to really kick in though?? After that, I was an eating machine!!! So it wasn't the medication that made me gain weight, it was the fact my appetite was huge and I ate cr*p....I wasn't really aware of or therefore prepared for the increased appetite.

Like Madie said, just be prepared, have lots of healthy / low cal snacks, drink lots of water and you should be fine.

The thing is, when I was put on medication, I wasn't eating at all....I lost about 12 kg in 5 weeks and looked great on the outside, but was a mess on the inside. I'd much rather be the size I am now and feel good about myself than to ever go back to where I was...

Good luck :)

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Re: Medication and weightgain

Postby senoritanita » Mon Feb 11, 2008 2:08 pm

my doctor told me some medications can make you retain water & therefore put on weight but you should never put on more than 10% of your body weight by taking a medication - it can only be blamed on other things! I had the same concern recently when changing my pill to a higher estrogen one, i've found it's slowed down my weight loss but if its just water and not fat i'm ok with that for the time being!
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Re: Medication and weightgain

Postby loveat116 » Tue Feb 12, 2008 12:10 pm

Ive never experienced weight gain due to a medication.

The pill KINDA did... but thats cause I was in a relationship and we ate out a lot and hardly did any exercise.
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Re: Medication and weightgain

Postby EvilWombatQueen » Tue Feb 12, 2008 12:49 pm

I think it's a combination of a lot of things. As Mandie pointed out some medications stimulate the appetite. Others can slow the metabolism. Neither thing in and of itself will cause you to suddenly gain 20kg. But once you throw it into the mix of a health-unfriendly society and you may end up creating an imbalance in someone's lifestyle that will cause them to gain considerable weight. If you're on a medication that increases the appetite, you have poor sleeping habits, you work long hours, you have little time to exercise and you rely on convenience foods then that slight increase in appetite could be the thing that causes you to gain a couple of kilos every year where previously you may have been maintaining, and those kilos add up over time.

I think it's just a matter of understanding what a drug will do to your weight loss, metabolism or water retention and then adjusting your lifestyle accordingly before it becomes a problem.
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Re: Medication and weightgain

Postby mimosa8 » Tue Feb 12, 2008 4:27 pm

some medications slow the metabolism and increase appetite just as others speed the metabolism and decrease appetite.

you still control what you eat.

CALS in vs cals out still holds true.

zoloft MAY cause weight gain but not as much as others eg avanza and older style meds.

The worst side effect with ssri's (eg zoloft and similar ones) is nausea and sexual side effects.
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Re: Medication and weightgain

Postby electrongirl » Tue Feb 12, 2008 7:43 pm

mimosa8 wrote:The worst side effect with ssri's (eg zoloft and similar ones) is nausea and sexual side effects.


yeah the doctor warned me about the latter and I was like NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! so far so good :wink:
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