Can just reducing my dose help with weight loss?

Posted , 4 users are following.

I have been on Effexor (between 150 - 187 mg) for 9 years now and have gained 35-40 pounds with no diet change (in fact my diet is better) and consistent rigorous exercise. I am in a very good place and started the weaning process this week.

I've done this twice before with Paxil and remember the weight just falling off at one point.  I know it will take me a year to two years to completely wean, if I can be successful.  5 years ago I tried to wean and went too fast and things got really bad really quicjly, so I got back on.

So, has anyone experienced weight loss just by reducing their dose?  Like there was a threshold that once you got below that you were able to lose weight again?  Maybe not all that you gained, but a portion?

I am just not wanting to wait 2 years to get this weight off. rolleyes  But, might have to.

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4 Replies

  • Posted


    Well, here's a sensitive question.... How old are you? Don't answer but consider your age. After 9 years of being on it, you're definitely older. I'm going thru menopause and have gained weight even after eating better, walking 3 miles every other day. I wasn't overweight 12 years ago, but after several knee surgeries, and lots of down time plus getting older, I gained weight. Still on 75 mg.

    If you feel good on this medication, why wean off??? It is hard to do so, but at one point I did it in two months. That's a long story, but I'm back on it.

    My point is the weaning off process can be a little difficult and besides the withdrawal symptoms, you might possibly start feeling you other symptoms of anxiety and panic, intrusive thoughts, etc.

    You won't know if you're okay with anxiety until you wean. Lots of people here have weaned down and they're anxiety symptoms came back. So be careful and watch for the signs, pay attention to your body and emotions.

    A little bit of weight is manageable but for me, the anxiety and panic never were. Take care!

    • Posted

      Hi Tammy,

      Thanks for your thoughts. I'm 35, so I am older, but not really menopause or old enough that calorie restriction coupled with exercise 4x/week should result in zero weight loss. I've been through this before on Paxil twice. I don't necessarily expect to be back to my 20's weight, but 35 pounds is a lot extra! 

      I tried to go off Effexor 4 years ago and went to fast and it was not pleasant, so I got back on and was scared to try again.  I agree that mental well-being is by far more important than extra weight, but I do think if I do the extremely slow taper, I might be more successful.  If I do start to feel bad anxiety or depression, I will stop or go back up some of the dose.  It's just not worth that.   

      I do think a lot of the returning anxiety when people wean is because they went to quickly. I can't speak for everyone, but I do know that weaning off in 6 months or less is generally too fast.  The effect is delayed, so I think people don't realize always that it's medication withdrawal (because they've felt find for 4 months) and not just the depression returning. I never had anxiety before.  I plan to be extremely careful...I've been through this before and know what could happen and don't want to end up there again. 

      Again, thanks for your thoughts! It's always good to get other people's feedback.


    • Posted

      Your so welcome! It's hard regardless. The emotional ups and downs, sleepless nights, trying to be normal around normal people.... It's always a battle. And on good days you forget how awful you felt in the past, but for me, it's always looming in the back of my mind..."will this last?"

      So when my first granddaughter was born, I started babysitting when she was 3 months old two days a week with an overnight in between. I had to quit when she was 8 months old because my anxiety was so high, and she went into full time day care. The guilt! She's almost 5 now. Well now that I'm feeling better, I'm going to start watching my new 5 month old granddaughter. My kids knew that I wasnt doing well recently and there was no pressure from them, but I feel like I'm missing out. So I told my daughter-in-law that I would start babysitting in May and the moment I said that my anxiety started. I'm going to go back to my therapist and sort it out. Its not so bad, and it's only for one day.... So I'm conditioning myself and doing everything my therapist said. It's just so weird that this is a trigger, and I get it. Uggg. Life is too short. Once I'm there I'm good. And I'll never get those early months back. Babies are too precious!!!

      So good luck to you and keep in touch!!!

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