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gymbunny gymbunny

citalopram & weight gain ( how long to lose it after coming off cit)

I have been on cit 50mg & trazodone 200mg for 2 years. I have put on 3 stone in this time.

I have started to reduce the cit & just wondered how long it takes to lose the weight gain once you are off the cit??

115 Replies

  • The Globus Kid The Globus Kid

    Hi there,

    Your weight loss should be gradual, dont try to lose it too quickly.

    Follow a healthy diet with plenty of excercise and make sure you expend more calories than you consume per day.

    I would say try to lose a couple of pounds per week until you feel happy with your weight again.

    Good luck


  • gymbunny gymbunny

    Hi, I am a personal trainer, so I do know about weight loss & exercise, & nutrition ( its my job lol)

    . What I dont know is if the weight gain due to medication just drops off. I have never eaten any more & have kept on exercising whilst on the cit.

    • kim71543 kim71543 gymbunny

      My appetite didn't increase either but I have gained about 20 something pounds. If I had an increase in appetite I could control that, but hard when you don't eat anymore but gain all that weight. Today I began an exercise and healthy eating program.

  • Rosie3 Rosie3

    Hi, I've been on Cit for 3yrs for anxiety, my GP assures me that the weight gain is temporary & I will lose it when i come off them.

    I'm planning to reduce my dose from 40 to 30mg over the next few weeks. Hoping I might have more energy then!

    Gymbunny - just wondering if you know the maximum dose for Citalopram has been reduced to 40mg, it would be worth you discussing this with your GP.

    • kim71543 kim71543 Rosie3

      Oh Rosie that is so encouraging. I hope he is telling the truth and that I will lose it. I have begun walking and eating more healthily. I am cutting out all eating between meals and lattes etc.

  • krispie krispie

    Hi Rosie3, I'm a little surprised to read what you wrote about the maximum dose of Citalopram now being 40mg. I've been on 60mg a day for about a year and was unaware of this. I do get incredibly sleepy during the daytime and have less energy than I used to but I'd put that down to increasing age! Perhaps the tablets cause this?

    I've not gained weight though and am as underweight as I was when I started taking them. I guess the metabolic rate varies from person to person.

  • gymbunny gymbunny

    Rosie3, I too am surprised at this info, who told you this??

    I have reduced to 40mg now anyway. Dont feel great though, I feel tense all the time.

  • gymbunny gymbunny

    hi rosie3 I googled it yesterday & spoke to my gp & he said no one would now be started on a higher dose, but those already on a higher dose would be maintained on it.

    I just want to get off it now as I have gained so much weight.

  • krispie krispie

    Hi gymbunny I also googled the Citalopram dose after reading the post from Rosie3 and then spoke to my GP because I was worried about being on 60mg a day. He reassured me that it's ok to take such a high dose since I've already been taking it for so long. I'm quite reassured to read that your GP also thinks it's ok for those already on it.

    It's strange about the weight gain isn't it, how some people do gain weight and others don't. It must be hard to reduce the dose when you know they help so much. Why do some of us suffer such high levels of anxiety anyway? I have the impression it's something I'll never be free of unless I'm on medication because it's been with me all my life yet I've tried so many alternative ways of freeing myself of it. I know about adopting the right attitude to it in theory but nothing seems to work in practice. I'm so relieved to be on medication.

  • Rosie3 Rosie3

    Hi Krispie

    I'm pleased you've had reasurrance from your GP, its always good to check.

    Anxiety is very hard to cope with isn't it. Have you had any therapy? My diagnosis is PTSD & I've had 2yrs therapy with a psychologist. When i first went to see her I had been off work for nearly a year & was barely functioning, we used a mix of talking therapies & EMDR & I was also on Citalopram to rebalance my brain chemicals. Now my symptoms & quite incredibly my anxiety is manageable, i still have some blips on on the whole life is so much better.

    Do hope you find some relief from your anxiety soon.

  • krispie krispie

    Rosie3, I'm very grateful to you for having mentioned the new guidelines re Citalopram. You've also introduced me to EMDR, something I'd not heard of before! I've not had therapy recently but did have help for agoraphobia many years ago and also saw a psychiatrist for depression for a short time but these were both many, many years ago.

    As you'll gather my problem has been with me for a very long time so I adjusted to living with it and almost regarded it as normal. I've done voluntary work but have otherwise been a stay at home wife and mother and have coped that way and managed to hide my problems from other people.

    I'm glad you've had a positive diagnosis and are able to have the appropriate treatment.

  • Noodles Noodles

    Having read all of the above....I have been on citalopram for over a year and would like to reduce the dose, with a view to coming off it completely. Ran out of tablets last week and nearly had a breakdown gradual reduction recommended! Am desperate to lose excess weight gained too. Can it be self managed? Am on 10mg now. Would appreciate any advice.

  • Andydoc1 Andydoc1

    Hiya everyone , have been on cit 10 mg for 5 weeks very little time I know ,but I have gained a stone , I haven't eaten any more or exercised less , but I feel a lot better in myself and really wan to try and stop takin this stuff ...... I know there can be side effects but as I've only been on it a short time does anyone think its gonna cause problems ?thanks

    • kim71543 kim71543 Andydoc1

      Hi Andydoc1 I have also gained a lot of weight and am coming off of it as I find it too depressing to see the weight gain. Like yourself I didn't have any increase in appetite.  I am on 20mg, but am only taking it every second day now with the view of coming off of it in a week or two. I am hoping the gained weight will come off with a bit of exercise and a good diet.

  • jaf91 jaf91

    Hi, glad to see there's a forum here I can talk about probs with other people who are feeling the same as I am - nobody seems to understand what I'm going through with this depression and anxiety malarkey. Never mind.

    I wasn't aware that you gain wait from citalopram - is this a known side effect?

    I started citalopram around a month ago, was on 10mg but had a really bad panic attack one night and also was horrifically suicidal on another time, was increased to 20mg dose...

    When I started taking 10mg...I lost around a stone - now I'm eating (over-eating, even) and feel I'm going to start putting on weight again.

    I thought it was the meds that caused the weight loss, but now I'm against thinking that after reading these pposts.

  • krispie krispie

    Hi, I have no medical knowledge so can't comment on the facts about weight gain but my own experience is that taking a high dose of Citalopram has had no effect on my weight. I am underweight but my weight has remained steady since I started the medication a couple of years ago.

    The medication helps me enormously and enables me to cope better with everyday situations instead of feeling agitated most of the time as I did prior to taking it. I think each person has to assess the pros and cons of taking the medication, the benefits of an improved mental state as opposed to the disadvantages of increased body weight (if this occurs).

    Is it not possible to control one's weight by eating and exercising moderately? I know it can be difficult with a sedentary job and the temptation of readily available snack foods.

  • Spockney Spockney

    I was on Citalopram for over two years and gained two stone in weight. I am finding it IMPOSSIBLE to lose it. I've been off Citalopram for over a week now.

    Over the past 6 months, I have been strictly dieting to no avail. I eat significantly less than I did before taking citalopram, yet I keep gaining weight. There is definitely something wrong and I am concerned. I haven't been this heavy since I was pregnant!

    • kim71543 kim71543 Spockney

      Hi Spockney, I have also just cut down on the citalopram with the view of being off it in a week or so. I have gained so much weight and my appetite hasn't increased at all. I see it is a year since you wrote your part so I am interested to see if you have lost the weight now.

    • Wendiwoo Wendiwoo kim71543

      Hi Kim, you are the one on here who has posted the most recent comments, so hope you dont mind me messaging you.

      My GP started me on citalopram last week, and Im horrified to read that it makes you gain weight.  Ive just lost 11 stone in weight - half my body weight, and the thought of gaining again mortifies me, as I worked hard to get where I am today.  What concerns me too is that your weight increases even if you do not eat extra.

      From the second tablet, thinking about it now, I was picking alot more than I normally do, so Im wondering if that could be the start of me gaining weight.  I cant afford to put weight on (more so because Ive bought new clothes in smaller sizes and I want them to be able to fit me!!)

      Ive got to go back to GP in three weeks, so I will monitor my weight til then.  If I have gained alot, theres no way I want to continue this.  But going through a painful divorce prompted me to ask GP for help, and this is what she gave me.

      How is your weight now?  How much have you gained and over what period of time?  I would be ever so grateful if you kept in touch with me.

      Thanks  Wendy

    • Birdlover Birdlover Wendiwoo

      Hi I would just like to say I've gained 5 stone in 6 months. And no hope of either coming off or losing the weight  hope you work it out I repay do. I worry about the gain more than what I was before it's utterly ridiculous.

    • ADH ADH kim71543

      Hi Kim - do you mind my asking how you're getting on?  I've piled on weight since being on Citalopram (for 2 and a bit years) and am now coming off it (one more tablet to go!) because the weight gain is making my anxiety and depression far worse instead of better.  One of the reasons I was put on tablets to start with was because of eating disorders/weight issues and I'm quite angry that the doctor didn;'t tell me that Citalopram could make you put on weight, and has repeatedly told me that it must be something else causing the problem (after she referred me to a dietitian, I did everything the dietitian said and it didn't help, she finally admitted that it must be the Citalopram), but it's too late now.  I am desperately hoping that the weight will start to come off now. 

    • shazzer69 shazzer69 ADH

      Hi Add,

      I have been on citalopram 20 mg for 17 months and feel a lot better well saying that apart from my weight.I have gained 20 pounds.I eat well and exercise.I had no control over it and I kept putting the weight on.I have never struggled with my weight before.

      Anyway now I am reducing them down slowly and hopefully the weight comes off

      fingers crossed.x

    • ADH ADH shazzer69

      Good luck!  I was sent for counselling as well as having the citalopram, and the counsellor kept saying that the reason I'd been stressing over my weight for years was to try to make myself feel in control of something, and then the citalopram took that away and I kept piling on weight no matter what I did.  Hope you're going OK with reducing them x.

    • shazzer69 shazzer69 ADH

      I've only just started reducing today so hopefully be ok.

      I'm just glad I'm back to my old self.

      it's not a nice place to be when you're depressed and admitting it isn't easy either.

      Now I can concentrate on my weight and fit.back into my

      Hope you are doing ok.

      thanks for replying. X

    • indi53312 indi53312 ADH

      'Me also in the same boat, I have been taking 40mg for almost a year and only just come to the realisation finally that it was the citalopram. Also suffering from an eating disorder and severe anxiety I couldn't handle the weight gain even though my doctor has continuously assured me it's not the tablets. I've alowly cut down in the last 2 months and hoping that the weight will begin to drop because I feel far worse now about myself then what I did before I started taking them when I had just lost 25 kgs sad

    • nickymouse nickymouse Spockney

      i really agree with you. ive been on cit for 4 months. now at 40mg. just horrified that i have gone from 42 year old slim man to absolute fat bellied porcupine!!! i cant shift it. for 6 weeks i have been walking 6 miles per day and nothing. zero!!! anyone have a  clue in the world how i can shift this weight? am totally emoathising with Ms. spockney!

  • jon33 jon33

    I've been on Citalopram for about 10 months now and have probably gained in the region of 2 stone since i've been on it. I was on 40mg and i've cut down to 10mg now but my weight has just stuck. Does anyone have any experience with weight loss after coming off completely? I'm aiming to be off it completely come Autumn and i'm hoping that I can start to shift the weight.

    I'm back to exercising regularly and although I can't claim that I have an amazing diet, it's not changed massively since before I suffered from anxiety depressions and I was 11 stone then. As much as i'm feeling better, my weight is still getting me down!

  • helendolman helendolman

    I have been on cit for 3 years for anxiety and Atenolol for 2 for migraines, in that time i've gone from 11 stone to 14.5... i've been constantly dieting, eating well, exercising (as much as i can as i get very drowsy in the daytime)

    I've only just started to realise that the cit is the reason I have put on so much weight, my doctor keeps telling me it isn't the cit but since reading the amount of posts from people who are suffering the same as me I feel better as I have been struggling with my weight so much.

    I am hoping to ween myself off asap and maybe then I can lose the weight.

  • gymbunny gymbunny

    Hi guys, I started this post last year so thought I'd give you an update. I actually was completely off cit by October 2012. I began my diet & exercise plan at the begining of November. I lost my 3 stone. by March 2013 smile

    I decreased my calorie intake and increased my exercise. I am a fitness instructor & personal trainer & was already very active. Looking back, I was probably eating more than normal & thats what caused the weight gain not the citalopram. As soon as I actually focussed on losing the weight, it dropped off.

    I would recommend the myfitnesspal app for phones and tablets. Its a free app & is great for tracking what you eat & your exercise.

    If anyone wants any advice or info, please give me a shout wink

  • krispie krispie

    Good to get your feedback gym bunny and to learn that you managed to lose the excess weight. Interesting how we all react differently but why shouldn't we as individuals! I maintain my rather low weight but that's probably as a result of a small appetite. I know I felt ravenous when I started taking Citalopram, a feeling of nausea that was relieved by eating. I guess if this persists it would be all too easy to gain weight.

    Did you have any difficulties coming off the Citalopram? I'm still on the maximum dose and so far have no wish to reduce this. How did you decide the time was right to try to come off it?

    • josie1965 josie1965 krispie

      Quit taking citalopram a week ago and gained 5 pounds. Googled could getting off of citalopram cause weight gain and another forum on this site has girls boo hooing over the major weight gain they have since quitting citalopram. I feel fine but won't if get fat. So unfortunately I just popped my pill and have decided to have fake orgasms since citalopram has killed those since taking them and loose these 5 pounds....Soundls like the others have gained massive amounts of weight...yikes 

    • katherine123 katherine123 josie1965

      It sucks since I've been on I've gained back the 15 pounds. I struggled so hard to lose. I was sick of it I quit taking it it made me sleepy fatique I quit doing my Crossfit running then turned into a blimp. I've been quit for two weeks. One day I feel I'm losing the next like my belly is swollen it's very depressing. But I'll be dang if I'm going to allow a medicine to control me and destroy me this is the worst medicine in the world. If they ever have a lawsuit I will sue.

    • indi53312 indi53312 Birdlover

      When I started cutting back the crying spells were shocking what made it worse was the general withdrawals that take over physically but I kept telling myself it wouldn't last forever and after about 6 weeks j am FINALLY feeling human again. I was quite numb taking 40mgs I almost never felt upset or angry or anything at all. No drive, no energy, no sex drive. It does get easier if u really wanna shed ur self of it I couldn't handle my 20kg weight gain in just under 10 months. I find the path off it easier then watching myself get heavier when I had worked so hard just before taking them to lose weight.

    • sarah64357 sarah64357 indi53312

      I wanted to reply to your post and to say thank you as its really lifted my spirits.

      Ive been on 20 mg of citalipram for 7 years following some dramatic life events.

      my life has improved for the better and  I wanted to come off them.

      with my Drs support I went down to 10mg and am now on day 10 of having nothing.

      I can't believe how horrendous the side effects are .ladt week and kept having hot sweats/ feeling faint./ headaches.

      yesterday I started with flu like symptoms and had to come yo bed at 5.30 tonight and just slept.

      now I'm wide awake and can't sleep.

      im so determined to get off them and don't want to go backwards.

      Did you go through same symptoms and how many weeks fix it take to get over the worst?

      Im at slimming world to lose the 50lbs I've put on but at the moment nothing's shifting.

      Ive started walking / jogging and this really helps me to feel better so I intend to keep going and hope I'll start losing weight soon.

      Id love to hear from others who are also going through withdrawal so we can support each other


    • trapdoor trapdoor sarah64357

      Hi Sarah

      I too have been off the cit's for 9 days now after being on for 2 years. Granted it wasnt 7 years like you, but the side effects are terrible for me. It's dizziness that is getting me the most. When I am walking around in the office I get bad dizzy spells. I went into fight or flight mode yesterday because with Storm barney and those harrowing winds, I nearly had a car crash! I felt awful all last night after it. Couldnt calm myself down but one thing is for sure. I am not going back on them, i cant give up as I dont want to be on them.

      It would be good if you could give me an update when you start to feel the side effects are finally subsiding. I would really appreciate it!

      We will be okay, Im dam sure of it!

      Tom x


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