Drastic weight gain in stomach only after only two weeks of taking 50mg

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I am a small person. I am 5'4 and typically around 115 pounds.  My doctor perscribed 50 mg, which I took for a week (to augment sertraline).  I felt great and mentally healthy for the first time in a while (placebo maybe...not sure when it actually takes effect but we readjusted other meds which could perhaps me the reason).

In short at about day three of taking my 50 mg I was getting dressed and noticed a huge bulge in my abdominal area.  I chalked it up to menstruation.  However at  day five, my assistant at work (who I am very close with) asked if I was expecting.

I looked down and realized I legit looked pregnant.  I thought perhaps it was an initial side effect that would go away so I took it for two more days and at that point I looked ready to go into labor.

I immediately called my doctor, who told me to stop taking the medicince and tha it had not been long enough that a taper would be needed.

It has now been two months and although my stomache has gone down somewhat it is still disproportionate to my body.  I have been wearing baggy shirts because my mid section does not match my arms and legs.

I eat very well and exercise regular and typically have a very flat stomache.  I competed in college gymnastics.  I did not change diet or exercise when taking the medication.

I just need some advice on how to make my stomache look normal again, the way it did the week before the quetiapine.  It's harming my self esteem and sex life and casuing obsessive thoughts of it never going away.  Again, advice or peaceof mind would be very very much appreciated.

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6 Replies

  • Posted


    ive just gone back on quetiapine after a 6 month break. I used to be on 225mg of venlafaxine and 200mg of quetiapine for Bipolar 2 disorder but stopped taking it 6 months ago because of massive weight gain.

    But, after stopping all meds, I went downhill and realised I need medication to keep me stable. It was a difficult decision to make. And I now accept I really do have a mental health problem and need help.

    Anyway, I saw my psychiatrist a month ago and I have been put on Sertraline (50mg) to start with and 50mg quetipiane at night. 

    I have found that that the quetiapine makes me have an uncontrollable appetite. This happened last time I took it. Hence the weight gain. I could eat  and eat all day and never feel satisfied. 

    At the moment I have actually lost weight. I have lost 2 stone in 3 months. Only because the sertraline, which I have never taken before, made me ill. But I've been on it for 6 weeks now and my appetite has come back with a vengeance. 

    Im going to try and take the quetiapine at night only. Just before I go to bed. So hopefully the hunger will pass over night?


    • Posted

      I'm also on quetiapine, 25mg at night. It causes constipation which in turn will cause stomach to bloat. I have to take Movicol sachets to help with the constipation. At first I thought I was gaining weight too but once I started taking the sachets, my tummy went down. These pills make you crazy hungry, just a few extra biscuits or snacks here and there adds up quickly. Be prepared for hunger pangs sad unfortunately I really need these pills to balance out my mood and help with anxiety but taking these have also made me face up to the harsh reality of having to be extremely strict with my diet Inc alcohol consumption.


  • Posted

    By the way. I forgot to say that after 2 weeks of taking this drug and then stopping I don't think that your bloating is attributable to the drug, unless you have severe allergies. I think it must be something else. 

  • Posted

    Sorry this has happened to you I've been on a 100mg for about 2 months along with the setraline and it has helped a lot even though this week has been pretty awful with anxiety and agitation and horrible thoughts of suicide I have gained around half a stone but it was needed as I lost a lot of weight when really poorly loss of appetite loss of sleep I'm 5"4 myself I really hope u find the answers

    U are looking for take care of yourself xxx

  • Posted

    Ava, your not crazy, the medicine does assist in gaining belly fat. I take 25 mg of Quetiapine at night to help sleep. I take 12.5 mg during the day if my anxiety is getting bad. This stuff works, and is the only medication that has helped me. I have taken it for probably a year.

    That being said, I'll tell you how it works and its side effects. The medication dosent take time to build in your system like anti depressants do. It starts working almost instantly and fully kicks in 45-1 hr after taking it. Smaller doses work best for anxiety and depression. Larger doses work better for bipolar patients(150mg-400mg+)

    It increases appetite and makes me want carbs and sugars. It somehow slows metabolism I think as well. It has caused some belly fat to appear on me as well. I work out 5 nights a week though, 2 hours a night.

    I have made myself start meal prepping healthy meals as well in the evenings and taking them for lunches, to keep myself from eating a bunch of junk during the days. I've kept from growing a larger belly by doing this. I'm 5'11, 200lbs. I can hide my stomach fat reasonably well though.

    I understand your issue, but if the medication works and makes life better for you, maybe try more working out and less junk food to maintain weight and figure.

  • Posted

    Hey! Yeah I'm same, been on Quetiapine since 2010 due to a trauma that caused PTSD. I plan as soon as Pandemic is over to go and talk to Dr about reducing it and moving to something else, as I look at least 6months pregnant!! and it ain't fun, always gotta think what to wear to cover it.

    I'm also 5ft4.

    But it has made a huge difference to my mental health, I'm just hoping there is something I can take instead without getting this "quetiapine belly"!!!!

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