Long term side effects of Mirtazapine? Suddenly started gaining weight

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Hi all,

I’ve been on 45mg of Mirtazapine for just over 4 years now. I was prescribed it for my depression, anxiety, insomnia and critical low weight. It extremely helped with all those areas, and my life became a much easier thing to deal with because of this drug. Though, my weight seemed to stay the same. 

Only recently I’ve been rapidly gaining weight after 4 years of being on it. Over 10kgs (22lbs) in just a few months!! 

I was a heavy marijuana smoker for majority of those 4 years, and recently gave up several months ago. I’m wondering if the marijuana was holding back the common side effect of weight gain and all of a sudden I’m being impacted by this side effect. 

The weight gain is seriously affecting my mood now, and suddenly I’m feeling depressed again. I’m seeing my doctor this week to discuss the possibility of coming off it. 

I’m just curious if anyone else has had a similar experience? Especially in the long term, because the only experiences of weight gain I found online is with short term usage.

Thanks for any help! 

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4 Replies

  • Posted

    No I Know of plenty of people who have bern on long term and gained weight. I see it in the groups I'm in often. Also be very carefull what's steps you take after talking to your doctor. They don't recognise any addiction or withdrawal from this drug. If you're one of the lucky few that gets away with withdrawal then all good. But if you're not and follow doctors advice on big drops you will struggle and badly. Post on here first what your doctor reccomends before following there instructions. I see the suffering trying to get off this drug on a daily basis.

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  • Posted

    Yeah, if you've been on the drug for 4 years at a high dose, you will need to taper off very very slowly if you decide to discontinue.  Talk to your pdoc about it.   I do find it odd that you're only now gaining weight on this drug.  Also, marijuana would seem to have a stimulating effect on appetite so can't really say what's going on.

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  • Posted

    If you had always smoked, generally, marijuana or plain, this would have suppressed weight-gain on several levels. I'm not a big smoker when I do smoke and, more often throughout my life, a non-smoker. But, whenever I struggle with my weight for some external reason, I just begin to consider smoking again, as I always lose weight that way, and I consider that there's little point being healthy if I'm just miserably overweight.

    ... I gained a stone on 5 months of mirtazapine. I came off it quicker than a hot plate. I was mortified. What is the point in such a sacrificial measure as to succumb to the need of antidepressants, if they lead you directly to depression.

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    • Posted

      This makes sense to me.  Smoking would have likely suppressed weight gain.  Once you stop smoking, your metabolism changes and at that point you may start gaining weight.  Mirtazapine likely would just exacerbate the weight gain.
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