loose skin/water retention abdominal distention from antidepressants???

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since using effexor xr for 3-4 months last year (while on a lean bulk), I noticed my gut starting to hang out a little and a lot of loose skin that I've never had in my life (despite being even 10 kilos heavier, always naturally lean, tight skin). chalked this down to 'weight gain' from the antidepressants, didn't think much more about it until 3-4 months later, coming off the medication due to illness, losing 7-8 kilos over the course of 6-8 weeks, and at the end of this (the leanest I've ever been at that weight), the loose watery skin remains sickeningly. also the gut issue which isn't a typical 'bloating' that comes and goes, it just distends 24/7. took me a while to connect the dots, but both of these bizarre phenomenons happened around the same time, so it cannot be a coincidence. I have ruled out fat given the above, the only two possibilities left are some kind of water retention (even with salt restriction doesn't improve), or else that the effexor has effected the firmness (collagen?) of the skin making it extremely loose and soggy, and also effecting the firmness of the organs or the fascia and connecting tissue holding them in place. I have been off the medication for 3.5 months now without any improvement. an ultrasound of the upper abdomen didn't show up anything suspect on the organs scanned. I am now leaning toward thinking the collagen or some other compound involved in keeping the skin/connective tissue/organs firm is responsible, although this is probably the worse outcome it makes a lot of sense, as both skin + gut issue I don't think it can rationally be a coincidence. if anyone has any advice on who to see or what to do that would be gladly appreciated, or anyone who may have similar experiences who wants to chime in

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  • Posted

    Did the weight just appear on the stomach? Usually retention as you have mentioned displays around ankles, knees, lower legs. What's your Gp answered to your query?
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    • Posted

      not just the stomach but it is mostly noticeable there. legs and arms feel normal for the most part, although when I did start taking the effexor I noticed muscles becoming 'softer', or 'more watery' and losing definition. if I place my hand anywhere on my torso, around my ribs or back the skin is soggy and glides like there is oil underneath, despite always being firm and tight-skinned my whole life. my GP has only suggested routine blood tests as of yet, which I doubt will show up anything. I took the initiative and had an ultrasound done of the upper abdomen in the hope of finding water in the abdominal cavity to explain the 'distention' but to no avail. only after this have I realised this might be a collagen/elasticity issue involving both the skin and the distended gut, so I haven't yet mentioned this to the GP


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    • Posted

      Have you had any luck finding out what is going on?

      I've had similar issues… Eat clean and well, train hard, tested below 6% body fat. Then one day edema and water retention in my trunk of my body especially the abdomen. It started it when I decided to do a clean bulk. Now I have that same skin issue and I cannot get rid of it

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  • Posted

    Hi John, I've been left with the same side effects from taking Effexor. Feels/looks like my skin is loose and droopy on my face, am constantly bloated and my muscles feel soft and weak. Just wondering if you ever figured out anything to help with these issues? I'm still taking Effexor but have lowered my dosgae from 225mg to 75mg over the past few months and have already noticed a startling difference in my energy/appearance, but still certainly feel uncomfortable, bloated and puffy faced. If you could get back to me with any information it would be greatly appreciated. Hope you're at ease in your journey.


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