Questions about Mirtazapine & Weight gain!

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I'm already taking Pristiq however was having episodes of anxiety, panic attacks and insomnia and so my doctor also prescribed me mirtazapine. In some ways it has been a miracle, as somebody suffering from severe social phobia it has helped me to open up a little to the outside world and even attending social outings which is not like me. I feel far less stressed as well. I WISH I could stay on it!

The problem I am having is I've put one a huge amount of weight in the month or so I've been taking it. I've put on at least 7kg but probably more by now, I am visibly much fatter, and being a bit overweight in the first place (and wanting to lose weight) means this far outweighs the benefits. I suddenly have a huge appetite and I cannot control my eating, it is becoming a real problem. I've read people say to get over it and simply control your eating but it isn't that easy, before I even try a strictly healthy diet, I need to get off these pills and give my body a chance to get over these cravings.

My first question is, if I were to stop taking mirtazapine, or even start taking one every 2nd day to eventually taper off, can I expect any awful side effects? I have big exams in a week and I don't want to risk nasty side effects, however I'm really worried I will just keep stacking on the weight even in that short week, I want to get off them ASAP. I haven't been on them all that long so am wondering if I will experience anything bad if I cut back on them. My other antidepressants cause me vertigo if I miss a pill.

Second question, has anyone had any luck with other anti-depressant or anti-anxiety medication that helps with general/social anxiety, that does not cause weight gain? I know everyone reacts to medications differently but I'm just interested to see if there is an alternative to mirtazapine without this one (seemingly very common) side effect. 

Thanks in advance smile

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14 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi - I put on about that much in 3 weeks too. Also, I love my food and couldn't stop eating, however - the benefits of sleeping and being more stable with my emotions outweighed the cons. For this reason I have started on the 5:2 diet. I have read in you come off the meds you will drop the weight very quickly but I don't want to do that if its helping my mood. As with any pills I think they are withdrawal effects - I've experienced light headedness, nausea and flu like symptoms when i've missed other medication. Anyway, due to the fact I love my food I decided to do the 5:2 diet so it doesn't completely restrict my food intake - I just think "I can have it tomorrow". Only just started so can't comment on weight loss yet. Just to let you know I was overweight for my size before I put on the weight so not too happy - have 3 stone to lose in total. All the best
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    • Posted

      Thanks for the response smile I would love to stay on mirtazapine but the weight gain is a problem. I was thinking maybe get off the pills, get my weight back under control, and then go back on them down the track after I've established a healthier diet, now that I know that it has this effect on me. I would be interested to hear how your diet works out for you. My problem seems to be a lot behavioural, I did a lot of comfort eating when I was depressed and didn't exercise (still don't exercise as much as I'd like to) and the habits have stuck, and gotten worse with the mirtazapine where I've near lost all control over my eating, and it's showing! Maybe with some weight loss/dieting guidance I can stick to it. Something for me to think about anyway smile
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    • Posted

      You could do that but I would really recommend you speak to your doctor before altering your meds especially if you have an exam approaching. Are you in the UK - there is a test to see what kind of eater you are on the BBC and how to deal with it. I came out with constant craver and feaster so felt the best way to deal with it is to limit my intake for 2 days. Also, I simply don't buy junk now which at 28 I have never done - I've always had things in the cupboard but now when I do snack, I gorge! I will let you know in a few weeks - if I don't reply, just comment to remind me
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    • Posted

      Hi Steve - 5:2 diet is popular at the moment - it means for 2 days a week eating 500 calories for a women and 600 for a man. It sounds crazy for someone who loves food and I have been playing with the idea for a year or so but do to the rapid weight gain on these meds I thought that's it and gave it a go the other day. There's alot on the internet about it and its research - also has other health benefits apart from weight loss. There are also plenty of resources if you search the internet for low calorie meals. The other day I had a cereal and then evening meal of stir fry and salmon. Are you in the UK - or on facebook? Just because if you are I can start naming facebook groups or low calorie foods. It was hard, being the first day I tried it and I drank alot of water to get through the day and tried to keep my mind occupied. I nearly failed after dinner but thought I have gone the whole day, I'm not going to quite now - I can have cake tomorrow!! The other 5 days of the week you can eat whatever you like and not limit yourself at all. I was slightly light headed but many people say the first few fasts are the hardest and then it becomes a way of life
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    • Posted

      Tara

      Thanks for answering. I also take 2 other meds for epilepsy and I think they cause weight gain. I’ve asked my Dr. about it, he doesn’t think it does but he doesn’t take these meds. Many people on the web complain of weight gain on these meds. I think they slow down the metabolism and I also think mirtazapine might do the same. I live in the U.S. (CA, sunny, 71F/21.7C) and do not belong to Facebook. I came across this site while looking up mirtazapine. Sometimes I wish I hadn’t found this web as people complained about getting the munchies. I don’t know whether it’s psychosomatic, but I started having a craving for candy or anything sweet with sugar after reading some of these posts. Diet sodas don’t work but I found out a little peanut helps. Part of the problem I have with mirt. is a lack of motivation. I use to force myself to go for a daily 3 mile walk and lost weight. Have to get back into that. Take Care.

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    • Posted

      Hey Steve

      Very jealous you live in Cali - I live in the South of England where it's currently 6C. The diet's worth a try. I've never been able to stick to diets - just the thought of them and I break them! I definately agree with you - once I think about food or something triggers wanting something I go for it. Search 5:2 diet on the internet - it's been around for a while now so there is a wealth information out there and a few books but once you understand the idea then it's easy to follow (I hope). Good luck!

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  • Posted

    Hi

    not a good idea to,change the dose before an exam

    i'm on 45 Mirtazapine and put on 2 stones in weight in 4 months.  It's a sedative antidepressant and so slows down your whole,system.

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  • Posted

    I personally, have found it impossible to lose weight on mirtazapine, just cannot shift awful beer belly.  Diets, exercise just won't shift it.i don't snack or binge either.  As the post above mentions I would agree it slows down your metabolism. 
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  • Posted

    I'm not sure that you always gain weight with mirtazapine. I've been on 30mg along with 225mg venlafaxine for over 6 years and haven't gained any weight so it's not inevitable. I have to limit my intake of fats and sugar because of other problems. So I think the drugs increase your appetite. There is another discussion thread on mirtazapine and dieting on this website, perhaps you could check that out.
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    • Posted

      venlafaxine side effects makes you lose weight, so counters the mirtazapine weight gain
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  • Posted

    Iv found iv got cravings really bad I'd never heard of it iv been on it a month now 15mg the first week then 30 seems this eating malarkey isn't just me I'm constantly looking for nice things to eat to comfort and iv never really been a comfort eater I don't need to gain weight but I know iv out on over the last 3 months mainly while on these
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  • Posted

    Been on mirtazapine for just over a week and put on half a stone :-(

    Was on venlafaxine which side effects makes you lose weight. Going back to the doctors this week and going ask if I can go back on venlafaxine as well as mirtazapine? 

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  • Posted

    I've been on 7.5-15mg for two weeks and I put on half a stone in the first week. I look as though I am 3 months pregnant. My appetite hasn't changed and I am eating the same amount. Doctor doesn't believe that I've put on weight since taking these pills but I am taking them with 40mg fluoxetine so not sure if that makes a difference sad
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