Weight gain on meds

Posted , 5 users are following.

Its a vicious circle, meds to increase to help my cyclothmia and mixed episodes, they have taken a turn in the wrong direction on top of that I have bulimia (recovering if you ever do). In 1 week of the Quetiapine  being upped from 75mg to 150mg and citralopram being upped from 20mg to 30mg, thankfully 200mg lamotragine has stayed the same, I have put on 8lbs. I'm bloated, uncomfortable and it's making the lows even lower and affecting how I act. I am literally crying myself to sleep, and self harm is even stronger. I know there are people who say weigh it up, which is better, but when you have an eating disorder putting on weight is a huge no!,

please please how can I change this, can I take something to counteract the weight gain or another medicine. I'm struggling and to the point of stopping the meds!!!!! 😢😭😭??

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10 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Bubbles,

    I wish I had a positive answer for you. From readings on this site it appears that many, maybe enen most, people suffer from weight gain - myself included. I'm on 7 drugs and 5 of them list weight gain as a side effect. I am in the process of tapering off Mirtazapine, which may be used as a appetite stimulate in humans and veternarian medicine. Don't know how I missed those side effect initially. Keep posting your question, this is a great site and someone will have an answer for you.

    Best of luck

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  • Posted

    Dear Bubbles,

    I too had a HUGE problem with weight gain. What I mean by that is: I could not stand being a heavy weight when my whole life I was rather small. I was never diagnosis with any eating disorders, but I feel anorexia maybe part of the equation.

    After gaining 65lbs over a courses of 2 years, I wanted to end it all...

    It didn't matter that my bipolar was managed; I was beyond miserable due to being almost 200lbs on a 5'3" frame! Who would be happy with that? Who??

    So, I went to my GP and said I wanted to be put on Topamax ( not sure of spelling) I started at 25mgs and went up to 100mg for about 11 months. I've been on 50mgs for the last few months.

    I took this drug when I was first diagnosed with BP 15 years ago. It is known to cause weight loss, and that's what it did for me.

    I felt if I have to take meds that are going to cause me to gain weight, then they better give me something to counteract those said meds!

    I must worn you that it was a battle to get that Rx, because my psychiatrists said it also "makes one dumb" It's not a drug that is used these days, but I insisted I be put on it.

    I have been taking Topamax for almost 2 years now. The 65lbs came off in the first 8 months. I am now my "normal" weight and very happy that I don't have THAT dragging me down!

    Just because we have an illness, doesn't mean we have to gain a bunch of weight to deal with it!

    Think about the added stress cancer patients would have if chemo caused weight gain!

    My son in law just went through that...if there had been even a 20 lb gain, he wouldn't have handled it so well. Nobody wants to be over weight!

    I hope I've helped, and just remember: You're feelings about your self image is so important. Just because we have a mental illness doesn't mean we have to gain 50lbs to have a healthy brain!

    Good luck.

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    • Posted

      Thank you Selene, I felt really good reading your comment, you wrote exactly how I feel. i believe your new meds fall into the old antipsychotics, not sure but I did read something about them. I find psyc dr do not like you saying what you don't want, I feel they think you should be happy with what ever they are giving you to stabilise you, yes that is great but when you have another issue with self esteem they should reconsider what they give you or at least give you something which counteracts the  weight increase.

      i will definitely speak to the doctor or else I am stopping them, it's really driving me crazy and down and bringing on my self harm issues. (Fighting it off though!)


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    • Posted

      Hi Bubbles, I believe you are correct in that the health care community only cares if your symptoms subside; they don't seem to care if there's a 50lb weight gain along with it!

      I don't know anyone in their right mind who is at a healty weight that wouldn't be upset about that kind of a weight gain.

      The med I'm using is an old one, but it's the only one to cause weight loss.

      I told the doctors that it's my life, not theirs and I was sick of being over weight! Why can't my bipolar symptoms be controlled without weight gain?

      I'm not one to settle with being 185lbs for the rest of my life, when I'm used to being 120lbs, just because I have a mental illness!

      As I said before, I wish you good luck. If you don't stand up for yourself, who will?


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  • Posted


    Some of the drugs we take put the weight on and that is something we cannot do anything about. I have given up now and I do not know what the answer is.

    Give your medications time to work then if things start to worry you talk to your CPN or GP.


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  • Posted

    Eat less or exercise more or both
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    • Posted

      Hi, I injured my ankle playing touch rugby in September and I have had an operation so exercise has been very restricted compared to what I normally do. When fit and healthy I run 2-3 times a week and play touch rugby 3hrs a week. Yes my appetite seems to have gotten out of control since my meds have been upped. I appreciate in theory eat less and exercise more, but that is also another battle to conquer when you already suffer from an eating disorder, your BP isn't doing what it's told and then your self esteem plummets. I wish I really could and I can't wait until I can exercise again, but it's also how the meds are bloating me out. 

      I am working on the eating less

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    • Posted

      I like to think I'm saving money as well as dieting. I eat about half as much food. When I would go out I would order the appetizer. If somebody is criticizing your weight gain, let them know it's just temporary until you can exercise . Let people know how bad you feel when body shamed .

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    • Posted

      Maybe her problem is all internalized, like mine was. No one ever commented on how much I ate. No one ever body shamed me.

      I did all of that to myself, and I did it better than any other person ever could! And it effected me in a very negative way.

      Diet? Saving money? Ppfft....I had no control over eating ...the meds had control. I'm used to eating what I want when I want and how ever much I want. Bipolar meds changed that. That doesn't mean that I have to except such a huge weight gain! I want my cake and to eat it to! And now I do! If I have to suffer for the rest of my life with this, then I'm sure going to make sure it's in a healthy frame!

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