Weight gain on mirtazapine is making me more depressed

Edited , 5 users are following.

I've been on mirtazapine for a few months now and have gained nearly two stone despite trying to watch what I'm eating - none of my clothes fit me anymore. It's awful. I was already self-conscious of my weight before because I have a history with disordered eating, and am super aware of any change in my weight because of this. It's hard for me to lose weight under normal circumstances because I'm very short, so can't eat the same amount as other people without putting on the pounds, but this is getting ridiculous - my BMI now classes me as nearly morbidly obese. I'm so frustrated that this particular medication has been given to me to combat depression when my medical notes should list a history including eating disorder 😦 The depression I feel from the weight gain is getting to the point where it outweighs any help the mirtazapine actually gives me, but I don't know if this can be changed right now due to the covid-19 pandemic, so I feel even more hopeless over that.

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  • Edited

    You're not alone, this happens to a lot of people including me.

    I found I craved carbohydrates but thought I wasn't giving in too often, it crept up on me and before I knew it I was buying new trousers!

    I found that I snacked on 'autopilot' - the first step was noticing that, then either not having the snack but having a drink instead, I drank gallons of tea! (with no sugar obviously!) I also drank more water.

    Once I'd reduced the snacking the cravings became less and it was easier to say no to second helpings/pudding etc. I suspect my blood sugar was more level throughout the day which helped.

    Just shaving a little off your portions will help, try to enjoy that feeling of control - I actually found a slight hungry feeling rewarding!

    A good breakfast does help - porridge with mashed banana which I'd also have for lunch quite often as it's really easy in the microwave!

    So the first step is catch yourself snacking 😃

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    • Posted

      Thanks for the reply!

      I've been trying to watch snacks, but right now it's quite difficult because I'm in lockdown with my partner and his parents, and his mother especially tends to show her appreciation of people through food. It's very kind of her but must say no to a sandwich/chocolate bar/packet of crisps every other hour, and sometimes I feel like I'm being rude so end up just accepting whatever it is. Think me and my partner have found a way to combat that now though - I've gone out and bought loads of healthy snacks (dried fruits, nuts, muesli bars, etc.) so when she asks now if I want xyz from the kitchen I can say 'no thanks but can you bring one of the fruit packs through?'

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    • Edited

      Be aware that fruit has a lot of sugar, be careful with muesli bars as they also tend to have lots of sugar, nuts are a better bet but they do also contain a lot of calories.

      It's definitely better to have these things as snacks (rather than crisps etc.) but remember it doesn't mean you can eat loads of them without consequences, particularly the muesli bars.

      Protein keeps you fuller for longer, also think about things like porridge (seriously - oats, milk, 2 mins in the microwave, done!) and root vegetables like carrots.

      And if you've got the willpower (I'm sure you have! 😃 ) next time you want a snack drink a glass of water or make a cup of tea 😄

      On the mother front - recruit her to help you, explain what you're trying to do and make her feel she's got an important role to play, she'll love it!

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  • Edited

    oh darling! i am EXACTLY the same... 4 months, two stones. its really awful isnt it? I quit cold turkey three weeks ago because of it - i just couldnt bare it any longer. im not going to lie, the withdrawals were horrible but nowhere near as bad as i felt going on the scales and seeing the weight pile up. NONE of my clothes fit, not even my underwear and i just couldnt do it any more. i am not advocating going cold turkey because so many people and the drs are against it but for me, i just wanted out. three weeks later, half a stone lost and my appetite is normal - 3 healthy meals a day and no cravings xxxxx

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    • Edited

      Thanks for the reply! I'm due a phone call from the doctor tomorrow so I'm going to mention coming off/lowering my dosage, and moving to sertraline instead. She was reluctant to put me on that at the appointment because I said I'd tried it before with no change in mood, but thinking that hopefully I can just get put on a higher dose of sertraline - must be better than this, anyway! xxxx

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  • Edited

    Just want to add my support here - it really is the worst. You start it thinking "I'll be one of the ones it doesn't happen to". Especially because, like you by the sounds of it, I have always been very aware about what I eat and my weight and have always been about 8-8.5 stone. But nope - over two stone I put on, taking me way beyond a weight I've ever been. I also know that this is not due to what I was eating because I watched, calculated etc. There might have been a small increase in what I was eating but no way enough to put on over 2 stone - it's definitely something to do with the medication itself.

    In Jan this year I started trying to lower my sugar intake - sort of a version of the GI diet - not eating any bread or cereal and the only carbs being from fruit, veg, brown rice, and grains like lentils etc. No biscuits or pre-packaged meals with hidden sugar (all of which I was fine to eat when not on Mirt). I've so far last 9 pounds which has coincided in me being down to a low dose in my taper of around 2-3mg. So it is possible to lose some weight on it if you're really strict.

    As Georgia mentions here, I would never advocate going CT on a Med or telling someone to come off it at all, but this is why I started a slow taper off Mirt pretty much as soon as I started taking it. If you're going to come off sensibly and not give yourself withdrawal,it will take a long time to come off it, so I was happy to reap the benefits of still being on the medication while knowing that I was working my way off it, if that makes sense.

    Good luck - you're not alone xx

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    • Posted

      Thanks for the reply! It's so frustrating, isn't it? I've noticed the past few weeks especially I've really put on pounds - from the start of this thing I've gone from a size 10 to a size 14. Tired of feeling squished into clothes that used to be big on me! I've started exercising more (although I wasn't not exercising before), and will be talking to the doctor tomorrow so hopefully can discuss weaning with her then. xxx

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    • Posted

      It's so rubbish - it sounds like you're similar to me, I was a size 10 always and went up to a size 14 on it. Now down to a size 12. One thing I would advise is if you do wean, do it slowly... I thought it wouldn't apply to me and rushed it and got horrible WD. Better to accept a slower method and know the weight will slowly shift, than rush it and cause yourself to feel truly terrible. Good luck - sending you positive vibes!

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  • Posted

    Just want to add my support here - it really is the worst. You start it thinking "I'll be one of the ones it doesn't happen to". Especially because, like you by the sounds of it, I have always been very aware about what I eat and my weight and have always been about 8-8.5 stone. But nope - over two stone I put on, taking me way beyond a weight I've ever been. I also know that this is not due to what I was eating because I watched, calculated etc. There might have been a small increase in what I was eating but no way enough to put on over 2 stone - it's definitely something to do with the medication itself.

    In Jan this year I started trying to lower my sugar intake - sort of a version of the GI diet - not eating any bread or cereal and the only carbs being from fruit, veg, brown rice, and grains like lentils etc. No biscuits or pre-packaged meals with hidden sugar (all of which I was fine to eat when not on Mirt). I've so far last 9 pounds which has coincided in me being down to a low dose in my taper of around 2-3mg. So it is possible to lose some weight on it if you're really strict.

    As Georgia mentions here, I would never advocate going CT on a Med or telling someone to come off it at all, but this is why I started a slow taper off Mirt pretty much as soon as I started taking it. If you're going to come off sensibly and not give yourself withdrawal,it will take a long time to come off it, so I was happy to reap the benefits of still being on the medication while knowing that I was working my way off it, if that makes sense.

    Good luck - you're not alone xx

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