Worst SSRI’s for weight gain

In response to the ongoing discussion about weight gain when taking Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) I have added this post as I recently read some information that I found interesting.

Many people who take SSRI’s for depression or anxiety suffer weight gain as a result. Indeed it is a common reason for people to prematurely break-off from otherwise beneficial treatment. But in truth, appearance is so key to modern life that it is no surprise that people who are already suffering from mood disorders don’t want to get fat. This could lead to more depression!
It is important to point out that when taking SSRI’s, weight gain can be mitigated against in more or less the same ways you would avoid gaining weight under normal circumstances. A good balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and not too much saturated fat and sugars as found in junk food, and of course some exercise. You will also find that exercise helps with depression as this article shows. Seeings that you will have to talk to your doctor about the medication anyway, why not ask him or her to do a quick fitness assessment and check what level of exercise your body can take.

I was interested last week when I got an email from revolution health that linked to an article on their site about SSRI’s that are known to cause weight gain. It is one of the most common questions I am asked so I am always on the look out for new material.

The table below shows what the article said, but I disagree with much of it. I personally have taken Celexa and found that it caused weight gain to the tune of 10KG! The table also shows escitalopram to be likely to cause weight gain. This is odd because citalopram (Celexa) and escitalopram (Lexapro) are almost identical. In the article and American academic stated that weight gain might be a sign that the drugs were having an effect. The professionals I have spoken to disagreed with this and thought that the point of view was outdated. I am not qualified to pass judgement on this. I would say though that the best indicator of efficacy when using SSRI anti-depressants is that the patients mood lifts!

These common drugs are likely to cause some weight gain – but that doesn’t mean they definitely will!:

  • Paxil (paroxetine)
  • Marplan (isocarboxazid)
  • Lexapro (escitalopram)

According to the article on Revolution Health these drugs generally don’t cause weight gain (in my experience some definitely do!):

  • Prozac (fluoxetine)
  • Luvox (fluvoxamine)
  • Zoloft (sertraline)
  • Celexa (citalopram)
  • Wellbutrin (buproprion)

I would be interested to here of other people’s experiences with SSRI’s and weight gain. You can email me info@anxiety2calm.com or leave a reply on this blog!

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85 Replies to “Worst SSRI’s for weight gain”

  1. I’ve heard of some people experiencing weight gain on Zoloft but I’ve never had a problem with it. Drugs affect people differently, that’s for sure.

  2. I’ve been taking citalopram for a while & have gained a lot of weight.
    At first I thought it was stopping smoking but that was over 4 years ago !!!
    So having read all the list of possible side affects I can now identify with others too – nausea, insomnia, very dry mouth, etc….
    So do I put up with this for the sake of a slight improvement in my mood or are there alternatives?

  3. Took citalopram for 4 months it worked fantastically for my so I gradually came off taking my last pill four weeks ago. I have gained weight but put that down to quitting smoking. I have in the last 2 weeks been feeling terrible, peaking today with a panic attack. Does anyone have any advice?!

  4. Hi anonymous! I have posted a response to your query here. Hope you are feeling better! Please post back if you have any more queries and me and anyone else will chip in with any more idea we have!

    Hang in there!

  5. Hi All, I was put on luvox for anxiety and co morbid depression. A weight gain of nine kilos, in sixteen weeks and I said enough. It is possibly our condition causing the weight gain and not the drug. Bull bloody shit was my comment in thta my weight has been static almost all of my adult life (the only exception being when I got married) “well let us get you better and then worry about the weight”. Again bull bloody shit. You are treating me for depression why should I be feeling depressed over weight gain that I don’t have to have and then the penny started to drop about sexual dysfunction, lost libido, dry mouth, suicidal thoughts, increased urination, more frequent trips to the toilet, when getting there inability to pee, and the list just grew and grew. So it was relucantly agreed to take me off this drug. I have refused any further medications and belive I am a million times better than when on these mind altering drugs.


  6. I have being taking escitalopram on a high dose of 20mg for the last 1.5 years- it has been a fantastic drug for my generalised anxiety and ocd type symptoms, have tried a number before with little help. but this one really has calmed my mind and being a great help. however, the only bad symptoms i have experienced is i have gained about 7-8 lb which whatever i do i cannot seem to lose. have been excersising about 4-5 times a week, eating very healthy and it will not budge. however maybe this is a good thing as i don’t want to be on it forever and this is now pushing me to discuss with my dr coming of it slowly. However i really would encourage people not to be scared by this, everyones metabolism is different and drugs will have different affects. if like me your life has been so filled with anxiety really putting on a little weight for a short time is not the end of the world. thanks,

  7. I have taken Prozac for a number of years with no noticable change in weight. Recently I was on Citalopram for 2 years again with no changes. I moved onto Escitalopram and within 9 months have put on 28 pounds.My diet/exersize has not changed in this time the ONLY difference was the Escitalopram. Just in the process of changing to Prozac again.
    Apart fronm the weight gain, it was the best SSRI I have tried.

  8. I’ve tried numerous antidepressants for the past 10 yrs. I have always gained about 25 lbs. with each medication. I would then stop the medication and loose the weight; depression would return and I would try a different antidepressant. I have now been on Celexa for about two years and have been 25-30 lbs. over my normal weight. It is very depression but I have stayed on the medication because I am afraid of the depression returning; but am getting very depressed about the weight. The only medication that did not cause weight gain for me was Serzone, which I took for about 2 yrs. My doctor took me off because of the black box warning. I went through the worst withdrawal ever! I HATE depending on these horrible drugs!!!!

  9. Was taking escitalopram to soften the anger effects from taking wellbutrin. I know the calorie count of everything i put in my mouth, and had to continuously decrease how much I ate, while increasing my exercise, and still gained 15 pounds of belly fat. I finally looked it up to see if it could be the drug, because my doctor told me that it doesn’t make you gain weight, you must be eating more. well i’m not. as for the alcohol cravings, yes, suddenly out of no where wellbutrin, makes me crave alcohol. I never had such a craving before. will have to come off both, can’t deal with the weight gain, loosing jobs since I’m a model. Too bad.

  10. I am a psychiatrist and have taken many antidepressants myself. My experience is that I usually lose weight on the SSRI’s – this includes lexapro, citalopram, zoloft, prozac. The effect was usually dramatic in that the morning after the first dose, I could see my face and stomach were a little thinner.
    This effect was maintained and if I stopped the medication, sure enough ,the weight was soon back on.

    By contrast, the tricyclic antidepressants invariably put on horrendous amounts of weight. THis was similar with venlafaxine and mirtazapine.

  11. I gained 40 lbs over 2 years while on Lexapro. In the past 4 months since I tapered off of it, I’ve lost 15 lbs already. I’m sure it was the medication, as my activity level and diet really didn’t change at all.

    What good is the medication if it’s going to make me fat? I’m more depressed when I’m fat.

  12. I was on anti-depressants, Sertraline, Citalopram and Prozac for five years. Prior to going on them I was very slim, no food issues, within a couple of months the weight piled right on and I had enormous cravings for carbohydrates and whenever I tried to lose weight I would have to stick to about 1000 calories a day and even then the weight gain was not significant enough to warrant eating only half the daily rda. Then I accepted it was part of the price for not dealing with anxiety and depression and thought the anxiety may also have been due to a former high metabolism. I came off them all in March – primarily because of the weight gain – and have lost about a stone and a half and lost the carb cravings too. But the past few months I have experienced the dread of it returning – the increased anxiety, feeling life is futile and so on. I started taking St John’s Wort about two weeks ago – tried that and many more herbals years ago but never really scratched the surface. I don’t know! I hate depending on these drugs but life on them is so much more balanced but I don’t want to spend my life as a fatter person who has to eat like a sparrow in order to be a normal weight! A friend of mine this morning told me she had just been put on citraplex after a breakdown and has felt the weight already going on. Another friend was on prozac and she said she LOST weight and couldn’t understand why I’d gained it, implying that it was simply due to over-eating, not understanding that we have different chemistries. I’m still going to try other things before returning to the doctor though, unless it gets a lot worse. Last time I lost my job and become almost homeless because of my reluctance to seek help and certainly can’t let myself get to that stage again.

  13. I took citalopram for 3 years and gained 40 pounds. I stopped for 4 months and lost 18 pounds. It was amazing. I was so happy. But then the panic attacks returned with a vengeance and I had to take it again. 7 months on, I have regained all the lost pounds.

    At least I am feeling normal, but the weight is a terrible price to pay for it.

    I am a 40 year old female, I eat healthily, I play tennis twice a week and I work with a personal trainer twice a week. There is no question that it is the citalopram.

    My doctor is very aware of my weight gain and has tried me on Lexapro, but it made no difference.

    This post is very late, but I read this blog when I was searching for information, so it is still helpful for people with this problem.

  14. I have been taking Citalopram since April 08 and the weight gain is horrendous. My eating pattern and what I eat hasn’t changed but my legs are hugh and most of the weight has settled on my midriff and tummy.

    On the plus side I feel so much better but what a price to pay.

    Anyone else noticed this?

  15. I’ve been taking Lexapro 20mg for 1 and a half years. I noticed the weight creeping up and I never really paid much attention to it. I’m always feeling hungry, even though I fill up on healthy foods! I workout 4-5 times a week, and I walk briskly for 1 hour on the days I don’t go to the gym. I’m eating less and working out more, but I’m not losing as much as a normal 21 year old would.
    I’m seeing my Dr soon to start weening myself off it. Before I was thin and unhappy, soon I’ll be fat and unhappy with less money in my pocket if I don’t stop. Goodluck to everyone out there!

  16. I have been taking citalopram for the past 12 months. Over that time I have gradually put on about 7 pounds, as I am only 5ft this is quite a significant weight gain for me. I didn’t know that it could cause weight gain, to be honest I think i gained weight early on in my depressive episode because I was so inactive and slept for most of the day.

    However, i feel great now and am slowly weening myself off it. But I can’t shift the weight! I eat a healthy diet and for the past four months I have been going to the gym 4 or 5 times a week doing a combination of cardio and weight training/toning. (By the way, joining the gym has been so beneficial to my recovery, exercise really does make you feel great!)But I don’t loose any weight! I have probably built some muscle tone, however my body fat analysis is still way too high.

    Can anyone give me any advice?! Will I start to lose weight once I’m off the clitalopram?

  17. I have been taking Lexapro 20mg for 2yrs now and have put on close to 20kg. My moods have been great and are much improved since taking Lexapro however this weigh gain is not helping me feel good about myself! I will try natural remedies from now on.

  18. I have been on escitalopram for about six months for situational depression. No weight gain, but I have been training for a half marathon and watching what I am eating. With the combination of medication and exericse, my mood is good, enjoying life more, but definitely can see where I would gain weight if not for the high level of exercise.

  19. Both my husband and I have taken Citalopram (at different times) in the past 4 years. My husband for his PTSD, and I (a year after my husband stopped taking it) for depression. It helped both of us while on it, but both of us gained weight while on it. I have been off celexa/citalopram for 8 months now and I cannot get rid of the extra weight. I gained 40 lbs over 1 year. Both my husband and I are working out 5 days a week, we are training to run a half marathon in November…all in hopes to loose the weight we gained while taking celexa/citalopram. Neither one of us can seem to shake the extra weight….any ideas??
    Absolutely, the medication worked. It did what we needed it to do. I felt so great while on it, and then after tapering off I did well and have felt well since then. BUT I hate that I have gained so much weight!! Has this medication done something permanent to my metabolism, or thyroid? I cannot figure it out.

  20. I have been taking Lexapro for 6 months and have gained almost a stone in weight, not only have I experienced inexplicable weight gain but my normal methods of losing weight aren’t working. I’m on 15mg and am tired all of the time, apathetic and have no motivation, I am definitely coming off it. Lexapro definitely pulled me out of the depths of depression but left me feeling nothing, at least when you’re depressed you experience fluctuations in emotion I just feel constant nothingness, have stopped socialising, stopped contact with most of my friends.

  21. I have been on lexapro but did not gain any weight with it. However, I did not also lose weight. It doesn't appear to be beneficial to me and i intend to get it changed.

  22. I have been on citolapam for 4 months and have already grown by 3 dress sizes. There is no way i am going to watch anymore weight pile on…they are going in the bin. Hopefully will be myself soon and will go herbal. They should include new clothes with the perscription, its dreadful to not fit into your clothes anymore.

  23. Have been on citalopram 40mg now since Jan & i have also started to notice the weight creep on. It does not seem to be budging! Please can someone advise me – if i come off the tablets will i lose the weight & go back to normal? I am making myself more ill as i am very weight conscious. Thank you
    L x

  24. I started on citralopram mid feb 09 and have put on over 2 stone, and my diet has actually improved. All i can think is the citralopram, it's really getting me down and also have not had a sex life with my partner for 2 months and that is not like us. I think i'm going to stop them and hope i don't get any horrid side effects but i can't continue with this weight gain, it's at least 2lb a week i put on!!!

  25. Hi,
    I have been on Citalopram for 11 months, and just recently my dose was raised from 20mgs to 40mgs, due to two sudden death's in the family. My mood has been great, but since starting on Citalopram, I have gone from a size 8 to a size 12, which I am finding difficult to deal with. I am eating exactly the same, exercise the same, if I was to come off citalopram would my weight gain go, and how long would it take?


  26. I have been taking prozac for the last 10 years and have reacently changed to citalopram, I attend a slimming class and since changing to citalopram have put weight on or remained the same. I cannot seem to loose any weight even on a low fat, low calorie diet, should I ditch the citalopram and go back to prozac or try to manage without anything?

  27. I have been taking citalopram for 5 years now, I am diabetic and have been trying to lose weight. my doctor states its what you put in your mouth but because of this site I now know its not. I go to a dietian and with all her advise and a diabetic eating plan the weight keeps creeping on. I am now going to see the doctor and try and come off these drugs!


  28. I’ve been battling my weight for my whole life, and am reasonably good at keeping it under control… Recently my doctor put me on Celexa, is uncontrolled weight gain something I should worry about? I’ve never been a calorie counter, I’m just good at eating healthy and exercising regularly… I’d almost choose to take the depression rather than the weight gain if this is what I have to look forward to.

  29. When I first became depressed I weighed 60kg. In a very short time I lost 10 kg. I stayed at approximately 50 kg for the first 12 months of treatment with citalopram. This and a few other drugs combined gave me some relief, but the results were not consistent and my depression remained for the most part severe. Then Lexapro (escitalopram) came onto the market. It seemed to work remarkably well, remarkably quickly, although a couple of months after starting it my depressive symptoms returned. STill it was the best of a bad lot and so I persisted. Over the next 3 years I gained 63 kg (for those of you who think in pounds multiply by 2.2) to a top weight of 113 kg. After going off Lexapro and onto fluoxetine I have lost 35 kg. I have no doubt that this drug was responsible for the weight gain. Yes it increased my appetite and taste for sweet foods, but I was eating nowhere near enough for that type of out of control weight gain. I am still what I would describe as overweight, but am able to shop in normal clothing shops again. Despite eating the same type of diet in the same amounts as I did when I was very slim, the extra weight does not seem to want to shift. This is an ongoing source of anxiety for me.

  30. for me, citalopram most definitely HAS caused weight gain. Much more so than fluoxetine. I will probably have to be on an antidepressant for the rest of my life; I have lupus — which was triggered by pregnancy, and began taking fluoxetine shortly after the birth of my son, for post-natal depression, or lupus related depression — who will ever know which is cart and which is horse? Suffice to say that I although I’m now in my 50s and no longer remotely postnatal, when I come off an SSRI the depression usually returns within one to three months. so my take on it is that both lupus AND depression coincided with childbirth for me. However, I did not gain weight on fluoxetine; if I did, it was barely noticeable. but I had severe sexual side effects, and a kind of jumpiness on prozac. so I was put on citalopram, and within a very short space of time gained 15 lbs. Much later, going through the menopause, I became depressed again, in spite of the citalopram, so my doctor upped the dosage to 40 mg. the depressive symptoms disappeared quite miraculously, but — I gained another 15 pounds within a matter of months. Definitely the citalopram. As a result of this massive weight gain (I’m only 5’2″), I’ve come off it. The withdrawal effects were monstrous — I and everyone around is and are lucky to be alive. I was a demon with irritability; massively dizzy (I fell twice), suicidal, tearful, brain zaps, nightmares — just wanted to die. Tried then agomelatine, and that gave me monstrous side effects including the worst migraines (daily) I have ever had in my life. Came off that; am now going to try duloxetine. I certainly hope I can lose some weight soon.

  31. Hi

    I have been on fluoxetine for 2 years, before that I was on citolapram. I too have noticed significant weight gain with both. Since being on them I have gained 40lbs. I am considering going off them slowly of course. Has anyone noticed weight loss since being off them?

  32. Yes, I came off them and went on an exercise programme. Took some time but now i’m pretty much back where i was before or better! Definitely good to come off them slowly, i did it over a period of months!

  33. I have been on celexa for about 8 years. In that time, I have put on approximately 40lbs….and have been unable to lose any!! It doesn’t matter how healthy I eat or how much I exercise…..it will not come off. I’ve been switched to Wellbutrin to try to help this. Well, it helps with the weight – after 1 month I’ve been able to lose 6 lbs – however, it has not helped the depression as much as the celexa. Now I’m in a quandry…..healthy weight or healthy mind? It seems the SSRIs are the ones to help me. Any experience with an SSRI that WON’T cause weight gain???

  34. I have been on prozac for about 10 years. Started at 120 lbs and I am still at 120 lbs. Prozac, for me, has been wonderful. It helped with my mild panic attacks, stress and mild depression. Prozac did not cause weight gain.

  35. I have been on citalopram for almost a year and a half and have experienced uncontrollable weight gain. I am going to slowly go off the drug. I’ve definitely gained at least 50lb. My fiance went away on a trip for a month and during that time I had no appetite so ate healthy and minimally, even went to the gym and I STILL gained weight. I believe it’s the citalopram and hope the weight comes off once I’m off it.

  36. I’ve been on celexa 1 year. Anxiety decreased and focus increased. It has been a wonderful drug for me. I’m 47 and pretty avid with weightlifting and running 25-30 miles per week. Have put on about 15 pounds since being on celexa. Belly fat most evident (pants are tight around the waist!) I have to work my butt off to drop a couple pounds! My diet could use some adjustment–but this weight gain and belly fat is clearly a dramatic change since being on the drug. My thought is that anxiety burns some calories and celexa reduces the anxiety–presto chango–weight gain.

  37. Same old story…I have been on Citalopram for 18months and have gained about 14 pounds, I cannot shift even a pound or two and it is getting me down as summer approaches!

    The weight gain seems more prominant in the last 12 months which co-incides with my dose being upped to 30mg I am thinking about dropping to 20mg again in the hope that my mood stays stable but my weight drops again!

    Good luck to all!!

  38. I too have been on citalipran for 5 years and have gained enormous amounts of weight which I have not been able to lose. Have had enough now and am going to gradually come off it. Hope to then get back to my size 10/12 rather than 14/16

  39. my friend who always struggled with obesity was prescribed Welbutrin and lost so much weight we could not believe it, from 160 to 110 in like three months, once she stopped, she gained the weight back πŸ™ In my case I was really skin and bones and with Zoloft I gain weight like crazy and also I have tmj problems, I stopped for a while, the weight dropped really fast and tmj disappeared, but I got panicky so I have to go back to Zoloft and yep; weigh gain and tmj are back with a vengeance πŸ™ I have been a year with a strict diet and two hours of daily excersise, it doesnt work…depressing! πŸ™

  40. i have only been on citalopram for about two months now but i have already gained a stone, i thought it was just a random weight gain but after speaking to oyhers that are also taking citalopram this seems like a problem that we all have in common. we are put on this medication to improve our depressive moods but they do the worst thing for us by causing weight gain which for most women and some men is very depressing in itself.

  41. welcome to the club!

    I have been on celexa for a year now after being on prozac, and before that several many other drugs which I can’t recall the names any longer. But gosh, did I ever experience rapid weight gain in such a short time!!! I had no idea what was causing it – the anti-depressant or the sleeping pill. I have been on quetiapine for chronic insomnia for a year too now and I can tell you that I am not a very happy camper right now after reading all of your comments tonight. Although it gives me a feeling of reassurance that I am not alone with this problem, it is quite depressing everyday when I look at myself in the mirror. At the end of the day, we all have to weigh the benefits against the damages and go with what we know is best for us and then live with this decision for the rest of our lives until they come up with a better solution.

  42. Lexapro has caused a lot of weight gain. Even with going to the gym daily and watching calories, I have kept gaining rapidly.

  43. Hi
    I’ve been on Citalopram for about 4 months and have gained about 9lbs already! I am only small at 5″1 and usually a size 8/10 and am now more of a 12! I know it’s vain of me to be worried about my weight especially as the drug does seem to be helping my mood but when I get conscious of my weight my mood is low anyway so am thinking of seeing the doc about coming off them. Just hope the weight will come off!

  44. I have been taking citalopram for about 10 years. I put on about 4 stone in the first six years. I started drinking lots of coffee in the day and the lots of wine at night. Dont know if the citalopram had anything to do with it but i was waking up drowsy so filling my self with coffee and then was so wired by the end of the day i needed a bottle of wine to calm down. I gave up all cafene drinks 4 years ago and the wine drinking and weight gain stopped without any effort. With exercise i managed to loose most of the weight and still take citalopram.
    Just interested thouse of you that have put weight on, have you noticed an increase in alcohol or caffene consumption?

  45. I personally didnt find that alcohol or caffeine consumption increased….anyone else had this? I just got fat from eating loads of carbs!!

  46. I was on effexor for 5 years. During that time I noticed significant weight gain, at least 25lbs. I started to notice that even with a good exercise plan I could not loose weight. Frustrated, I went to my doctor and explained that I had a wedding quickly approaching and even with help from a personal trainer I couldn’t loose the weight. I suggested to her that maybe the effexor had something to do with it. She said “Oh yeah it does that”. She switched me to prozac and explained that weight gain was not a problem with this drug…..LIE. I spent another 2 years on prozac with the same result. I came off the prozac in June of this year and I am just now seeing results. A measly 5lbs loss, but I will take it. I am now doing 1hr of cardio 5x per week, something that I have done all along but only now is making a difference. I can’t say I am happy with my doctors approach but I understand why she did it. For me it really was the lessor of two evils. I have recently read some correlations between these meds and type 2 diabetes. This is disturbing as I am already predisposed due to family history. I hope in future, anxiety and depression meds can be formulated with out this nasty side effect.

  47. Oops there was a problem with the page that made it covered in ads….my mistake and thanks for bringing to my attention!

  48. I have been on Citalopram for severe depression for 4 months and have gained over a stone in weight. I do not eat any differently or exercise any less. it is without doubt the drug. I have been to the Dr’s today and have been changed to Sertraline. Does anyone have any experiences on this drug in relation to weight gain? Thanks

  49. I’ve been taking Lexapro for 18 month and have gained almost 35 kilos!! I don’t eat more than usual, I’m eating healthy good and I exercise regularly. But I CAN NOT lose weight regardless my to exercise, healthy diet as long as I’m taking Lexapro and this is totally frustrating.

  50. I’ve gained 25 lbs in 13 months because of ssri’s. Starting weight was 228 ( borderline 6 pack abs not fat). First it was Lexapro. From 228-238 in 2 months. Changed to Luvox went down to 231 then blew up to 248. Stopped luvox and got down to 233 in 3 months. Started Zoloft and went back to 245 in one month. I stopped on Dec 2 and I’m still gaining. Now 253. I’m just waiting for the scale to start going down but it won’t. Mental health matters alot but so does my physical appearance. That’s a huge part of me. I run miles, bike miles and lift weights. I hanging in there cause the scale should start to go down, but I’m almost at the point of why should excercice and eat right. I’m on the verge of tears, I threw my mirror across the room. My doc said Wellbutrin should definetaly make me lose weight, but I’m concerned with the seizure effect.

  51. I have been on escitalopram for about 6 weeks, at 5 mg for two weeks, then 10 mg for the next two and 15 mg for the last two. I weighed about 116 lbs when I started. I am now at 122 lbs. (120 before Christmas). My cravings for extra food have gone up, particularly after eating a meal. Cravings tend to be for sweets or junk food. This is a big swing for me in a short time as my weight has been pretty stable for at least 10 years. I was compelled to google “escitalopram and weight gain” because I was convinced the drug was causing it as well as the cravings (which I gave in to). I am now starting to feel so horrible (lethargic, bloated and digestion off) that I am seriously considering going off the drug. I was very surprised that weight gain was not listed as one of the side effects on the drug fact sheet.

  52. Sirley. If you read the paper that comes with the drug it’s there, it’s hard to find since just as many people don’t gain weight as do. So they say it’s weight nuetral. But somewhere in the fine print prob under metabolic it will have infrequent… Then under frequent it will say weight gain.

  53. I have been taking Citalopram for a year and it has only taken the edge of my obsessional thoughts but has given me a voracious appetite and I have gained two stones. I worked really hard for a year in the gym to lose three stones prior to Citalopram and now despite a healthy diet and exercise I am watching the scales creep up on a weekly basis. It is soul destroying because it has made my self esteem sink lower. I am now over weight and uncomfortable so have stopped the meds…weight gain at that rate is not good for my head or my joints. I am hoping to get a prescrition for the gym and swimming pool so I can go and shift all this weight if they are available in my area.
    As for the original problems…phew. Who knows?

  54. I have the same effect as Johnhopps, I have tried experimenting and my doc said i would lose some weight under Citaloparm compared to Seterline! So far i have gained 10kgs or 20lbs. I am trying everything and it wont even go down if i starve, i know how to eat right but yet i wont work, i have tried starving and it still will only go up! I mean where does it get its fat and calories to keep going up like that?

    I can feel a lot sympathy for John because we both have the same problem and mental health also matters i dont want my mood to swing back to anxiety.

    May be this is mostly water gain and i need to switch to Atkins Diet which would dry out my body. Hope something works because i dont want to break a perefectly good mirror and get 7years bad luck like John! πŸ˜› Just kdding.

    Good luck John and dont be too bothered just keep up the exercise and stop Anti-deps for a few months and keep swinging thats the best we can do for now.

  55. I have been taking Prozac for three months and have gained five pounds. The food tastes better and I know I am eating more than before I got adjusted to the Prozac. I just have to be VERY careful about what and how much I put in my mouth.
    The trade off for a few pounds is worth it though.
    I feel so much better and I feel like everything in life is so much better and brighter now!

  56. Hi. Just an update. It’s now been 4 months since stopping sertraline and I’m down 9 pounds. I still have 18 to go as I continued to go up to 256 even after I had stopped all together. The last 4 days I have eaten low carb and extremely low cal. I’m trying to no go over 1000 for the day. I’m taking a couple of multi vits a day because I know 1000 is a bit dangerous. However, I have to see if it’s a metabolism thing now because I am off the meds and calories in vs out I should’ve lost the whole 27 by now. So far it seems to be working but it may just be water so time will tell. Think I’m gonna do a second run tonight and every so often. This weight MUST come off. And Karthik FYI the mirror didn’t break from the throw but there is a hole in the closet door.Lol.

  57. I can empathize with you all – it’s so discouraging. I’ve taken four types of SSRIs in my life and all have caused me to balloon in weight. Huge cravings for chocolate and junk food. Any benefits from the medication are offset by the depression, frustration and humiliation of gaining so much weight and not being able to lose a pound after trying over and over again. Looks like I will gradually wean myself off again, in order to lose some weight.

  58. I took Zoloft and it caused me to gain 30lbs in 3 months! It was aweful! All I thought about was eating! Then I switched to Welbutrin and the exact opposite happened. I never wanted to eat at all. It was kinda nice! πŸ™‚ Neither were effective for my anxiety though which is frustrating!

  59. I have been using Paxil for 5 years. I gained some weight and now I think maybe it is because of Paxil. So I will switch to Prozac now, and see if it is any different.

  60. I have been on a cocktail of antidepressants over the past year – fluoxetine, sertraline and trazodone, and stopped earlier this year due to all the other side effects, and no positives. I’ve put on over 12kg. I curb my food, majorly increased my exercise, tried water retention tablets (over the counter), and even started just using a tape measure, because the scales only seemed to go upwards!!. This has made me feel so bad, that I look forward to being on my own so that I can curb my food further and do more exercise without anyone checking up on me. I finally made an appointment to see my doctor, because I’m doing all the right things, and still not getting any good results. How can you put on weight after coming off antidepressants? Keep going Johnhopps, I understand how you feel. Roll on tomorow doctor.

  61. I had been taking Celexa for 4 months and have gained 30lbs. Even after I stopped taking the medication I was still steadily gaining weight. Finally I am at a steady weight of 150lbs. I have been walking 7km a day, eating right, drinking lots of water for the last couple of weeks but I haven’t lost any weight yet. I’m trying to keep pushing on but its soooo frustrating.

  62. Oh my…. taking 100 mg. zoloft since Feb.20 2011. i have been a 5’2″/ 105lb.gal for my entire life. active… eat right… Within 5 days of starting Zoloft, i noticed my depression lifting… WOW… now,5 months and 25lbs. fatter…. i am sick of this. have weaned myself off and then today i found myself crying at a meeting for no apparent reason… so i’m going to check in with my doc. i can’t be fat and depressed and fat and depressed because i’m fat.. something’s got to give… the urgency to eat sugar/sweets/chocolate is overwhelming and i try to eat lots of protein to keep my blood sugar leveled out, but there seems to be no use. it seems like NO ONE has anything concrete to say regarding this…each is different.. i hate the thought of trying THIS… then trying THAT…until something works.. whaaay..whining

  63. took prozac for 15 years. increased weight gain on the last 6 or 7 years, very gradual. But i switched to zoloft 6 months ago and i’m down 10 lbs. no diet change or exersize changes (going to the gym 2-3 days a week for years now). But prozac had been increasing my appetite of the past couple of years so that prompted me to change to zoloft.

  64. Oh. My. God.

    I googled escitalopram, weight gain and found this blog.

    I’ve been on antidepressants now for several years nonstop. These included trazadone, fluoxetine, citalopram and now escitalopram for the past 3 years or so. I used to be 55kg and now I’m 105kg. I felt better mentally, but nothing helped my weight gain, and my depression is now getting worse. I’m about to go to a counsellor for a top-up session, but think after reading all your posts that I should speak to my GP about this.

    I have Crohn’s disease and got an ileostomy two years ago, which I’ve blamed for my weight shooting up. I thought maybe that was why I was getting so many cravings – even after a full healthy meal and two helpings!

    Thanks so much for sharing your stories, guys. It really has opened my eyes!!!

  65. I have been on Remeron worst for weight gain, Tried Bupropion SR helped to quit smoking but overall a weak antidepressant , Finally tried Zoloft 100 mg great medication for depression and anxiety but gained 25 pound in three months. tapered to 25 mg and added 12.5 x2 mg of Stablon (not available in United States) figured out as Stablon works exactly opposite of Zoloft this combination does not slow your metabolism. and in fact helps to lose weight without any extreme dieting or exercise.
    25 mg Zoloft
    12.5×2 Stablon
    Balance Diet
    4 times a week 45 minutes Resistance weight training
    3 times a week 40 minutes trade mill

  66. Generic Name: Stablon

    Other name for Stablon: Tianeptine, Coaxil

    What is Stablon and for what Stablon is used?

    Stablon belongs to the antidepressant class and is chemically related to amineptine. It is a serotonin reuptake accelerator and works opposite to the action of SSRI’s. Like the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and in contrast with most tricyclic antidepressant agents, Stablon does not appear to be associated with adverse cognitive, psychomotor, sleep, cardiovascular or bodyweight effects and has a low propensity for abuse.

    The antidepressant and anxiolytic properties of Stablon and its action on somatic complaints make this medicine particularly suitable for the treatment of the entire range of depressive symptomatology. Tianeptine and Coaxil are other names for Stablon.

  67. Now, if I can take a step back for a moment, I’d like to tell you about an interesting thing about both SSRI’s (zoloft) and SSRE’s (tianeptine). An earlier poster at the beginning of this thread about tianeptine remarked that they couldn’t understand why both prozac (an SSRI) and tianeptine (an SSRE) both worked as an anti-depressant, since, as you’ve probably already read, SSRI’s work by inhibiting the uptake of serotonin in the brain, and SSRE’s work by the exact opposite function and actually enhance the reuptake of serotonin in the brain.

    This is only contradictory if you think that depression is caused by a lack of serotonin in the brain.

    In fact, as new research is showing, the effectiveness of anti-depressants like SSRI’s (and SSRE’s, I would argue too) may have to do with neurogenesis in the brain. I would be citing sources for all of this by the way, but apparently I don’t have enough street cred on this forum yet.

    However, as many of you who have taken SSRI’s will agree, zoloft and prozac make you feel like an emotional zombie. According to the posts and articles that I’ve read about tianeptine (stablon), this drug reduces cortisol, and also has the affect of causing neurogenesis in the brain, which is exciting because it brings about the hope that it can help repair some of the cognitive damage that is the result of the high levels of cortisol in the brain as a result of the faulty overactive HPA axis. And, at the same time it doesn’t cause emotional blunting!

  68. Wellbutrin is not an SSRI – it is a dopamine reuptake inhibitor. In my experience it does not cause weight gain.

  69. Hello,
    I took seroxat (paxil) about 9 years ago and my weight went up hugely and I went from a UK dress size 6 (US2) to a size 16 (US12). However before the pills I did have some eating disorders and once i took them i started to relax and did eat much more normally. Hence its hard to say if it was the pills per se or the lifestyle changes they afforded. After coming off the medication in 2005 I did start going to the gym and got back to a UK 10 (US 6)

    I then went on Citalopram in 2009 and since then I have again gained considerable amont of weight althougb I haev changed from an active to a seditary job and am now in a relationship with a man who adores cheesecake!!

    Basically I put on weight both times but my circumstances changed both times. But the emds must be doing some damage on the scales. My worry is that I am hoping to come off them soon and really hope to see the weight drop again…….

  70. I’m impressed, I must say. Actually rarely do I encounter a weblog that’s each educative and entertaining, and let me tell you, you may have hit the nail on the head. Your thought is excellent; the issue is something that not enough persons are talking intelligently about. I’m very blissful that I stumbled across this in my seek for one thing relating to this.

  71. After taking all the SSRIs except zoloft, i can state that for weight gain, Celexa, lexapro and Fluoxetine are the WORST for weight gain
    Fluxoetine was so bad i gained nearly 80lbs in three months.
    Paroxatine (paxill) and effexor took my appetite away in low doses, but do not take high amount of these drugs as they are hardest to withdraw from but work best long term although weight gain and weight loss is small with both paxil and effexor, 50 percent will gain weight and 50 percent will lose weight and the majority will go back to the weight they were before they started

  72. I’ve been on Prozac for 4 years and have put on 21lbs. My GP said I wouldnt put on any weight but I totally disagree. Yes, it improved my moods and anxiety but I’m so fed up with this unexplained weight gain. I admit to having a good appetite; HOWEVER, any diet I’ve been on, i.e SW/WW/Atkins, has not budged my weight at all. I’ve done a boring amount of research on SSRI’s and the link to weight gain, and I’m a firm believer that Prozac has put my weight on. I’m now weaning myself off them and have two weeks left to finish. I really hope I can see a difference when I finish completely x

  73. Thankyou. Thankyou. Thankyou. I have gained 3 stones (42lbs) since starting to take Escitalopram around 3 years ago. On many occasions I have asked different GPs at my practice about this and all of them said it was because I was feeling better & eating more! I knew this wasn’t true as I eat more (and more unhealthily) and drink more alcohol when I am depressed. I’ve tried to taper down my dose (currently 20mg) but was left feeling very strange indeed and with huge anxiety (which I don’t usually suffer) so have remained on the higher dose as I’m due to start a new job. I feel frustrated and upset at being this weight. I’ve rejoined Weight Watchers but am seeing no weight loss even when sticking to it 100% and stepping up exercise. Also I’m feeling quite down. I think the meds have stopped working on the depression but am worried at how they’re affecting my brain and metabolism.

    It’s such a relief to know that others have experienced weight gain. My doctors made me think it was all in my mind (no irony intended).

    Going to do my best now to wean myself off escitalopram and get back to what passes for ‘normal’ lol

    So glad I found this πŸ™‚

  74. I took escitalopram for 2 months in June / July of this year and put on a stone very quickly – so I stopped taking it very quickly and the weight continued to pile on – I have put on another stone since. At first it did cause an increased appetite but since I have cut down what I am eating and eating healthier foods the weight won’t move. I am now overweight for the firs time in my life and this has made me more depressed than I started off! I exercise for about 1 hour a day – I will struggle to increase this any more

  75. when the doctor wanted to prescribe me ciitalopram for anxiety, i asked about weight gain, which i was terrified of. she said no way. i have gained weight, about 6 kg in 3 months, so i have stopped taking it. No side affects for stopping, but the weight is not shifting. normally, i can lose weight easily, but for me the citalopram has definitely screwed up my weight, slowed me down and given me painful menstral cramps (which i never got) and am still getting. i stopped the pills two weeks ago. i’ll give the weight loss attempts my best effort – even though i have been reading depressing comments about waiting a year after quitting citalopram for weight to reduce to normal.

  76. I have been taking Escitalopram for a two/three years now and have certainly gained weight. I am getting concerned about the weight gain and whereas I used to be able to shift weight easily, nothing seems to be working! I have attributed this to hitting 40 also and the metabolism slowing down etc! Is very difficult to find a balance, I have never felt better mentally, but physically am definitely more shapely. I often think about coming off the tablets, but would rather be a bit more curvy than feel that anxiety again. Eat healthy, exercise when you can, laugh a lot and accept that is the best I can be, which having been trained to be more positive isn’t such a bad thing!!!!

  77. Citalopram has decreased my appetite and increased nausea,I have lost interest in eating period.This sucks because I went through hep c treatment and lost weight with that.I was taken off Paxil after treatment,that crappy ssri gave me sustain hypertension and chest pain.Then went to citalopram 5 months later and I have lost even more weight.For me this drug helps with anxiety does nothing for depression and I am now 150 pounds my average healthy weight used to be 172 pounds I am still losing weight.i have to change medication. This sucks I have been on ,in the past doxipan,,trazedone,remeron,Effexor,and then Paxil which was the best antidepressant.for me by a country mile,Was on for 16yrs then pooed out ,now on ssri marigoround trying to find one that works like Paxil did.Now probably have to be on a cocktail of meds to get back the full spectrum effects of Paxil it covered all of my depression and anxiety symptoms.So stop complaining about weight gain and and do hard cardio.

  78. There is a mistake on my post it was the Effexor that gave me sustained hypertension & chest pain, not the Paxil.Another thing I would like to add is that I have been on many other antidepressants than I listed.one thing I know for sure is that you will know within 3 -5 days if the antidepressant quill work for you despite the initial effects of beginning antideressants therapy.If you find it screw worrying about the wieght gain,there are health supplements,swimming pools,jogging,infrared saunas,and plenty of other exercises that will help lose the weight If you find one that works for you consider yourself lucky and be grateful for the relief of your depression and anxiety.

  79. I asked my Dr about weight gain with escitalopram and he said no. I have gone and filled my prescription only to remember that around 8 years ago I tried it and hated it. Nausea etc. I do not want to gain any weight as recently sleep hassles have not helped with the weight. Reading the many posts regardi ng weight gain has made me think twice. I saw my Dr for advice regarding some stress and anxiety after the recent death of my Father and lack of holidays and recent job changes +++. I didn’t think he would dose me up for that. But I must have sounded like a fruit loop!!!

  80. I have been on citalopram and escitalopram. The first time I went on citalopram I completely lost my appetite and lost half a stone. I didn’t regain this lost weight either. That was about 3 years ago.

    At the end of last year I went back on citalopram and lost a few pounds but it wasn’t really working for me so my doctor switched me to escitalopram, telling me it would likely make me lose weight (I was 135 lbs at 5ft 7ins)
    I was on it 4 weeks and gained a whole stone! I was gutted.

    I managed to lose all of it (and then some) and am now at 125lbs and I just started taking citalopram again today and already the nausea and loss of appetite have kicked in.

    So for me, this chart is correct, gain with escitalopram and lose with citalopram

  81. Mine is a repeat of all your comments, totally infuriated from 7pound to 11pound. Great ae. Very unhappy with myself, will not go anywhere, now the long haul back, gone off all tabs, refuse to buy any more fat clothes. Thank you especially about the needing to eat more and more. Never have I done this. Tell as many as you can just to help them.

  82. I was on Citalopram for 2 years and got the “pregnant” stomach look. I had been 55 kgs all my life then all of a sudden 1 year later I saw myself in the mirror. My weight had ballooned to nearly 70 kgs. Several months later I took myself off Citalophram, didnt make many adjustments to my lifestyle and went back down to 60kgs. I was happy with this, however my mother passed away and I was put back on Citalophram. 6 months later….boom….back up to 67kgs and prego tummy again. I have just changed over to Escitalophram as my Dr says it does not cause weight gain….??? Anyway…that’s my story. It does seem to this unqualified medical novice that these drugs do cause a metabolic change which causes weight gain, and also it does not seem to matter whether you are on a low or high dose, exercise regularly or what your food intake….they just make you fat!!!

  83. I have been on e-citalopram for 5 months. Prior to this I worked out every day and weighed 59kg (I’m 5’7, medium boned). The ecotalopram took away my constant anxiety and worry, and helped me to put reason and logic before giving in to the pain of emotion.

    I feel better then I have felt in years emotionally, but physically it is a challenge as the weight to food ratio is much more sensitive.
    I went up to 67kg 5 weeks ago and decided enough was enough.
    Here are some solutions that have got me down to 62kg (1kg loss a week):

    1) water, water, water – drink when thirsty
    2) Bikram yoga – daily! (You will thank yourself after – trust me!)
    3) oatbran flan – daily – (oatbran, egg, quark – mix with water, fry like pancake and use as wrap for salmon/tuna salad) this makes you get rid off all the toxins when you go to toilet)
    4) Pre-plan your weeks meals! Don’t be tempted for take out/ carnie food. Have a lunchbox so you don’t spend time entertaining ‘junkfood lust’ thoughts
    5) Fruit tea – raspberry/ blackberry – it’s sweet enough to meet your after food sugar needs.
    6) get yourself a Ki-Fit (UK) armband / Bodybug (US) – 1 chocolate bar = 30 minute run!!
    7) avoid the TV like the plague! For most people, TV = food. Get your arse off that couch and get out!

    The above is working for me. Hope it helps you all!

  84. i have been on prozac for 2 years and in them 2 years i have gained 4 stone… i eat less now than i did back then i swim everyday i walk 4-5 miles a day but the weight keeps going on… i have spoke to my doctor about it as the ectra weight is now effecting my health… but she just tells me to loss weight. im seriously thinking about stopping the pills. but i have heard stopping prozac is dangerous.

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