Cipralex and Weight Gain

Cipralex Weight Gain issues are part of one of the common topics I find in my inbox: the whole issue of whether SSRI’s make you put on weight and if so how can this be avoided. Many people have had issues with Celexa (citalopram) and weight gain, but as this personal experience shows, other SSRI’s such as Cipralex (escitalopram) can have weight gain issues.

I had a nervous breakdown 9 weeks ago, never felt that bad in my entire life…. Terrible anxiety, depression, tachycardia. I really did not want to take anti depressants as the side effects would have pushed me over the edge… I started getting a little better by myself but after 7 weeks I decided to start. My doc gave me cipralex and after only 2 days on that I felt much better, than noticed my weight had gone up by THREE kilos after 5 days on it!! Anxiety back of course. have been really watching what I eat, but the weight has not come off. I am hepatitis c positive and am scared to try duloxetine although that is the only SSRI that is good for severe anxiety/depression and has no weight gain associated with it. Duloxetine has been known to cause liver damage apparently. I am between a rock and a hard place as I need to up dosage from 5mg to 10 mg.

Sometime later this emailer followed up with:

I have been on Cipralex for 10 weeks now, and the weight gain is not such a major issue anymore, just have to watch what I eat. It has helped me a lot, I am on 20 mg now, and feeling almost back to myself. It took a while, but than I was not on the right dose. I was very ill, I’d had a mental breakdown and suffered from terrible anxiety and depression. It is worth sticking with it, at first you go up, almost as soon as starting the medication, than you seem to go down again, but you come up again as the drug accumulates in the system. Not quite like other anti depressants I have taken, but so far very helpful.

Firstly let me say how grateful I am to this person for sending me their personal experiences and allowing me to share them on this blog. It’s great that taking Cipralex has been positive and beneficial here, and I wish them all the best as they continue to recover! I think that it’s particularly interesting that weight gain hasn’t been such an issue in this case. It has long been known the SSRI’s have a tendency to cause weight gain, but not everyone suffers (indeed many SSRI’s list both weight gain and weight loss as possible side effects!).

No has a definitive answer to the question “why do SSRI’s cause weight gain?” but I have heard a theory which may have some credence. It is said that the action of SSRI’s like Cipralex on Serotonin receptors in some way causes the body to crave even more Serotonin, which it normally gets in the following way: the amino acid tryptophan enters the blood stream through consumption of foods containing the right kind of protein such as cheese, milk, fish, and meat. Tryptophan has a better chance of crossing the blood brain barrier and turning into Serotonin when it doesn’t have to vie for space with other amino acids. When you eat carbohydrate, insulin floods into your system and takes away amongst other things many of the amino acids that compete with Tryptophan for space. Tryptophan can then cross the blood-brain barrier and become Serotonin. Thus the best way to get a Serotonin hit is to eat carbohydrates (hence ice-cream can temporarily make you feel better). People on SSRI’s crave more Serotonin and therefore more carbohydrates and therefore put on more weight.

Is there something you can do about it? Probably yes, check out this post on how to avoid gaining weight on SSRI’s like Celexa, Lexapro and Prozac.

56 Replies to “Cipralex and Weight Gain”

  1. I have found reading the comments with regard to weight gain on this site extremely reassuring as I have been on Ecitalopram for a year @10mg with no apparent negatives, just positives. After recognising that I began hitting severe down patches for no reason (as we do dont we) and being incredibly lacking in motivation and energy I reviewed with my doctor to increase the dosage to 20mg a day. That was two weeks ago and I am now up from a size 10 to pushing a heafty size 12 and in the clothes I have been forced to run out and buy (as I need to be smart and fashionable for work – thank goodness the charity shops obliged some very nice items at low cost)I am even pushing the girth on those waistbands also.

    It seems the medication could be the root cause of my weight gain and I can tell you, I am a 2 weetabix for breakfast, sandwich for lunch and tuna salad for evening meal with no titbits in between kind of girl as I have a ‘fattist’ for a fiance who is very particular about the virtues of not being overweight. I am now faced with the dilemma of what to do about it. I am sick of Special K also when I dont eat sandwiches for lunch!

    Good luck to all of us!

  2. I was looking for information on weight gain associated with taking Cipralex (or other similar drug) when I found this blog. I have been taking Cipralex at 20mg for over a year. My anxiety is much better, but I still have periods of time when I wonder how much it is helping me. I have definitely had a lower sex drive, but the bigger problem has been weight gain. I am only 5’2″ and usually weigh around 125 to 128 pounds. I have now hit 140! I usually maintain my weight and I don’t watch what I eat, really. I have always weighed around the same. Slowly I’ve been getting bigger and I find it very unusual. I have now come to the conclusion that there HAS to be a connection between the weight gain and the drug. I was wondering if anyone has had any luck with reducing the dose to 10mg along with lower calorie intake and more activity/exercise.

  3. In response to the last email I started out at 10mg and aside from the first 2 weeks have had no side effects. I then after 5 months increased to 15mg for4 months and have been back on 10mg since July. I have put on a stone since March!! Of course eating more food doesnt help but I walk my dog twice a day for 45 mns at least. My conclusion is that luckily for me I feel really well and feel I could try to come off soon. I am fed up for putting on a stone however that is not as bad as feeling like I did before I took the Cipralex.

  4. Hey ladies,

    I have a question for you all…I have been dealing with anxiet since last october. I really thought i could do it myself and get through it but i think i am loosing the battle.
    My doctor gave me cipralex 10ml last november and i have been very scared to take them. I am afraid of the side effects that they all write about :(…Does it really help? My main symptoms are dizziness, heart racing and just overall aches and off balance.
    any suggestions of what i should do or how i should start the pills?

    Thanks so much.

    P.S …i just want this feeling to go away and i am even ok with putting on a few extra pounds…just want it gone 🙁

  5. My side-effects were bad for a few days…but then they went away completely. I did put on a stack of weight though…good luck and let us know how you get on!

  6. I have just started cipralex (1 week) and all of you are freaking me out with the weight gain LOL Can you tell me, is the weight gain automatic no matter what or how much you eat? I’ve always exercised 3-4 times a week, but if the gaining comes no matter what, I will consider changing med ASAP.

  7. In my experience the celexa i was on seemed to make me eat more and make me more lethargic and less inclined to exercise. I also believe I put on weight more than just lack of exercise and bad diet would alone. Recently i had an illness for several months that stopped me exercising and my weight gain has been nothing compared to what I had when i was on celexa!

    Doesnt happen to everyone though!

  8. Yana you really need to just bite the bullet and start. Why dont you try taking it at night as it can be a bit sedating and I know the first few days for me I was constantly yawning. I did feel more anxiety for the first week or so but this settles. I do understand your apprehension as I too didnt want to take them, be labelled etc. I had pins and needles in my hands feet face and on top of my head (weird I know!!) I had palpatations and had a worsening fear that I was ill / had a serious disease etc.
    I started taking it last October and despite my reservations I do not regret it for one minute. All my symptoms have gone and I am now weaning off. You have the answer to feeling better so be brave and think to yourself that it only gets better from here on in. Let me know how it goes x

  9. I have been on Celexa 10mg for a couple of months now. I have taken it before for anxiety but always quit as I hate the weight gain associated with it. This time I have decided not to quit, but have upped my exercise from running 25 miles a week, to running 40 miles a week, and great suprise, I have not managed to lose any weight. I am now really fit and maintaining my pre-celexa weight, but boy the the extra weight I want to lose won’t budge. Celexa definitely affects carbohydrate cravings, I would normally be happy with a slice of toast for breakfast, but at the moment that only feels like a tease. I really wish I could control this side effect, as apart from it, I feel completely relaxed.

  10. I have been on Cipralex for over a year now. I started off at 10 mg and now I am at 20 mg. I didn’t realize until reading everyone’s comments that weight gain was a side effect. I was wondering why I have been packing on the pounds. I have also noticed that I crave carbs all the time. My anxiety and depression has definitely decreased which is wonderful. Has anyone else been having the bad night sweats? I wake up in the middle of the night absolutely drenched.

  11. Hi Jodie

    Night sweats are a pretty common one as well i’m afraid! I didn’t get them too badly but did used to wake up so hot and uncomfortable…

    Good luck and do let us know how you continue to get on with the cipralex!

  12. Now I know why I am drenched after the slightest effort. Have been taking cipralex
    15 mg along with Remeron 60mg for depression and anxiety. The combination has really worked for me, however the weight gain has been significant. The carb cravings are very strong. I feel better after reading your comments, I’m not a willpowerless blob after all. I have never weighed this much. Am cutting back gradually with the blessing of my doctor on the Remeron and hoping that will help. I am also back at the gym.
    Started cutting back on the calories, no wine, so far so good. Thanks to all for your input.

  13. Hi there I’ve been on cipralex for 10 days at only 5 mg. Next week my doctor is making me go up to 10 mg. I am 24 about 5″7 and I weigh around 128. With all these comments it’s making me very!!! Nervous I will gain weight!! Should I switch my medication???? I go see my doctor at the end of the month… Should I tell her to maybe switch it? I think it would be a good idea And alsoe and my husband are trying to conceive but he keeps putting it off saying… I need to get better first then have a baby, which is understandable, but I don’t want the weight gain! And I do need to get better, but so far cipralex is good, except bad pain in my muscles and dizziness…

  14. Hi all, I’ve been on 20mg of Cipralex for about 2 months now and found it worked wonders for me however the side affects have been harsh on the body. I was diagnosed with clinical depression and at that time I weighed 185lbs. I gained over 30 lbs and nomatter how hard I work out of count callories the weight just keeps comming on. I sweat just reaching for a glass of water and will be lucky if I get 3-4 hours of sleep anight. My energy level is extremely high, sex drive is out of control however cannot finish the job. However I feel great with almost no sign of depression and feel the side affects are worth the reward. I think we need to worry about getting well and when you are off the medication, work on the weightloss. Getting controll of your life does not come without a small price. Good luck to you all. R.

  15. Hi everyone, I have been on Cipralex for at least 4 years now and just cannot be without! I had extreme depression in 1993 and was hospitalized 3 times for a total of 6 months. I started getting better finally with Prozac, gained extreme weight and had other bad side effects, but nothing was as bad as the depression! Several years ago, I asked for a medication that allowed more joy and not just the lack of sadness. My doctor gave me Cipralex and it has helped me ever so much. I have tried 9 times in the past 15 years to stop medication and always fell into a deep hole again. The doctors now say that I will be on them for life. If so, then, thank God for Cipralex! I have gained 40 pounds and have my sweats–but ANYTHING is better than the black hole I was in. I now can live a fulfilling life, work, feel joy, laugh and all. I am 60 and take care of myself emotionally–and faithfully take my 10 to 20 mg Cipralex every day. Hope this helps you.

  16. Shoe!! From reading all of your stories it made me cry! I am 25 years old, and I have been on Cipralex 10mg for 3 months now. I didn’t want to believe that I have depression!! I didn’t take it for at least two weeks, It was only when my 3 year old son, one day hugged me and said that he loves me even if I don’t love him anymore and I’m ALWAYS in a bad mood… Then I realized some think was really wrong, and started to take it. I’M FELLING GREAT!! 🙂 I also had most of the side effect, the weight gain, wasn’t as bad as the “libido” los (I call it!). I have a wonderful husband and after 1 year of no “love” (other problems) he couldn’t do it any more. And know the Cipralex is taking the little I have left!!! You see I had the depression for along time and didn’t know. Now that we are treating the problem, it’s almost too late.
    I would gain a mountain, if I can only keep my husband, I don’t have friends or a mother to talk to about all of this, if any of you have some kind of at wise PLEASSSE!! SHARE IT!! I don’t want to lose him, he understands everything and has supported me, but even I know a man is no ROCK… 🙁
    Ps: I gained 5kg in the two months, but los almost 4kg in die third month. Taebo 2 times a week (1hour), and the right food. I learned to control a “GIVEN “appetite with the Depo (non pregnant) injection. You know your body and, how mush food it needs, eat only that and drink lots of water. It is very very hard, you may not lose but at least you wouldn’t gain as well!! GOOD LUCK TO ALL OF YOU…. (Stupid as I was, I thought I was the only one… (“,)die

  17. Hi guys !

    I was on Cipralex for six months for GAD + a major depressive episode. I was at rock bottom when I took it – I hadn’t slept in 2 weeks, was not eating and I had dropped 10 lbs. The Cipralex did help with the anxiety and depression, but I noticed that after a month of taking it, I passed out every day in the afternoon for a three-hour “power-nap” which was kinda scary. It also delayed my speech and I would not think as clearly. Another side effect was a weight gain of 10 lbs from my normal weight – I went from 120lbs to 130 lbs in just 3 months 🙁

    I got off the meds back in Jan 2010 and I was determined to get back to my “old” self, minus the depression and anxiety attacks, of course.

    For those who have gained weight DO NOT GIVE UP HOPE – trust me! I would exercise like crazy and the weight would not budge and I still had the “foggy” feelings.

    However, there were certain things I did to help me in July of 2010 and they worked!

    1. My Dr. tested my vitamin levels – I was deficient in vitamin B12 and vitamin D – without a good amount of these vitamins, people can demonstrate symptoms of manic depression. Also, B12 HELPS THE BODY BURN FAT !!! Since I was lacking in this vitamin, no wonder I wasn’t loosing any of the weight I put on.

    2. I did Ion cleansing foot baths – these helped rid the toxins from the body, which included whatever was left of the meds.

    3. Personal training – I did about 6 sessions of intense training – it was a shock to my body, however, cardio training was my most effective fat zapper.

    Within two months of these three things (July-Sept), I lost my antidepresant weight and I have kept it off without starving. Of course, eating healthy is key. When I was on my meds, McDonalds Quarter-Pounders were my bffs; prior to the meds, I never craved hamburgers, weird eh?

    There has to be a better way then these meds that help with some syptoms, but hurt the body in other ways.

    Good luck everyone – hang in there. The best advice I ever got was from Hulk Hogan – Train, say your prayes, and eat your vitamins ! These three things have helped me through the darkest times in my life.

  18. I’m taking 20mg of Cipralex daily. I didn’t know I was suffering from depression, OCD and anxiety disorder… but I did realize I was having a lot of crying jags, was overeating, over shopping, stressing out, not sleeping, stopped caring about things that use to be important to me and I was starting to show up to work late or find excuses to call in sick. It was after a slip and fall at work where I hurt my back. It was really a short term injury, about 2 months off of work with weekly doctor visits. I credit my doctor with putting two and two together, she kept hearing my complaints on a weekly basis and as she had been my family doctor since I was a teenager and also delivered my children… she knew me pretty well. We talked. I knew that I had some OCD tendancies, fairly mild as OCD patients go, but I was getting worse. My anxiety and depression were very obvious with the amount of money I was dropping at the stores on a nearly daily basis, money my family could ill afford. The dark hole that I was falling into was getting deeper and deeper, feeling more and more like “normal”. I also have a long standing ankle injury and deal with chronic pain… so again, depressin was progressively quiet and all consuming. When my doctor asked me if I could be depressed, I quickly said “no”, I didn’t think that applied to me at all. She gave me some information and told me to check the quizes, we would talk about it in a week. Holy cow. I read the information and though, this really is me, it is SO me. Anxiety, Panic, Depression, OCD… all of it. I hadn’t even considered this before.

    Thank goodness for Cipralex. I didn’t want to take meds, I didn’t want to feel sick, weak, or “less than”… but I decided that I was being ridiculous, if I were a diabetic I wouldnt feel sick, weak or “less than” for taking insulin… so I began on the Cipralex. My doctor started me off on 5 mg for the first week and then bumped it up to 10 mg. After about 3 weeks I didn’t really notice a change, only the side affects of nausea, night sweats and weight gain… but there was a little imporvement of my overall outlook, I thought that I would stick with it and see. I began taking my Cipralex at night, right before bed. It may make me nauseated, but I would go to sleep and sleep though it… worked really well. I told my doctor about the marginal improvement and she increased my dose to 20 mg. It’s been a few months now and WOW… the improvement is remarkable. It’s like someone picked me up, dusted me off, put me in the sunshine again. I feel in control of me, I’m able to take a deep breath and enjoy my life. I’m able to concentrate and my impusle control and OCD about shopping has improved markedly. I am actually planning on doing my budget for the new year and I think I will really be able to stick to it. The nauseated feeling has ended, weather or not it is from taking my pills at night, I’m not sure. The weight gain has stopped. It seems that it is only a temporary thing, once the meds start working, you are able to control the food and have an increased desire to take better care of yourself. My chronic pain is still there obviously, but I’m better able to handle it and better able to strategize how to deal with it. Cipralex gave me my life back. Helped me so much, so very much it has made such an incredible difference in my lilfe.

  19. I have been on cipralex for the past two years, on and off. It has screwed up my digestion, I am nauseated before and after meals. I have to skip meals and kill myself with exercise to remain slim…though doctors deny it, it does make you put on weight!
    If I miss my dose, or have to go without the pills for a few days, I’m violent, irritable, get anxious, feel vague, disoriented…exhausted, tired….have no appetite…can’t express myself……can’t look at my face in the mirror….
    Was I this messed up before I was on these pills????
    Am I off my head? Or have the pills messed up my brain?

  20. I’ve been on cipralex since last november and gained half a stone so I returned to a slimming group I lost loads of weight with before. And the weight will just not come off. I don’t know what to do because mentally I feel better than ever but my low confidence and body image is making me so paranoid I don’t want to do anything! Really getting to me now, i guess I have to decide what’s more important- losing weight or being mentally strong….

  21. I just wanted to say to all who are concerned about side effects from the meds their doctors prescribe. I too have dealt with anxiety and panic attacks and depression on and off for most of my life and have had my share of medications. I have allergies to certain medications which cause very unpleasant side effect so getting me to try something new was a real chore for my doctor. Bottom line, I know what i am sensative to, so we avoid it so now, my doctor always starts me off on a low does of any new med for anxiety. And to get myself to not be so scared to take it I always say to myself, what is worse… a few side effects or months, years or a life time of anxiety, depression, isolation and well… To me, I can’t live with the anxiety and depression it’s draining. So now, I have some side effects like night sweats and being tired but compared to waking up in the night with debilitating anxiety or being stuck in my home…. I will deal with the night sweats etc any day…

  22. i got cipralex 10mg yesterday and im so scared to take it i dont want the suicidal thought to come or even gian weight 2 and half weeks ago this girl that i new but we were not friends died and killed her self because she was depressed and on ant depression and i don’t want to take them for that reason.I knew something was wrong with me before but didnt pay to much attentions to it but when i heard that this girl took her life it got worse i feel nervous and have thoughts BUT I WOULD NEVER DO ANYTHING TO HURT MY SELF but im scared by taking them it would make it worse any words of help??

  23. I have been taking Cipralex for about a year now. I only take 10mg every other day. I can honestly say that weight gain is an inescapable side effect. ***YOU WILL GAIN WEIGHT!!!!!!!!!!***. And like many others have written, it is almost impossible to take off no matter how much you exercise or change your diet. This is truely unfortunate. I find that the weight gain has caused me to fell even worse about myself. It is esspecially frustrating when I work out and eat right and continue to gain weight. I am trying to slowly ween myself off of the drug and am seeking out some natural remedies. I think the ciprelex is a good short term remedy but the weight gain only poses other health problems both physically and mentally. Hope this helps and Good luck everyone!

  24. hi I have been taking ciprelex for just over a year. I started at 10 now i am at 20. I have gained a lot of weight and cant lose it. Im not sure what to do.

  25. I have been on cipralex for just over two years – I was repeatedly assured that it does not cause weight gain etc. I train every single day and work part-time as a personal trainer. I gained 6kgs (approximately 12 pounds) on cipralex and the weight gain is continuing. Each time I told my pshychiatrist he advised me to adopt a healthy eating plan (like I don’t do that already). I was so stressed about it all – thinking it was my fault that I was gaining all this weight, until a friend of mine started on the drug and I watched him gain 4kgs in a month. It is not helpful to mislead people about the side-effects. I believe i needed cipralex and that it helped me (maybe even saved my life) but I am now ready to start trying alternative methods for anxiety and depression. Any more weight and that will cause anxiety and depression 😉

  26. I am so glad I found this site! I have been on cipralex for 6 months and have put on 10 pounds. I exercise more now than ever as I feel it helps with depression and anxiety so I could not understand why my body weight was going up and not down! I am going to go off the drug, I have simplified my life and feel I can manage without the drug, what is the best way to go off of Cipralex? Thoughts?

  27. I have been on Cipralex for 8 months, and Gained 9 pounds!! I have been on and off Paxil, then stopped due to getting pregnant.. I then started taking them again I had HORRIBLE anxiety and depression I isolated my self very sad to think how much of my live i wasted away… Anyways I stopped taking Cipralex cold turkey now for 2 weeks.. I am light headed in the days, nauseas, sick in the tummy and keep getting head aches.. but I know it will get better and I HOPE i loose my 8 pounds I gained!! I will keep you all posted to see if the weight actully comes off 🙂

  28. I’m here to agree with many of the above postings. I’ve been taking cipralex for about a year and a half. It caused my deep moments of despair to vanish, but it also made me totally apathetic. Now I feel numb, and uncaring about anything. I often find myself laying in bed all day because there seems to be nothing else to do. I feel nothing. On top of this, I’ve been getting headaches, upset stomach, no sex drive, trouble sleeping, and putting on a lot of weight. I’ve gone up nearly 20 pounds. Seems like a lot considering I eat only one meal a day. Its hard to know which of these symptoms are from the medication, and which are a function of lifestyle. I want to get off the stuff, but every time I try to cut back, or skip a day, I feel sketchy and get withdrawal symptoms. So now I have no feelings, look awful, and have a drug dependency I can’t kick! Does anyone have any useful suggestions for getting off cipralex fast? I’m thinking cutting down from 20mg to 10mg for a week, then 10 every second day…

  29. I have been on cipralex for 15 months, 20mg.
    I have always been tall and lean.
    5″10 – 125 lbs.

    I have been slowly putting on weight – currently at 143 lbs. !!!
    I went from a size 2 to 8 !!

    I have never had to worry about what I eat or excerise.
    I think for this reason I will come off.
    However, the drug was amazing in every other sense.
    Worked almost instantly 🙂

  30. Hi everyone. I am 22 years old and have been on Cipralex (20 mg) for almost a year now, for severe anxiety problems. I have gained a total of 90 lbs (!) on this drug and am slowly, ever so slowly, beggining the excruciating process of losing the weight. The weight gain all occurred within the first 4 months of starting the drug. I have so far lost 30lbs (which is honestly like taking a cup of water out of the ocean at this point) and have been exersizing 3 times a week and being very careful about what I eat (No chocolate, chips, icecream, candy, anything good really…). Prior to starting the drug and the weight gain, I maintained a healthy weight 130 lbs @ 5’6 since I was a young teenager. I’m a vegetarian and prior to starting the drug ate very healthy food. My advice to all who are reading this is BE VERY CAREFUL about your dietary habits on this drug. I crave carbs allll the time. I feel horrible about the weight I’ve gained, it has destroyed my self-esteem. I still have hope and will continue my weight loss journey until I am pre-med weight 🙁 Good luck to all.

  31. I’ve been taking Cipralex for probably over a year now, and just recently put 2 and 2 together to figure out the Cipralex is probably why I’ve gained about 12lbs. I’m only 5′ tall so that’s a huge amount for me. I’m also craving carbs in any shape or form so that doesn’t help. I started running about a year and a half ago and just completed my second half marathon, yet didn’t drop so much as an ounce during my training. I’m also exhausted all the time – I normally get 8 hours sleep a night and nap at least an hour a day. The days I miss my nap I’m ready to cry by 6, I’m so tried. I find that these things are making me feel worse than the original reasons I started on Cipralex, so I’m weaning now. Hopefully the weight will drop off and I’ll start feeling a bit more human again.

  32. i am on cipralex10mg for the past three months and have put on5kg. I am eating as normal, but the weight seems to be coming out of thin air. Lucky i did this search and found that this is a comman problem. I am also on a sleeping tablet as the cipralex makes me very anxious, but thank God it lifted my depression. After my six month course i am going to see whether my weight will come down. three years ago i was on 10mg cipralex for a year and went from my normal weight of 57kg to 72kg. i took myself off the medication, started running and joined the gym and lost the weight. hope it works this time round……


  33. Hi Noor

    It seems to be the case that when you stop and do exercise the weight comes off…some people make the mistake of stopping the medication and not exercising…the weight comes off very slowly indeed. But with exercise most people find it subsides quickly…

    thanks for posting!

  34. I went on 10 mg. of Cipralex on January 1. (Happy New Year!) I was in a job that was making me ill–not sleeping, stessed, panic attacks, and crying jags at home. While I was at this job, I had lost 13 pounds over about a 3 month period, which is a lot of weight for someone who is 5’1″ and is a size 4. My clothes were falling off me.

    After being diagnosed as being “moderately depressed”, all work related I might add, I went on Cipralex–reluctantly. My goal was to come off it/wean myself off after I found a new job, which I finally did in March, thank god. The Cipralex helped me relax, sleep more soundly, and I’m enjoying the new job. Here’s the weird thing…the weight has piled back on in only 2 1/2 months….all of it! (I had hoped to keep a bit of it off.) A friend told me she had gained weight on Cipralex, but I didn’t realize it was a possible side effect until I googled it.

    Because my situation is much improved, I wanted to get off them, so my doctor is weaning me off the meds starting the end of this month…I can only hope I lose a few of those extra pounds!

  35. I’m completely off the Cipralex now, and it’s bee a struggle. I was pretty nauseous and anxious for weeks, the nausea is gone but the anxiety is hanging on. I have lost a few lbs and done nothing differently – I even stopped running as I was feeling so unwell. Hopefully when I get back into my routine the rest of the weight will be gone.

  36. I just weaned myself off of Cipralex due to the weight gain. I kept gaining 5 pounds every two months, craved carbs all the time and my husband wasnt happy about the way my body was looking. I knew I was chubby but, oddly enough, the cipralex made me feel so calm and positive that I didnt care about my body. ANyway, the weight gain got out of hand and my doctor kept saying i needed to cut back on my eating and exercise more meanwhile, im one of the most active people I know. Plus, my anxiety and anger is much better but I am so much lazier on cipralex. I used to workout everyday and now I dont care to. Ive only been off of it for two weeks and my appetitelhas gone WAY down. I can refuse any food easily..thats the good news. Bad news, I got my old bad temper back, I’m crying daily like I used to, i fought with my husband almost everyday since and I told my mom to “F” off for the first time in my life. I am angry n bittter now but I actually feel things again. I hear that u have to “feel to heal” but I’m yelling at everyone! I’m going to try a colonic and see if I can get meds out n get calm but I’m afraid its sabbatoging all of my relationships. Its hard to choose between fat andd calm or thinner and overly emotional?! The depression is definitely coming back 🙁 I may end up thin and divorced if I dont make the right decision.

  37. OMG – my doctor has just prescribed me 10mg of Cipralex per day. After reading all these comments, there is ABSOLUTELY NO WAY that I will EVER TAKE THIS DRUG. It might make people feel less anxiety, but in the long run, if you’re going to be gaining weight and feeling like a FAT COW, is it really worth it. I know if I gained weight, I would feel more depressed than anything else. Then, you would feel more anxiety because you look ugly and feel unconfident and that would bring on more problems and more feelings of depression. I have never like to take any drugs and am not about to start taking them now. NO WAY – NOT ME – I WILL NOT BE SUCKERED INTO TAKING STUPID DRUGS THAT WILL RUIN AND DESTROY MY NATURAL METABOLISM. I AM INTO NATURAL REMEDIES AND DO NOT BELIEVE IN DRUGS SIMPLY BECAUSE DRUGS MAY FIX ONE PROBLEM BUT THEN YOU ARE LEFT WITH 20 OTHER PROBLEMS TO DEAL WITH. NO WAY – THIS DRUG IS NOT FOR ME. I’D RATHER DEAL WITH MY OCD THE WAY I ALWAYS HAVE – ALONE AND IN SECRET – BESIDES – MY OCD IS VERY SLIGHT (THANK GOD) – I’D RATHER KNOW THAT I STAY SLIM AND LOOK AND FEEL GOOD RATHER THAN GET FAT AND FEEL AWFUL.

  38. I have been taking celexa for a few years, then my Dr. told me that cipralex has less side effects. I was always tired on celexa so I thought I would give cipralex a try,and yes I have gained weight and I’m still tired all the time. I still work my job that is quit physical(thank god)or I wouldnt get any exercise.I pay for the gym membership and don’t have energy after work to go. Seriously, do I suffer with panic attacks and not take the meds, or be lazy and fat without panic attacks…I prefer NO Panic attacks.But I do hate being fat.

  39. My doctor tried me on Cipralex, I lost my appetite completely and fell into an eating disorder that three years later I am still struggling with. I stayed on Cipralex for a month or two before my doctor swithed me to another antidepressant in hopes of my appetite returning.

  40. So nice to find this! I too have gained about 30lbs since starting cipralex about 2 years ago. I have been weaning myself off slowly and actually this is my first day without taking anything. Not worried about withdrawl cause I was down to like 1mg. However I’ve never been this big without being pregnant!! Honestly I will never take this drug again for moderate depression. I am hoping that I can lose the weight with a good diet and exercise. I’ll report back 🙂

  41. I was on Sertraline (Zoloft) for 6 months for severe anxiety and panic attacks. I started at 25mg and went up to 100mg in about 1.5 months, then down to 75mg from about September (as it was too strong) until 2 weeks ago. I gained 35lbs in 5 months. I went from a size 4 petite to a 10/12 petite.

    I was switched to Cipralex to hopefully reduce the weight. My doctor said in the past 3 or 4 years she has prescribed many patients with this drug and no one has gained weight.

    However, reading these posts do not keep me hopeful.

    I have heard that nefazodone, venlafaxine and duloxetine, and bupropion gives very little chance of gaining weight. With Duloxetine I have heard can cause “brain cramping” and nauseau.

    It’s unfortunate that the Sertraline and Cipralex have done a very good job of balancing my life out again, but now have caused so much weight gain, which I work very hard to keep healthy and fit – now I just feel like a failure.

    Part of me feels better knowing it’s the drug, but I do not feel hopeful with peoples’ testimonies that they can’t lose no matter what they do.

    I have started to go into ketosis (carbs under 30gms a day, adequate protein, high fat), lots of veggies and water) to try and lose again, so I’m really hoping this will work.

    I’ll post back in a while to let you know of my progress.

    I may just skip Cipralex altoghter and go for the brain cramping drug to test it. I really hate this weight. I don’t feel like buying a whole new wardrobe.

    If anyone else has had success losing weight WHILE still on Cipralex, please post.


  42. Omg, I can’t believe so many of you are also experiencing the weight gain too… I am going through the EXACT same thing. Started off at 10mg of cipralex and then increased to 20mg’s. I took the drug for 3 months and have gained 45 pounds… going from my approximate normal weight 125lbs to THIS—170lbs. I am 5’1, so this is so unhealthy for me… none of my clothes fit… all I feel like doing is buying oversized clothes to HIDE it. I am so frustrated and disappointed. Like so many of you, cipralex HELPED the anxiety perfectly, and I was feeling so much better… but this weight gain is NOT worth it. I stopped taking it almost 2 months ago and I figure it must be out of my system by now, but no matter what I do I can’t get the weight off, like so many of you who say it won;t budge… same with me… I am sooo beyond frustrated, I miss my normal fit body… THIS is making me depressed. HAS ANYONE ON HERE ACTUALLY BEEN SUCCESSFUL LOSING THE WEIGHT AFTER STOPPING CIPRALEX??? I need to know what works, please share!

  43. I am so glad I found this site! I have been on cipralex since October, and in 3 months I put on 6 kg! I don’t understand it, because I don’t eat any more than I did before, and I exercise. What is happening to my body? It makes me very upset to see that the scale shows more than yesterday, EVERYDAY! 🙁 Cipralex helped me so much with my depression, I am unsure to stop taking it. My doctor told me that it wasn’t going to have weight gain side effect. I hope this helped.

  44. Hi, I was put on Cipralex for depression and anxiety.I was very concerned about the weight gain issue I had heard about with regards to Cipralex as in the year before starting it I had gained 10kgs and this had made me feel so much worse about myself. However without even trying to diet I lost 4kgs in the first 6weeks on Cipralex. I think this is firstly as a result of after the first 2 weeks on it I actually felt like doing things and was much more active and secondly I didnt have a need for comfort eating. So please dont let this weight gain issue put you off from getting help, it all depends on yoruself

  45. Hello, I just wanted to add some comments about my experience on cipralex. I have been taking cipralex for about a year and a half, and during this time I have gained 30 pounds. I am extremely upset about the weight gain. Although my mood is better, and my depression is gone, I am now embarassed by how my body looks. I am in the process of getting off the medication… does anyone have any words of advice on how to lose the weight. I have never weighed this much in my life, and I am 100% certain the cipralex caused the weight gain. Soooo frustrating. I wish I had tried natural methods of dealing with the depression as losing this amount of weight is not going to be easy!

  46. Three or four months hard exercise should get rid of it, when you are off the meds or at least on a much lower dose….my experience anyway 🙂 good luck!

  47. Just want to pop down my experience with Cipralex and weight gain. Cipralex has caused my heart rate to drop to 48-54 bpm at resting heart rate. Heart rate and metabolosm are linked ( and therefore I have also gained weight and found it harder to shift. Since finding out it lowers my heart rate I am finally coming off cipralex. However, I did come off it whilst pregnant and my heart rate was a normal healthy rate and I lost a stone even though I was pregnant and scoffing away. Cipralex did help initially but it’s time for my body to be it’s natural self again Hope this helps. All my info is from my personal experience and tracking of cipralex 🙂 Best wishes

  48. I have been on 20 mg cypralex for almost a year and i have gained weight..I also take 100mg Nortrilen daily (a trycyclic)- i think i have put on about 4-5 kgs and it does not budge. I have increased my exercise doubling cardio since january and yet nothing. I am only 30 years old. I have now reduced my dose to 10 mg and halved the Nortrilen- weight just doesnt seem to budge. Also i have another question- somedays I weight myself and weigh 75, then i weight myself another day on the same scales and weigh 71- I seem to also retain a lot of water and my tummy looks really bloated on some days….

  49. I too am on cipralex and have gained weight and cannot seem to budge on the scale anymore. I know it has to do with the drugs b/c I know my eating patterns and also know that any time I wanted to – I could drop the weight by dieting and working out. I’ve gained over 20 pounds and I’m 5’1″. Ahh! not fun! I’m slowly weaning off the cipralex but my question is – does the weight issue go away once you’re off the medication? or has this changed my body (metabolism) for life?

  50. I was gang raped last year in my home, and my dr put me on cipralex, I have put on so much weight, I look pregnant. I just don’t know what to use instead of cipralex as the drug has certainly helped me get through my terrible trauma

  51. Sorry to hear of this highly traumatic experience. For trauma, speaking as a non-professional and giving my personal opinion only, I would recommend EMDR. Preferably with a good, well-trained therapist. There are also some books available on the topic. Best of luck!

  52. It seems that the weight does come off when the medication is stopped/changed. happens naturally but slowly, or reasonably quickly with exercise…as far as I can tell from my own experiences and what other people have told me. Good Luck!

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