Meds & Weight GAIN!

New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
[ << Previous Thread | Next Thread >> ]

LSJ99
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 10/18/2005 7:43 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi everyone! I'm new here - 37 yr old gal diagnosed with BP2/depressive. It's taken me about 2 years from being diagnosed w/BP to finding some relief from lifelong depression and meds that didn't work. Now that I find a cocktail that works (300mg Lamictal, 900mg Lithium and 50mg zoloft) I have gained a lot of weight fast and I'm starting to question whether I should try to mix things up again and try to find a new anti-depressant. All the weight is making me crazy! I can't afford to buy new clothes! I know I shouldn't be so vain and should be thankful for finding a med that makes me feel better. I'm just wondering if there's anybody with similar meds that has switched from zoloft to something else - I know everyone is totally different but I'm wondering if there is something better out there for my situation. I've tried Effexor (induced mania) and wellbutrin (did nothing) plus upping the lamictal and the lithium (didn't work either). I have not taken prozac or any maoi's. Anyway....needing some advice or support. ps. there is a huge thread in the depression area on nothing but zoloft and weight gain!! Thanks!!! -Sue

sooblue
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 10/19/2005 7:42 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Sue!
My husband is currently just on Lithium but has been for 10 years & in the past at different times been on different antidepressants & had gained weight too. Last winter he went on the South Beach Diet much to his doctors dismay. They monitored his med levels & him closely. He had great success & lost 22lbs. and since kept it off by watching his carb intake. His doctor found it didn't affect his levels at the time & losing the weight helped him feel better about himself. Like you said, everyone is different but I hope this info helps you.

Sooblue

LSJ99
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 10/19/2005 8:43 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks! I know it's how I'm eating, definitely, it's just hard because it's all of a sudden so hard to control. It's like my willpower went out the window when I started the med! Thanks for the reply! -Sue

swtchelley
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 10/19/2005 11:43 AM (GMT -7)   

hi Sue,

I was on lithium at one point for around two months, and I had really bad side effects. the main ones I noticed were weight gain and severe drowsiness. that's when my doctor switched me to lamictal, which really had no side effects for me and I was able to lose most of the weight I gained (5-10 pounds). I think in your med combination, lithium might be the culprit for the weight gain.

Michelle


kittycat27
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 438
   Posted 10/19/2005 11:44 AM (GMT -7)   
Well not sure about lithium and zoloft, Shannon might, but lamictal I don't think cause weight gain . Or it's minimal. I am Bipolar I, and also have diabetes II. I was on depakote and another med a few yaers ago and found it gained alot of weight. Which caused sugar problems as well. This cocktail worked, but the over 30 lbs I gained didn't. So I had to try so many different meds, eventually losing most of the weight. Till finally now, I have a great combo and it doesn't casue weight gain. Lamictal, Wellbutrin, Topamax, and Ativan. The topamax originally helped with weight loss, but didn't help my Bipolar totally, so I added new meds. And here I am . It's right to say, when your heavier than normal, that itself causes more depression. It sucks. I personally don't believe in alot of the diets there are now, but if I was going to recommend a safe , healthy lifestyle maintenance, it would be The American Diabetes Association diet. If you will. It incorporates all the food needed in your everyday diet, and doesn't lack too much. You feel full , sometimes wondering if you can eat in another 3 hrs. Other diets once you go off, have a tendency for people to gain it back , plus some. Just watch what times your eating for digestion purposes, eat healthy and exercise. Now that's something even I don't do enough. I hate to exercise, it feels so much like work.Lol Well hope i contributed something , I like to talk. Too much. Have a great day, Nickie   

LSJ99
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 10/19/2005 1:37 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi, Nickie and Michelle! Thanks for the input. I was on lamictal and lithium for months with no weight gain. That's what leads me to believe it's the zoloft, or zoloft in combination with the other stuff. My dr. was so unsupportive about the weight gain that I have a feeling he won't want to switch just for that reason. I need to talk to him about it but don't want to bring it up if he's just going to make me feel like it's all my fault with nothing to do with the meds. It has to be some of the problem! Anyhow, thanks again for replying! It really helps.

sooblue
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 10/19/2005 1:39 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Sue! I know when my husband started the lithium that was one of his biggest complaints, was he lost all of his willpower. The weight he lost this past year was pretty much the weight he put on from the lithium over the past 10 yrs. He still struggles everyday with the willpower issue. I am begining to wonder though if this drop in weight is why this falls cycle has been so much worse. Good luck to you, Sooblue

kittycat27
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 438
   Posted 10/19/2005 6:36 PM (GMT -7)   
So I did some research of my own, but I found that weight gain is not one of the side effects of zoloft. I  was on it yrs. ago when being treated for depression. This is before anyone knew I was Bipolar. Anyways, I found this info on there actual website. I hope this helps in some way. Best of luck!! Nickie

LSJ99
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 10/19/2005 8:52 PM (GMT -7)   
They (zoloft) says that weight loss is more common but no such luck for me. : ) Sue

psychnurse
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 807
   Posted 10/20/2005 3:06 AM (GMT -7)   

Kittycat is right about the Zoloft - that shouldn't be your cultprit, but lith does cause weight gain in almost everyone.   Zoloft really shouldn't be doing that.  You say wellbutrin doesn't do anything, but have you tried adding it to the Lamictal?   That's usually the trick for most BPs, 3-400mg of wellbutrin with 200 of Lamictal as a combination. 

As far as "diet"s 000000 - I hate that word mad     Just eat SENSIBLY, quit eating the junk food, cook dinner with fresh foods, and EXERCISE.  You will NOT lose any weight without exercise no matter what "diet" or starvation tactic you use.  I had to lose 30 pounds after being on Depakote and Zyprexa combination, but I did it and now I look really good.  You are so right, being overweight in and of itself is a big reason to be depressed, I was miserable because I had always been underweight.  I actually gained 55 pounds in 3 months.  I lost 30 so now at my perfect weight.  It CAN be done if you try.  If you do not have a Weight Watchers near you (which I highly recommend), go to Jenny Craig, they will teach you HOW to eat and their food is good.   It's expensive, but if you exercise at least 4 times a week for 30 minutes it will cut your time in half.   (I was a personal trainer/nutritional counselor for a time before I was a nurse, so if I can help, just ask).

Shannon


Variety is the spice of life, BP is the key


purpletiger
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 10/20/2005 8:43 AM (GMT -7)   
The Lithium I am on is definate causing weight gain for me - 10 pounds since the end of June - I hate it and completely understand about you not wanting to buy new clothes!!!
 
We have an exercize room in my apartment.....the trouble is having the will to get out of bed and go down there (I am in a Depressive stage of my BiPolar II)
 
Good luck to you.....good luck to me...

LSJ99
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 10/20/2005 9:38 AM (GMT -7)   
Good luck, Purple Tiger!

Debbiehall
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 10/20/2005 10:47 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi,
I've been on Lamictal for 5 years for seizure disorder. This medication has no effect on my weight. 6 weeks ago I went on Zoloft 50mg a day for bi-polar. before starting Zoloft, I weighed 145 (i'm 5 6 and big boned) and since then went down to 134, so far. I've read on drug websites including the Zoloft website that weight loss is a side effect. However, when my neurologist put me on Zoloft, he told me It would make me feel better but, I could gain 30 pounds. To be aware of this. He said that weight gain is more likely than weight loss, and the drug companies don't tell you this because of the competition. The reason he told me this is because every patient of his has gained an average of 30 pounds. He also told me that he believes Zoloft is the best medication for Bi-polar, but, if weight gain is an issue to change meds ASAP. Hope this helps

kittycat27
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 438
   Posted 10/21/2005 9:31 AM (GMT -7)   
I was on Zoloft. Any questions of weight gain and loss, I have simply read on their site. It specifies that there is neither weight gain or loss as a side effect. I was on zoloft as I have mentioned, and used in in the treatment of depression. It is used for depression and anxiety. As far as being treated for Bipolar, no offense to your nuero., I hardly think it is effective in the treatment of Bipolars. It is definatley not the best. I don't mean to sound harsh, but depression and Bipolar are extremely different. There is not a " best" drug for our condition, simply there is one better in the treatment than others. They all have there own classes, SSRI's , SSRNI's... it's confusing. Each person with Bipolar, has to find his or her med , that suits their individual need. Normally we can't even take just one med , most take 2-3. I only get frustrated when docs not approved to treat Bipolar say this kind of stuff, it is sooooooooooo misleading and inaccurate. Hope not to offend anyone, but along with our progress in Bipolar, there are meds for the treatment of Bipolar and theirs others. Thanks for listening.

psychnurse
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 807
   Posted 10/21/2005 9:40 AM (GMT -7)   

Kittycat you are soooo right - I hate when docs write these meds!   Ahhhhhhhh! They are fine and dandy for clinical depression, I'm glad those people can have them.  They almost always cause hypomania, I just learned recently from the doc that frequents this forum, whom I respect immensely, that now there is a warning for doctors to screen for bipolar before prescribing it, because can be DANGEROUS. skull    Our brain chemistry is completely different from other people, what works for other people usually affects us differently or opposite.  We get wired at the drop of a hat.   Then, you have to come down eventually and the depression is even worse.  Nice drug.  I've been on them, too and can attest to thier bad effects, not to mention how much I have seen!  Why can't they just write the preferred, Lamictal and/or wellbutrin for BP?? eyes    Works much better, much safer for us.  Of course, tooo much wellbutrin can cause mania, but it's not common at all on reasonable doses.

Ok, off my soapbox!   Thanks for listening. :-)


Variety is the spice of life, BP is the key


Debbiehall
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 10/22/2005 9:25 AM (GMT -7)   
The reason I mentioned my neuro is because he said the same thing as my other doctor who is qualified to make decisions (just 2 different opinions). It wasn't just Zoloft but, the mixture of Lamictal and Zoloft. They both believe Lamictal helps for bipolar disorder mixed with other meds. My case is different than most on this website because not only is there a family history of bipolar, but, I have a brain tumor (which is why I see a neurologist). Many patients with brain tumors have some sort of disorder, on top of other things. For me, they don't know what the best mixture is because everyone is different. And in my case they still don't know why people get brain tumors in the first place, so everything is experimental. So far it's working great, no side effects. I was also told ( by 3 qualified people and some patients) if you have no side effects then it is a med you need. Don't know if that is true. Has anyone else heard of this?

psychnurse
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 807
   Posted 10/22/2005 10:44 AM (GMT -7)   
First, I am truly sorry that you have a tumor.  Is it benign?
 
That does change the scenario tho, I was referring to bipolar disorder only.  I'm just speaking from personal and professional experience, also there is a new recommendation to the prescribing MDs on all SSRIs that the patient be screened for bipolar disorder because of the risk and probablity of hypomania occuring.  
 
But what is ultimately important is that it works for you.  If you are doing well on that combination, that's great and really all that matters. :-)  
 
Shannon 
Variety is the spice of life, BP is the key


Debbiehall
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 10/22/2005 1:03 PM (GMT -7)   
That's OK, it's benign (non-cancerous) but, considered malignant because of the area it's in and the grade. half of it was removed with sugery.

Regarding these meds I should add, they are working great for now, but, I haven't been fully tested. Meaning what turns me into the manic stage is sometimes triggered by idiotic, annoying people I work with :-) And out of fear, I've stayed away from these people. They fear me too because they think I'm crazy and someday will end of going postal.... Because of my mood swings. actualy they think I'm on Meth most of the time. When I'm away from these people, I'm more on the deppresive side, extremely suicidal and all the other symptoms of deppression. And those feelings are under control, I actualy feel normal, how weird. I haven't gone up.... or down.

As far as weight gain/loss. I wonder whether some of the symptoms are because you feel better and therefore work harder on losing weight or have an increased appetite from feeling better causing weight gain. In my case, I used to eat chocolate everyday, ice cream, pies, french fries, all that good stuff, but, now, my appetite seems to be less. I know one thing, since taking Zoloft my digestive system has slowed down tremendously. a few prunes and an apple a day took care of this problem. So maybe it's a combination?

psychnurse
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 807
   Posted 10/22/2005 3:12 PM (GMT -7)   

I'm sure it's because of the change in mood.  Many depressed people have no appetite, or too much of an appetite, then when they feel better, they either eat more or less.  Mood has a LOT to do with appetite; SSRIs aren't known for weight gain, actually prozac was being prescribed for appetite  reduction, not sure if that was an actual indication from the manufacturer tho. 

The old ADs, tricyclics like Deseryel (trazadone), Elavil, Tofranil, Anafranil, etc. caused a voracious appetite for sweets, so people gained a lot of weight on them, similarly to Zyprexa and Risperdal, two of the atypical antipsychotics.  Lithium and Depakote cause weight gain, too.  I am lucky enough to have found a combination of drugs that do not affect weight, I can't deal with that!  I'm a fitness and health buff, so my 55 pound weight gain in the first few months on zyprexa and depakote were not too pleasant!   Took a lot of work to lose it!  

But like I said, all these meds affect everybody differently, what increases appetite in one decreases it in another, it's crazy! :-)

I wonder if your tumor has some bearing on your moods?  Where is it located?


Variety is the spice of life, BP is the key


Debbiehall
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 10/25/2005 5:31 AM (GMT -7)   
The tumor is located in my speech center. It didn't have too much of a difference on mood when I was weaned off of Dilantin and switched to Lamictal. Don't know about people using Lamictal for bipolar but, I will say that when the doctors told me to increase my dose it gave me the same symptoms of schizophrenia. when I realized this, I lowered my dose. Very bizzare. Before having the tumor I had mood disorders so I don't think the tumor caused it.

I agree about SSRI's not having an affect on weight because everyone I know who has taken these meds are different shapes and sizes. The only side effect they said they had was sexual side effects, but not weight. My doctor told me I could gain 30 pounds on Zoloft because all his patients have, I think he says that to cover his butt. But, I think everyone is so different that it's impossible to come to any conclusion. And some people who have weight problems aren't entirely honest about trying to lose weight.

My sister is a perfect example, she was a normal weight before taking zoloft (for a year) after going off zoloft she gained 120 pounds from boredom and deppression. She kept telling me her metabolism was really slow and she eats normal but, can't lose weight (no matter how little she eats). What she wasn't telling me was the extra calories she was consuming from chocolate. 2 Years ago she had gastric bypass surgery and lost all the weight and hasn't gained any back.

In my case I was so terrified about gaining weight that I changed my eating habits ( not eating less than before Zoloft), but healthier. So far it seems to be working.

psychnurse
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 807
   Posted 10/25/2005 6:59 AM (GMT -7)   

Sorry about the post before, Debbie, wrong thread!!! confused confused

I totally agree with you about the weight loss, gain, junk and sweets go to fat much faster than healthy food, meat, fish, chicken, whole grains and fruits and veggies.  Energy is quality energy and lasts longer without the "crash" you get from the junk.  Exericse is a must for losing weight, no getting around it!

See the thread "meds and weight gain" if you didn't already read my accidental post to you, it explains it better.   BTW how much Lamictal are you taking?  Did you maybe increase it too much?  (More than 25 mg) 

 


Variety is the spice of life, BP is the key


Debbiehall
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 10/25/2005 10:24 AM (GMT -7)   
At the moment, I'm taking 400 mg a day. When I went down to 200mg I had 8 seizures in one day, so that's why the increase. But, they told me I should take 600mg and thats when I experienced the bizarre behaviour. But, 400 seems to do the trick. One thing people taking Lamictal should keep in mind is that 25mg for an overwieght person is not the same as 25mg for a athletic person. It stays in the system less time in an athletic person. I was also told the best way to take it for its full effect is to take it twice a day (half and half) They (doctors and pharmacists) told me Lamictal stays in the system for 12 hours. And, it suposedly makes you drowsy (not true for me). But, definitley no effect on weight gain.... or loss.

psychnurse
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 807
   Posted 10/25/2005 11:41 AM (GMT -7)   
while being used for seizure disorder, a higher dosage may be necessary.   But for BP therapy, 200mg is therapeutic and any more than that has little or no effect on mood.  600mg in a BP would more than likely cause mania/psychosis.  And at 200mg it usually does not cause drowsiness.
 
When I said more than 25mg at a time,  what I meant was did you increase it by too many mgs.  Of course you experienced what you did!  200 or 400 to 600 is way too much too soon!!!  (Regarding BP moods that is), it may be fine for people with seizure disorder only.  I am speaking strictly from a psychiatric standpoint.
 
And I am aware of the effects on overweight vs. not, most meds are like that and I am also aware the half life is actually 26 hours, but thanks for the info! :-)
Variety is the spice of life, BP is the key

New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
Forum Information
Currently it is Wednesday, December 07, 2016 3:41 AM (GMT -7)
There are a total of 2,733,991 posts in 301,165 threads.
View Active Threads


Who's Online
This forum has 151299 registered members. Please welcome our newest member, ABBear.
211 Guest(s), 1 Registered Member(s) are currently online.  Details
BreRosie


Follow HealingWell.com on Facebook  Follow HealingWell.com on Twitter  Follow HealingWell.com on Pinterest
Advertisement
Advertisement

©1996-2016 HealingWell.com LLC  All rights reserved.

Advertise | Privacy Policy & Disclaimer