Zoloft and Weight Gain

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shan3303
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 3/19/2007 7:20 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi,

I'm a college freshman and am in the process of weening myself off zoloft. I have been taking it for about a year. I'm 5'4" and have always been the girl every other girl hated because I could eat pretty much what I wanted and never had to work out. Last January I was a tiny 103 lbs, which I know is way too skinny. I went on zoloft at the end of January 2006 and have since gained close to 45lbs. My doctors and parents just told me it was just because my lifestyle was changing but truth be told, I have always ate the same, exercied the same amount, and kept active. I entered college and instead of gaining the freshman fifteen i was gaining about the freshman 45, this has caused me so many more problems than I had before the zoloft. My question to anyone reading is:

Will I lose weight from going off zoloft? How long will it take? And what side effects should I expect from not being on zoloft anymore?

Thanks much =)

ShynSassy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 3036
   Posted 3/20/2007 4:54 AM (GMT -7)   
Shan
Welcome to the board,you are going to find that there are alot of great people with great advice on here.

Alot of antidepressants cause weight gain. And once you are off of them and you eat and exercise right,then I am sure the weight will come off. How long it takes is something that your doctor needs to monitor.
Are you under a Doctor's care while getting off the meds?
That is very important because they need to see the progress and help you with the withdrawals.

I would keep in touch with your doctor as much as possible.

Shy
Mod- Depression

Chronic Depression, Panic Attacks,Anxiety Attacks,Anorexia

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Geebs
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 184
   Posted 3/20/2007 5:09 AM (GMT -7)   
You should lose the weight once you stop the medication within six months. As long as you wean off with a doctor's supervision, you should only feel mild symptoms of withdrawal (dizziness, insomnia, headches).

Keep in mind some of the weight you gained was probably the result of being underweight to begin with. I went through the same thing myself, but 45lbs. sounds like a bit much.

If you still need an antidepressant, you can try another SSRI and see if that helps you without the weight gain.

stronglady4me
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 470
   Posted 3/20/2007 9:31 AM (GMT -7)   
I have done a lot of research on this issue.  This is a very general statement but it seems that antidepressants can lower your blood sugar levels.  That means that your metabolizm does not work efficiently.  I have changed my eating habits to 6 small meals a day.  I focus on protein because it stays with you longer.  I also make sure that I eat vegetables and whole grains. I excersize, not in a crazy way but just a take a simple walke everyday kind of way.   I have successfully kept weight off while on antidepressants by doing this.
Stronglady4me
Walk in harmony


Savvy63
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 450
   Posted 3/26/2007 10:11 PM (GMT -7)   
I was on Zoloft for a year and gained 35 pounds.
I threw them away and am actually less depressed than when I was on it. Go figure.
God Bless!!!!!~Savvy~ 
Believe in Miracles!                                      Alleve
DDD- MRI confirmed                                    probiotics
Arthritis-xray confirmed                               B-12
disc slippage in neck-MRI                             Chiropractic helps                                                     
IBS-D                                                 
Ulcers-endoscopic confirm                           
dishydrotic eczema                                     
Costochondritis                                          
 


ShynSassy
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Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 3036
   Posted 3/27/2007 4:41 PM (GMT -7)   
Sometimes it also depends on your environment...if your surroundings are better then it seems that you start to feel better.


Shy
Mod- Depression

Chronic Depression, Panic Attacks,Anxiety Attacks,Anorexia

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"I am woman,hear me roar one day and cry the next!!!"


JustineCredible
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 4/6/2007 9:44 AM (GMT -7)   
Ok, now I'm concerned.
I've read a lot that Zoloft can and does cause significant weight gain. I'm already overweight and depression has only made it worse. Why would my doctor prescribe Zoloft especially if it's known to cause more significant weight gain?

Should I talk to my doctor about this? Should I just refuse to take Zoloft? This is very distressing.

ShynSassy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 3036
   Posted 4/6/2007 1:50 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Justine
I think you should go to the doctor and let him know your concerns.
I am sure they can prescribe something else for you.


Shy
Mod- Depression

Chronic Depression, Panic Attacks,Anxiety Attacks,Anorexia

www.healingwell.com/donate

"I am woman,hear me roar one day and cry the next!!!"


Geebs
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 184
   Posted 4/6/2007 4:34 PM (GMT -7)   
Justine,

Not everyone gains weight from Zoloft, so I wouldn't assume you will have a problem. It certainly is better than Lexapro or Paxil in this regard and the only way to know is for you to try it and see.

You should definitely talk to your doctor before making any changes.
GEORGE

tunszafun
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 4/8/2007 12:59 PM (GMT -7)   
Oh my god guys, your not the only one with weight gain from Zoloft. Although the side affects listed on the paperwork that come with the script indicate weight gain is not one, I believe there is something to it. I have been on Zoloft for 10yrs and am up to 200mg the max. I have gained 50lbs or more. Everytime I try to wean off of it I get my symptoms back which is high anxiety.
Here's another thought, is there something about people who are depressed that they have the tendency to gain weight? Or, maybe the Zoloft gives you the attitude of feeling so good you don't care about gaining weight. Since I have been on Zoloft NOTHING bothers me.

Youngmom
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 4/9/2007 8:25 PM (GMT -7)   
I am new to this board, I found it by searching for "Zoloft weight gain".
 
I went on Zoloft about a year and a half ago.  Six months later, I started gaining...15 lbs in about two months...just BOOM out of no where. No change in eating habits or anything.  Since then - a year ago, I slowly put on another 10 lbs for a total of 25 lbs in one year.
 
I feel so gross and flabby.  I hate it so much. Four years ago after having my third child (and gaining 60 lbs) i did weight watchers and successfully lost 30 lbs in three months and kept it off until a year ago.  Then just over a month ago I did weight watchers again only to gain one lb instead of lose.
 
That week I went off of Zoloft...I'm still on Wellbutrin (Zyban) which I've also been on for 1.5 years.
 
So I've been off of Zoloft for close to a month. I've gained 2 lbs.
 
Has anyone, who has experienced similar weight gain from this drug, gone off of Zoloft and seen the weight come off?
 
I'm ready to try weight watchers again but yet I'm terrified of trying and failing again.  I read on the old forum on this subject that it can take six months...but I'd like to hear that from someone here who has seen it.  Is it to early to try losing it again or should I give it more time? I just don't want to try yet and get discouraged again. I dont have a problem sticking to weight watchers, it's starting it after failing it that is HARD. I don't want to go through that again.
 
Any advice, insight, encouragement would be appreciated!  I'm starting to become obsessed big time with my weight which sucks. There are way too many other important things in life ...I don't want to waste it worrying about my weight but I just can't stand the way I feel.
 
Thanks.
 
Youngmom

els
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 4031
   Posted 4/10/2007 9:46 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi there youngmom, Welcome to Healing Well forum we are happy to have you join us.  There are many people who have said they gained a lot of weight on Zoloft.  I was on it for over 5 years and gained a few pounds but not that much I could say was because of the medication.  In my opinion if your ready to start losing the weight now then go for it.  I havent seen any clinical information stating that you have to wait 6 months before trying to lose the weight after stopping the medication.  Keep in mind that everyone is differant...body chemicals are differant so, you cant base your success or lack of because of someone elses.
You have had three kids...give yourself a break here :-)   everything isnt going to just fall back into place no matter how much you may want it too.  Weight Watchers is a good first step, maybe add in some exercise if you can manage the time.  I am sure you will see the right results if you stick with it.  It just may not come that quickly but hang in there as you can get over the Zoloft weight.
Please do keep us informed of how your doing and feel free to post as often as you like.  We are always here....take care

Elisha
Co~Mod: Depression
Moderator: Heart & Cardiovascular Disease
http://www.healingwell.com/donate


Youngmom
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 4/16/2007 7:50 AM (GMT -7)   
It's been about a month since I went off of Zoloft and I've gained another 3-4 lbs.  I can't handle gaining any more weight. I decided to go back on weight watchers and walk everyday.  It's going to be a long process as I need to lose 25 lbs which doesn't happen overnight.  I'm dreading it b/c it's close to camping season and I love eating while camping!!! Dieting is so hard while being so busy too cause I don't have time to prepare veggies and stuff...but I know I can do it.
 
So here goes nothing. I want to lose this weight and forget about Zoloft forever!!!!
 
Youngmom

Sunnivara
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 115
   Posted 4/17/2007 3:28 PM (GMT -7)   

As for the weight gain I hear about, I read one study that showed the reason people gain or lose weight with this drug is because of changes in appetite. Some people lose their appetite when they're depressed. So when they start feeling better their appetite comes back and they eat more. Just watching your diet can avoid unwanted weight gain from this. On the other hand, some people lose weight on Zoloft because they eat more (and junkier food) when they are depressed. So when they start to feel better they get up off the couch away from the potato chips and TV and start eating better and moving more.

Sounds reasonable at first. However, so many people who gain weight on Zoloft swear they do not change their eating and exercise habits. So that isn't the whole picture. There is some evidence that Zoloft can mess with blood sugar levels. If you ever read the theory behind the South Beach Diet you'll know there's more to burning fat than cutting calories. Carbs affect blood sugar levels, blood sugar levels affect insulin levels, and insulin levels affect fat metobolism. A calorie is not just a calorie. My guess is that Zoloft amplifies the roller coaster effects on your blood sugar levels from eating carbohydrates. I've been eating foods in the South Beach diet style and have actually lost weight during the few months I've been on Zoloft. If you have gained weight, look at what you are eating, not just how much. My guess is a lot of you are trying to eat "healthy" by eating low fat (which means high carbs, generally) and that is wreaking havoc on your insulin levels. High insulin levels cause your body to metabolize fat poorly and store it instead, regardless of eating low calorie. While I'm no doctor, my suggestion would be to consider trying a low carb diet and see if that doesn't help.

You might also want to get your thyroid checked. Low thyroid causes depression and weight gain but doctors are much quicker to hand out Zoloft than thyroid meds. So if the thyroid is the real culprit behind the depression the Zoloft might help your mood but the low thyroid will continue to pack on pounds. It may appear the Zoloft caused the weight gain because low thyroid causes the depression that causes you to seek out antidepressants so it all sort of happens at the same time. Not saying this is true for everyone, but I think it happens for some. It's not at all uncommon to see people with low thyroid on antidepressants.

Post Edited (Sunnivara) : 4/17/2007 4:32:00 PM (GMT-6)


Sunnivara
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 115
   Posted 4/17/2007 3:41 PM (GMT -7)   

Katlynn

age:34 am identical twin, sis (no health issues)

Diagnoses:  Tricuspid Atresia,(born w/out TA valve)been through 3 open heart surgeries,1st age 3 mnths (shunt) 2nd age 15(Fontan procedure) 3rd age 29(Revised Fontan known better as the Norwood) aslo,cryo ablation,for scar tissue, removal of 1and a half inch blood clot in Right Atrium, Right Atrium made smaller, and dual lead pacemaker implanted into stomach muscle)

Fibromyalgia, severe depression, heart disease, massive internal bleeding, migraines, and insomnia.

Meds: Nadolol, Zoloft, Morphine, Ambien, Lasix, Elavil, Nexium, Valium, and baby Aspirin

 
Hi Katlynn. I don't see Synthroid on your list but I have a sneaky suspicion you could benefit from it. You might want to read "The Metabolic Treatment of Fibromyalgia" (http://www.drlowe.com/) if you haven't already, and this: http://www.thyroidpower.com/newguidelinesfr.html

Sunnivara
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 115
   Posted 4/17/2007 8:06 PM (GMT -7)   
katelynn27 said...
:-)  To:Sunnivara,
Yes, you are correct, I am very impressed and doesn't happen very often w/me.
 
I do have Hypothyroidism, which is funny because when I was diagnosed I was rail thin and not that Im overweight now, Im actually just perfect for my hieght, though because I am built very hour-glass like, most people if they guess my weight guess that I am about 10lbs less than what I really am.
 
Hope to hear from you again.
Katlynn

I know from personal and family experience that hypothyroidism is about more than just gaining a few pounds. It can be debilitating and painful as well. It can also lead to high blood pressure, high cholestorol, diabetes and, consequently, an early death. My mother suffered 2 strokes from years of untreated thyroid disease. My sister has "fibromyalgia" and it turns out she needs thyroid meds too. I was never actually diagnosed with fibro but I used to get a lot of pain in my lower back, legs and feet. Since I've been on thyroid meds (about 8 months now) all that pain is gone except for one small spot in my back, which is much better than it used to be, so I'm hoping it will eventually go away too. So I'm curious, if you were diagnosed with hypothyroid why are you not taking medication for it? It's easy to treat so you should not suffer from it when you don't need to! sad

Sunnivara
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 115
   Posted 4/17/2007 8:34 PM (GMT -7)   
katelynn27 said...
Hi Sunnivara,
Yes, I am on Synthroid for about 4yrs now and also hav Fibro, though I the synthroid only fixes the thyroid for me.

I tried to repost my meds and am having a problem adding it to my list.

Thank you for being so caring about me.
Katelynn

What about Cytomel(T3)? Have you tried that? Many hypothyroid people do not recover fully from T4 (Synthroid) replacement only. Some doctors believe fibro is a result of long-term untreated or undertreated thyroid problems and T3 is important to recovery.
 
Oh, may I ask how much Synthroid you're taking? Many doctors undertreat, especially if you have a heart problem. There is some irrational fear among some doctors that adequate thyroid hormone replacement can cause heart problems.

Post Edited (Sunnivara) : 4/17/2007 9:42:07 PM (GMT-6)


Sunnivara
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 115
   Posted 4/17/2007 10:16 PM (GMT -7)   
No, I'm not a doctor so please do your own research and seek medical advice on anything I tell you. But having low thyroid msyelf, and having a family history of the disease, I have done a lot of research online, and talked to lots of sufferers in forums.
 
And no, I don't think you are doing anything wrong. But I think doctors are all too often wrong concerning this disease. If you visit the thryoid forums you will find story after story about people who have low thyroid and who have been misdiagnosed, untreated, undertreated, and even mistreated by doctors. For some reason getting proper diagnosis and treatment for low thyroid is liking pulling teeth. For this many people have found they have to diagnose themselves and educate their doctors (or dump their current doctor and find a more enlightened one) to get well again.
 
Please read those web pages I mentioned earlier. It will explain why doctors often misdiagnose or undertreat thyroid disease. When your doctor does a thyroid test he/she will do what's called a TSH test. The commonly used range is from about 0.5-5.5 and anything within that is considered normal. However, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists has determined that many people are not healthy and have symptoms with a TSH of more than 2.5-3 but most labs and doctors have not adopted the newer guidelines and are leaving people feeling miserable and untreated at the higher end of the "normal" range. My TSH was "only" 4.5 and I had horrible symptoms. I had to find a doctor who followed the narrower guidelines to get proper treatment. I've felt so much better since she's not afraid to keep my TSH around 1.0! But many doctors feel safer keeping it closer to the high end of the range than the low end, even though that often leaves the patient with symptoms.
 
As for the Cytomel, most doctors also do not prescribe it even when hypothyroidism is diagnosed. Your thyroid makes both T4 and T3 hormones. Synthroid replaces only the T4 hormone and doctors usually prescribe only that because the body does convert the T3 it needs from the T4. However, that's really only true for people with healthy thyroids. For us hypothyroid types the body often does not convert T4 to T3 adequately. So it helps to supplement a small amount of T3 (Cytomel) in addition to your Synthroid. You can read more about it here http://www.altsupportthyroid.org/t3/t3medrefs2.php or by just doing a web search for "T4 to T3 conversion".
 

Sunnivara
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 115
   Posted 4/18/2007 12:30 AM (GMT -7)   
katelynn27 said...
eyes  To:Sunnivara,
Sorry again, didnt read the whole thread before I started typing away.
 
MY Thyroid level is about no idea really I want to say .4?
 
I am on .025mg of Synthroid 1/day
 
Katelynn

That is a really low dose of Synthroid. Your doctor is probably being overly cautious because of your heart condition. My guess is you are being significantly undermedicated and that may be one reason you still have depression and pain, among other things. You should get an actual copy of the lab results if you can. And, yes, go see the endo too.

Sunnivara
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 115
   Posted 4/18/2007 12:33 AM (GMT -7)   
Edited to delete ... dup by accident

Post Edited (Sunnivara) : 4/18/2007 1:42:49 AM (GMT-6)

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