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Anti-Anxiety Medications & Weight Gain

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missjae

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I have been on Paxil for the greater part of the last ten years sufferring from severe anxiety/panic attacks. I was 126 lbs when I started taking the drug and ten years later I find myself overweight and it''s been a constant struggle, no matter how much I work out or try, I don''t lose anything. It bothers me the most because I''ve never been a big person until I started on this medication. There was a time I stopped taking the medication for a couple of months and I dropped 40lbs instantly but went back on and gained it ALL back PLUS more!!!

Through out the years I''ve used the following as well:

Cymbalta, Effexor, Zoloft, Wellbutrin - I was on these medications for a short time as they either didn''t work for me or gave me extreme side effects that wouldn''t cease.

I do have a prescription for Ativan also to dissolve one tablet under my tongue, when I am in super panic mode.

I am extremely upset about my weight ...and was wondering if anyone else is experiencing problems with excessive weight gain caused by Anti-Anxiety medications...
 

vespergirl

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I haven''t taken anti-anxiety medications because of the weight gain side effects that I have heard about. I have a friend who''s gone through the same thing - she''s gained about 50 lbs. from the time she started the meds. I could probably benefit from a drug like Paxil, but I''m so body-conscious that I know that I would become depressed and more anxious if I became overweight, so I have avoided those types of drugs.

When I needed an antidepressant for post-partum depression, I took Wellbutrin and I think it helped me lose my baby weight.
 

Definitely. Maybe

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I just started taking Lexapro just over a month ago and although they just increased my dosage I have been taking to it really well. No side effects that I've noticed. My doctor did tell me that weight gain COULD happen and that a side effect is carb cravings, which probably results in the weight gain. ;-) --- However, I have yet to notice ANY signs of weight gain.

I know someone else who has taken Lexapro and it worked wonders for her without any side effects of weight gain... so I feel relieved a bit with that.

MissJae- were you told to take the Ativan as you do? I was prescribed itas well and it does not affect me AT ALL. No difference. However, I just swallow it and drink it will water. I have let it just dissolve on my tongue a few times but still didn't notice a change. How does it work for you?

I had an appt today and switched to Lunesta (bc it's non habit forming, unlike Ativan). I have trouble sleeping at night, so I am hoping that if I can get on a regular schedule and sleep throughout the night my days will be better and I won't have anxiety/panic attacks as much. My doctor seemed to agree which is why we switched, but tonight will be the first night of that. I'll let you know how it goes... Do you sleep well at night?

Sorry for so many questions I am new to taking anxiety and depression meds and I like to fill up on opinions and information. :)
 

Feralpenchant

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I have taken Seroquel for anxiety daily since I was 14. No weight gain, and the only side effect is it knocks me out. So not only is it a sleeping aid, but it really helps with my anxiety.

Seroquel IS habit forming. Even if I miraculously stopped having panic attacks, I couldn''t drop the seroquel because I need it to fall asleep. So if you sleep well already, I wouldn''t recommend it. I slept fine before Seroquel, and while it saved my life in the anxiety department, I have forgotten how to fall asleep without being medicinally induced.
 

Deelight

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Your not alone that is for sure, every single person including myself who I have known to take anti-anxiety anti-depressents has gained at least 30kg''s (around 66 pounds) and the bugger is that the weight (at least for myself and others) is really hard to get off no matter how much freakin excersize you do.

The thing that gives me the sheets is that the docs don''t tell you this, and it is a vicious cycle you gain weight you get more depressed/anxious it sucks really.

I haven''t been on any for a few years now even though I probabbly should be because I don''t want to gain weight again, I however find to a certain extent I can self-regulate myself by removing my triggers and exersize it is not perfect by any means but it does help.
 

Pandora II

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I had a terrible time on Paxil and have never touched it since - it''s not one I hear of much in the UK anymore (Seroxat over here).

Prozac I loved and lost weight on and found pretty good on anxiety. Amitryptiline was good as well - but it''s one of the old tricyclics and can have toxicity issues and other problems, so it''s not normally a first line choice.

I must admit I never had any issues with putting weight on with anti-depressants.
 

Deelight

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Date: 3/5/2009 7:08:44 AM
Author: Pandora II
I had a terrible time on Paxil and have never touched it since - it''s not one I hear of much in the UK anymore (Seroxat over here).


Prozac I loved and lost weight on and found pretty good on anxiety. Amitryptiline was good as well - but it''s one of the old tricyclics and can have toxicity issues and other problems, so it''s not normally a first line choice.


I must admit I never had any issues with putting weight on with anti-depressants.
Lucky, it made me gain weight that is the second one I tried and the one I was on for longest, I ended up not taking it anymore because I just felt like a robot no up''s down''s nothing.
 

Pandora II

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Date: 3/5/2009 10:48:59 AM
Author: Deelight

Date: 3/5/2009 7:08:44 AM
Author: Pandora II
I had a terrible time on Paxil and have never touched it since - it''s not one I hear of much in the UK anymore (Seroxat over here).


Prozac I loved and lost weight on and found pretty good on anxiety. Amitryptiline was good as well - but it''s one of the old tricyclics and can have toxicity issues and other problems, so it''s not normally a first line choice.


I must admit I never had any issues with putting weight on with anti-depressants.
Lucky, it made me gain weight that is the second one I tried and the one I was on for longest, I ended up not taking it anymore because I just felt like a robot no up''s down''s nothing.
Not so lucky actually - it made me quite seriously hypomanic within 24 hours (which I admit was most enjoyable for the first 6 weeks
). For years I had doctors tell me that I couldn''t have been depressed as no-one reacts that quickly to an antidepressant.

Finally I saw a psychiatrist who promptly confiscated all antidepressants, stuck me on a mood-stabiliser and said that I had bipolar disorder and that it was quite common for people with bipolar to be high as a kite within a day or two of taking an SSRI....
 

missjae

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Date: 3/4/2009 7:04:05 PM
Author: vespergirl
I haven''t taken anti-anxiety medications because of the weight gain side effects that I have heard about. I have a friend who''s gone through the same thing - she''s gained about 50 lbs. from the time she started the meds. I could probably benefit from a drug like Paxil, but I''m so body-conscious that I know that I would become depressed and more anxious if I became overweight, so I have avoided those types of drugs.

When I needed an antidepressant for post-partum depression, I took Wellbutrin and I think it helped me lose my baby weight.
I was prescribed Wellbutrin and took it for only a little while, as it gave me the worst tummy-aches. I would keel over in pain and it would immobilize me for sometimes up to an hour. I asked my Dr. to try Wellbutrin because of the weight gain with Paxil. I was severely body-concious until I started Paxil, and as I am extremely upset about my weight now, at the time not taking it wasn''t an option because the root problem to all my anxiety is a feeling I get that makes me think I am "moving" it isn''t a feeliing I can even explain properly...in highschool I would be sitting in my desk with my hands gripping the sides of my desk top to stop myself from falling out....no matter how much I try I cannot explain it...I remember the day my Mom took me to see a Dr. about my Axiety/Panic Attacks. I got into the room and sat up on the table and my Mom had to stand in front of me and hold me while I laid my head on her shoulder because I couldn''t sit up, I felt the "moving feeling" so terribly. The Dr. prescribed me Paxil 20 and told my Mom to take me home immediately because she knew how panicked I truly was. I wouldn''t go out anywhere I couldn''t sit in a movie I couldn''t eat over at other people''s houses...it was terrible and though Paxil has calmed some of that...the moving feeling hasn''t been defeated yet. I still have it standing in lines at the Movie''s or anywhere there are mass amounts of people...I am now after trying what feels like every medication out there with fail on Paxil 60 and am very overwhelmed...again my anxiety/panic attacks are taking over my life. I am on a leave from work and feeling very hopeless.
 

missjae

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Date: 3/4/2009 8:50:59 PM
Author: Definitely, Maybe
I just started taking Lexapro just over a month ago and although they just increased my dosage I have been taking to it really well. No side effects that I''ve noticed. My doctor did tell me that weight gain COULD happen and that a side effect is carb cravings, which probably results in the weight gain. ;-) --- However, I have yet to notice ANY signs of weight gain.

I know someone else who has taken Lexapro and it worked wonders for her without any side effects of weight gain... so I feel relieved a bit with that.

MissJae- were you told to take the Ativan as you do? I was prescribed itas well and it does not affect me AT ALL. No difference. However, I just swallow it and drink it will water. I have let it just dissolve on my tongue a few times but still didn''t notice a change. How does it work for you?

I had an appt today and switched to Lunesta (bc it''s non habit forming, unlike Ativan). I have trouble sleeping at night, so I am hoping that if I can get on a regular schedule and sleep throughout the night my days will be better and I won''t have anxiety/panic attacks as much. My doctor seemed to agree which is why we switched, but tonight will be the first night of that. I''ll let you know how it goes... Do you sleep well at night?

Sorry for so many questions I am new to taking anxiety and depression meds and I like to fill up on opinions and information. :)
Definately, Maybe, I was given the Ativan to use as a tool to calm myself as a last resort before I get up and leave somewhere out of complete panic. I was prescribed 0.5mg and when I am in severe panic mode I dissolve one tablet under my tongue. There have been times I haven''t noticed a change, but yesterday morning I woke up with a full anxiety attack and took one and it calmed me enough to go to sleep for a while. I do NOT use Ativan as a sleep aid. I do not have ANY problem sleeping what-so-ever. It''s actually completely the opposite for me. Since being on medication I am a Chronic-Sleeper. I am ALWAYS tired. My dosage was upped from 40mg to 60mg and since then I''ve felt total exhaustion. I spent the entirety of today in bed until now, feeling like I was too tired to breathe. I think the fact that it makes me so sleepy and inactive contributes to my weight gain. I feel like I am in a vicious cycle and starting tonight, as I take my pills at bed time, I stopped taking 60mg (3 - 20mg tablets) and only took two tablets of 20mg each because I feel that it''s not helping me if it''s restricting me to my bed. I too have had the "proper sleep at night equals the ability to manage in the day" talk with my Doctor. Because I sleep so much I feel I am not getting the proper sleep at night and therefore am unable to cope in the daytime. Also with my sleeping I will nap anytime I can...I am off work right now but when I worked I would sleep immediately when I got home until the next morning and still be exhausted all day long. I used to be a fit, healthy, thin full of life girl and I feel that I haven''t been myself since I started taking the medications. I think I might be able to handle life if I could get rid of what I call "the moving feeling" it feels all so complicated. *sigh*. I hope you sleep well and benefit from the presciptions your Doctor has given you. Good luck!!! I don''t mind the questions. I''m a question-a-holic lol...Its hard when it seems like nobody really understands what I''m feeling. I''m sure my family thinks I sleep so much to duck out of life, I wish they understood that it''s not about that at all. I am sad that I am missing out on so much all the time, but I really am so exhausted my body puts everything else on the back burner and all I can think of is sleeping. My mind is always prioritizing things in the order that which things are more or less important than sleep...and most of the time...sleep wins.
 

missjae

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Date: 3/5/2009 6:37:41 AM
Author: Deelight
Your not alone that is for sure, every single person including myself who I have known to take anti-anxiety anti-depressents has gained at least 30kg''s (around 66 pounds) and the bugger is that the weight (at least for myself and others) is really hard to get off no matter how much freakin excersize you do.

The thing that gives me the sheets is that the docs don''t tell you this, and it is a vicious cycle you gain weight you get more depressed/anxious it sucks really.

I haven''t been on any for a few years now even though I probabbly should be because I don''t want to gain weight again, I however find to a certain extent I can self-regulate myself by removing my triggers and exersize it is not perfect by any means but it does help.
Thank you Deelight. I do feel alone most of the time as my family is very frustrated with me because it seems that I am just a lazy person. Paxil has made me extremely apathetic even when I feel differntly inside... and it''s not who I really am. I have been taking Paxil since I was 14 years old and since then I''ve gained ALOT of weight...it''s hard to say how much weight gain is because of the Paxil though because I was just a girl then and am now a 24 year old woman, so naturally I will not be 126 pounds lol. It is a completely vicious cycle and I''ve expressed my concern/upset with my weight MANY times with my Dr. and she feels I shouldn''t worry about it. I have become what a Doctor would consider Obese at this point. The medication makes me so sleepy that I haven''t any energy to self-regulate myself. Getting to the gym is a struggle...I feel the only despression I have is because of what the Paxil has done to me. I have decided to see a councellor and a psychiatrist to try to get to the root of my problem so that I can stop taking medication and become who I really truly am. The Jae I was ten years ago less the severe anxiety attacks and "moving feeling".
 

missjae

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Messages
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Have any of you that have experienced Anxiety/Panic Attacks ever had what I call "the moving feeling?"

It is a feeling I get where I feel like I am moving, almost like I can feel the earth moving, like I will faint or black out. I feel this way standing in lines (at the bank, the movies, the mall) or when I am sitting (at work, at restaurants in chairs, I have to sit in a booth). It''s an undescribable feeling because when I truly think of it, it''s not so much moving but I''m not sure how to express the way it makes me feel. It''s like I can''t focus my eyes also, like I am disoriented almost...my legs feel weak and shakey and my only thought is to get out of where I am immediately. When it passes I feel totally exhausted as I am sure trying to stabalize and mentally calm myself takes all the energy I possess.

In school I would grab the corners of my desk until my fingertips were white, unable to pay attention to the class. I worry that everyone can see what I am feeling and will judge me. I feel panicked that I might faint or make a scene in front of people. At work I would hold on to the arms of my chair for dear life, unable to work because again I felt like I would fall out of my chair. It is a very VERY vulnerable feeling. It''s not like a spinning feeling or anything like that. I wish I could find the words to properly express it, as it is the MAIN reason I am taking Paxil. The severe anxiety attacks with the shaking and tight throat and feeling like you might be sick and like you''re dying I could probably handle (I read magazines or watch cartoons to calm down) if I didn''t ever experience the "moving feeling" again.

I feel completely alone with this and because I can''t explain it...no one really understands. I feel like everyone might think I am making this up (family, doctors)...if I could control this I would ask to stop Paxil immediately so I could lose this weight and be me again...Anti-Anxiety Meds make me very lethargic, apathetic and gain weight. I''d like to get off this roller-coaster now please.
 

Deelight

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Date: 3/6/2009 2:29:16 AM
Author: missjae
Date: 3/5/2009 6:37:41 AM

Author: Deelight

Your not alone that is for sure, every single person including myself who I have known to take anti-anxiety anti-depressents has gained at least 30kg's (around 66 pounds) and the bugger is that the weight (at least for myself and others) is really hard to get off no matter how much freakin excersize you do.


The thing that gives me the sheets is that the docs don't tell you this, and it is a vicious cycle you gain weight you get more depressed/anxious it sucks really.


I haven't been on any for a few years now even though I probabbly should be because I don't want to gain weight again, I however find to a certain extent I can self-regulate myself by removing my triggers and exersize it is not perfect by any means but it does help.
Thank you Deelight. I do feel alone most of the time as my family is very frustrated with me because it seems that I am just a lazy person. Paxil has made me extremely apathetic even when I feel differntly inside... and it's not who I really am. I have been taking Paxil since I was 14 years old and since then I've gained ALOT of weight...it's hard to say how much weight gain is because of the Paxil though because I was just a girl then and am now a 24 year old woman, so naturally I will not be 126 pounds lol. It is a completely vicious cycle and I've expressed my concern/upset with my weight MANY times with my Dr. and she feels I shouldn't worry about it. I have become what a Doctor would consider Obese at this point. The medication makes me so sleepy that I haven't any energy to self-regulate myself. Getting to the gym is a struggle...I feel the only despression I have is because of what the Paxil has done to me. I have decided to see a councellor and a psychiatrist to try to get to the root of my problem so that I can stop taking medication and become who I really truly am. The Jae I was ten years ago less the severe anxiety attacks and 'moving feeling'.

Your welcome I am so sorry you feel like that, I do understand where your coming from having been there many times myself and felt a lot of those things - it is hard to explain to others and if you haven't been in that position before it can be hard for others to understand. It took me a long time to get to the point I am now but you will refind yourself - just do what you can one day at a time :).
 

iheartscience

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If your doctor isn''t listening to your concerns and you''re not happy with the medications you''re on, it''s time for a new doctor. It doesn''t sound like the medication is doing you any good physically or mentally. Obviously you shouldn''t just stop taking a medicine without a doctor''s supervision, but it sounds like you definitely need to change medications.

Also, have you tried Cognitive Behavioral Therapy? CBT teaches you how to deal with your thoughts and feelings that you''re having in the moment, and CBT, coupled with medication if necessary, is really the best way to combat anxiety, in my opinion. Here''s the Wikipedia page for CBT: CBT

(I should point out that I''m not a doctor but I do know a thing or two about anxiety from my personal experience, and I was a psych major in college.)
 

lyra

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Have you tried lexapro? My daughter and I are on it and have no side effects at all.

You already realize that it is not the meds necessarily that add the weight, but the fact that they are slowing you down so much that all you do is sleep. I would ask for a change in meds. What you want is to be highly functional in all ways, including being able to get out and get on with your life. At one time I suffered debilitating panic attacks too. I lost 40 lbs. (the *only* good thing about it), because I was constantly in that high state of stress and unable to *eat* or keep anything down. Eventually, I was put on rivotril (clonazepam), and that saved the day for me. I take a very low dose daily (1mg), and it keeps the panic under control completely.

Also, as already suggested, I did do a year''s worth of CBT, and that was the most useful therapy device I''ve ever tried. It''s something you carry inside you, so it''s a resource that is always available and it gives you inner strength and confidence. I would definitely check this out if I were you. Mine included some serious meditation time too, which helped in so many ways and is something I can do any time, anywhere. Hope that helps.
 

Maisie

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I have been on my anti depressants for around 8 months now. I have stopped having panic attacks but I have put on 28lbs.
I think I must have been living on adrenelin before as I was always hyped up and feeling nervous.

I am on Citalopram (Celexa in the US). I love that I can do anything I want without feeling panicky or weird but the weight gain has made me miserable. Mind you, I have been over eating a lot over the winter. I always feel down during the dark months and usually gain some weight.
 

OUpearlgirl

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Have you tried Buspar? I have been on it for a year now. I have been on several medications, and none of them worked for me until Buspar.

I think it''s time for a new doctor and a new medicine!
 

missjae

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Date: 3/6/2009 1:25:30 PM
Author: OUpeargirl
Have you tried Buspar? I have been on it for a year now. I have been on several medications, and none of them worked for me until Buspar.

I think it''s time for a new doctor and a new medicine!
I have a new Doctor, now the medicine has to be dealt with!
 

Elmorton

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Date: 3/6/2009 2:40:32 AM
Author: missjae
Have any of you that have experienced Anxiety/Panic Attacks ever had what I call 'the moving feeling?'


It is a feeling I get where I feel like I am moving, almost like I can feel the earth moving, like I will faint or black out. I feel this way standing in lines (at the bank, the movies, the mall) or when I am sitting (at work, at restaurants in chairs, I have to sit in a booth). It's an undescribable feeling because when I truly think of it, it's not so much moving but I'm not sure how to express the way it makes me feel. It's like I can't focus my eyes also, like I am disoriented almost...my legs feel weak and shakey and my only thought is to get out of where I am immediately. When it passes I feel totally exhausted as I am sure trying to stabalize and mentally calm myself takes all the energy I possess.


In school I would grab the corners of my desk until my fingertips were white, unable to pay attention to the class. I worry that everyone can see what I am feeling and will judge me. I feel panicked that I might faint or make a scene in front of people. At work I would hold on to the arms of my chair for dear life, unable to work because again I felt like I would fall out of my chair. It is a very VERY vulnerable feeling. It's not like a spinning feeling or anything like that. I wish I could find the words to properly express it, as it is the MAIN reason I am taking Paxil. The severe anxiety attacks with the shaking and tight throat and feeling like you might be sick and like you're dying I could probably handle (I read magazines or watch cartoons to calm down) if I didn't ever experience the 'moving feeling' again.

I feel completely alone with this and because I can't explain it...no one really understands. I feel like everyone might think I am making this up (family, doctors)...if I could control this I would ask to stop Paxil immediately so I could lose this weight and be me again...Anti-Anxiety Meds make me very lethargic, apathetic and gain weight. I'd like to get off this roller-coaster now please.
I had similar attacks - there were two different varieties. The first was an emotional break down, triggered by some sort of event, and the second was all of a sudden, I'd feel "woozy." It happened a lot in cars, which was especially scary. At the same time that these were prevalent, I was having HORRIBLE side-effects while taking Effexor. If I missed a pill by 10 minutes, I'd start feeling dizzy. I was on it for about 6 mos, saw a different general physician on a whim, described how I was feeling, and he wanted me off of it immediately. I will never, ever forget what it was like to go off of that stuff. For a week, I couldn't drive, I was dizzy when I stood, and I was taking Dramamine just to deal will the unsteadiness. Apparently, this is a common side effect. I know you've had problems with side effects before, but I just wonder if this is one of them? I'd had all sorts of problems with meds (Celexa made me tear hair out, Zoloft made me have extremely realistic dreams and I was waking up in the morning exhausted), but for some reason I didn't think that the unbalance I felt on Effexor was a side-effect until a doctor pointed out that this was not normal.

In terms of weight gain, I think it's really hard to find an anti-depressant/anti-anxiety that doesn't "cause" it. Since anxiety/depression often suppresses the sensors in the brain that makes food enjoyable, it's a sign that your meds are working if you find food enjoyable again and thus have an increased appetite. It's sortof like the problem that depression kills your libido as does depression meds. I think that's the hardest part - it's like the medicines make you choose which reality is the lesser of two evils. For my situation, I simply didn't have the patience to wait out a medication to find one that fit. Instead, I did a lot of cognitive behavior therapy to minimize attacks. I was on and off meds for about 6 years, and, under supervision of a therapist, I felt better without them.

ETA: I do NOT want to sound like I'm saying that you should go off medication - that would be incredibly lousy advice given that I know very, very little about your situation. But I do want to say that I think you do raise a really important concern about depression/anxiety meds which is that a lot of times, a patient does feel like she's in a catch 22. It sounds like you're doing the right thing by finding a new doctor, and I've found that my best results in terms of mental health have been when my doctor is working closely with my CB therapist.
 

AprilBaby

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I have gained 30 lbs on Citalopram. I also take atenolol which is a beta blocker and preempts panic. They make me very tired and I am like a slug. Crave carbs and HATE exercise. I read craving carbs is the body''s way of telling you you need more seratonin. I need SOMETHING!
 

missjae

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Date: 3/10/2009 10:15:55 PM
Author: Elmorton

Date: 3/6/2009 2:40:32 AM
Author: missjae
Have any of you that have experienced Anxiety/Panic Attacks ever had what I call ''the moving feeling?''


It is a feeling I get where I feel like I am moving, almost like I can feel the earth moving, like I will faint or black out. I feel this way standing in lines (at the bank, the movies, the mall) or when I am sitting (at work, at restaurants in chairs, I have to sit in a booth). It''s an undescribable feeling because when I truly think of it, it''s not so much moving but I''m not sure how to express the way it makes me feel. It''s like I can''t focus my eyes also, like I am disoriented almost...my legs feel weak and shakey and my only thought is to get out of where I am immediately. When it passes I feel totally exhausted as I am sure trying to stabalize and mentally calm myself takes all the energy I possess.


In school I would grab the corners of my desk until my fingertips were white, unable to pay attention to the class. I worry that everyone can see what I am feeling and will judge me. I feel panicked that I might faint or make a scene in front of people. At work I would hold on to the arms of my chair for dear life, unable to work because again I felt like I would fall out of my chair. It is a very VERY vulnerable feeling. It''s not like a spinning feeling or anything like that. I wish I could find the words to properly express it, as it is the MAIN reason I am taking Paxil. The severe anxiety attacks with the shaking and tight throat and feeling like you might be sick and like you''re dying I could probably handle (I read magazines or watch cartoons to calm down) if I didn''t ever experience the ''moving feeling'' again.

I feel completely alone with this and because I can''t explain it...no one really understands. I feel like everyone might think I am making this up (family, doctors)...if I could control this I would ask to stop Paxil immediately so I could lose this weight and be me again...Anti-Anxiety Meds make me very lethargic, apathetic and gain weight. I''d like to get off this roller-coaster now please.
I had similar attacks - there were two different varieties. The first was an emotional break down, triggered by some sort of event, and the second was all of a sudden, I''d feel ''woozy.'' It happened a lot in cars, which was especially scary. At the same time that these were prevalent, I was having HORRIBLE side-effects while taking Effexor. If I missed a pill by 10 minutes, I''d start feeling dizzy. I was on it for about 6 mos, saw a different general physician on a whim, described how I was feeling, and he wanted me off of it immediately. I will never, ever forget what it was like to go off of that stuff. For a week, I couldn''t drive, I was dizzy when I stood, and I was taking Dramamine just to deal will the unsteadiness. Apparently, this is a common side effect. I know you''ve had problems with side effects before, but I just wonder if this is one of them? I''d had all sorts of problems with meds (Celexa made me tear hair out, Zoloft made me have extremely realistic dreams and I was waking up in the morning exhausted), but for some reason I didn''t think that the unbalance I felt on Effexor was a side-effect until a doctor pointed out that this was not normal.

In terms of weight gain, I think it''s really hard to find an anti-depressant/anti-anxiety that doesn''t ''cause'' it. Since anxiety/depression often suppresses the sensors in the brain that makes food enjoyable, it''s a sign that your meds are working if you find food enjoyable again and thus have an increased appetite. It''s sortof like the problem that depression kills your libido as does depression meds. I think that''s the hardest part - it''s like the medicines make you choose which reality is the lesser of two evils. For my situation, I simply didn''t have the patience to wait out a medication to find one that fit. Instead, I did a lot of cognitive behavior therapy to minimize attacks. I was on and off meds for about 6 years, and, under supervision of a therapist, I felt better without them.

ETA: I do NOT want to sound like I''m saying that you should go off medication - that would be incredibly lousy advice given that I know very, very little about your situation. But I do want to say that I think you do raise a really important concern about depression/anxiety meds which is that a lot of times, a patient does feel like she''s in a catch 22. It sounds like you''re doing the right thing by finding a new doctor, and I''ve found that my best results in terms of mental health have been when my doctor is working closely with my CB therapist.
Elmorton, I have very real and exhausting dreams every night. They do not make sense and are very scary and disturbing but I can explain them in full detail at any point within the following week and it''s to the point that my dreams, when explained, bother my family. I do eat alot and don''t workout, I''ve gained an excess amount of weight and I am terribly upset about it. I am VERY apathetic and exhausted ALL the time and it''s not me. I seriously was a thin healthy lively AWAKE girl about ten years ago. If I am late taking Paxil I start feeling withdrawl immediately as well. I am very confident the "moving feeling" is not caused by my medicine as it is the very reason I started taking anti-anxiety meds along with the severe panic attacks. The Paxil has dimmed the feeling and has minimized it to mainly social situations, before Meds I couldn''t even go to a movie or out to supper, it was literally taking away my life. Now I am able to do those things, but it is very random as to when I will be overwhelmed with this feeling and comes with no warning. My main concerns are that when I am off all meds (WHICH I WANT TO BE BADLY!!) I cannot control the moving feeling and it restricts me to my home (unable to work or play) and when I am on meds, depending which ones of course (I feel like I''ve tried them all, though I haven''t....YET) I am dealing with EXTREME weight gain and or other ugly side-effects. It is a catch 22. I could just cry about it all the time. I am completely upset and bothered about the weight I put on (on the greater side of approximately 100 pounds in ten years, adjust for the fact that I am not an adolescent any longer) and it''s frustrating because in Doctor''s eyes the weight gain is the least of my problems and even when I drag my bottom to the gym 5 days a week for about 45 minutes pure cardio a day, I don''t lose any weight and only go two weeks then stop out of frustration. Something needs to change...I have an appointment for a Counsellor booked and am on a waiting list to see a Psychiatrist, I really want to get to the root of this any way I possibly can. I NEED to lose this weight. I''ve never been an obese person and I''m in total shock every day of my life and sometimes in denial that this is who I am because I''m still not used to being this fat. Being exhausted all the time and hungry all the time and having SUCH a struggle to lose any weight is getting me nowhere and I hope things can change soon because I want to get on with living the rest of my life....sigh....
 

violet02

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 5, 2007
Messages
2,201
Date: 3/6/2009 1:25:30 PM
Author: OUpeargirl
Have you tried Buspar? I have been on it for a year now. I have been on several medications, and none of them worked for me until Buspar.


I think it''s time for a new doctor and a new medicine!
Definitely a new doctor. BUT I was on Buspar for years and it never really did much for me. My last doctor who was great said that he felt it was more like a placebo for most folks. When I got off it though I had some withdrawal symptoms but I felt fine off of it. For period panic or anxiety I take Klonopin but sparingly since it''s habit forming.

I never had any weight gain side effects from Zoloft when I took it but I wasn''t a fan of being in that middle area all the time with no highs or lows. I''m on Lamictal now for depression even though it''s not typically an anti-depressant. I love it. I haven''t had any weight gain or side effects from it. None that I am aware of at least.
 

MichelleCarmen

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 8, 2003
Messages
15,880
Can you look into Cognitive Behavior Therapy as an alternative to medication? It's suppose to be more successful and may help if you cannot find the right med. or are susceptible to side-effects.

Like Violet, I'm on Lamictal (as I posted in her TTC thread) and it's been about 5-6 years and haven't gained any weight. I've tried a few anti-anxiety meds and only use them for when I want to fall asleep. Even minut doses of the ones my dr. has given me (xanax, valium, and klonopin.) ALL knock me out!!! I cannot even take .25 mg. of Xanax w/out falling asleep! That is why I'm not a fan of them. It's impossible to function.

I've also been listening to relaxation CDs while my kids are at school and practicing techniques and that has helped tremendously with daily life. It seems to relieve built up stress.
 

missjae

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 23, 2008
Messages
188
Thank you Violet and MC, I will look into those options! Not only am I concerned about not gaining anymore weight, but I have to reverse what I''ve gained!
 

Definitely. Maybe

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 12, 2009
Messages
582
MissJae- I just wanted to give you a little update since my last post. I still haven''t noticed any signs of weight gain with the lexapro. I just increased my dose again, because I felt like I was getting a bit anxious. I take it in the morning and feel great all/most of the day until around 7-bedtime and I get little bits of anxiety and that''s when I take the Ativan (as you mentioned). That has helped tremendously! I can feel the relief almost instantly. Overall I have really liked the lexapro. Once my dosage gets adjusted right I think it will really help me in the long run.

As far as food cravings... I think I actually eat LESS. I do crave carbs (like I mentioned), but get full really fast. I normally eat a bowl of cheerios when I wake up, sandwich or w/e for lunch (often times nothing), and a normal dinner. I really don''t snack at all during the day. I''ve found myself feeling full throughout the day until I stop and realize that I haven''t eaten anything.

You mentioned in another post that you have very vivid dreams. I just noticed the past few nights (maybe a week) how vivid my dreams are. It is really weird. I could give you every single detail in the dream.The worst part is that I will wake myself up and when I fall back to sleep I go back into where my dream left off. It really ruins the quality of my sleep. I''ve noticed that they start soon after the Lunesta wears off at about 5-6 am... I take the lunesta at about 9pm. I read in an article the other day that depression/anxiety meds can cause vivid dreams, so I guess the lunesta is blocking it for the 8-9 hours until I should wake up.
 

missjae

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 23, 2008
Messages
188
Date: 3/19/2009 8:18:04 PM
Author: Definitely, Maybe
MissJae- I just wanted to give you a little update since my last post. I still haven''t noticed any signs of weight gain with the lexapro. I just increased my dose again, because I felt like I was getting a bit anxious. I take it in the morning and feel great all/most of the day until around 7-bedtime and I get little bits of anxiety and that''s when I take the Ativan (as you mentioned). That has helped tremendously! I can feel the relief almost instantly. Overall I have really liked the lexapro. Once my dosage gets adjusted right I think it will really help me in the long run.

As far as food cravings... I think I actually eat LESS. I do crave carbs (like I mentioned), but get full really fast. I normally eat a bowl of cheerios when I wake up, sandwich or w/e for lunch (often times nothing), and a normal dinner. I really don''t snack at all during the day. I''ve found myself feeling full throughout the day until I stop and realize that I haven''t eaten anything.

You mentioned in another post that you have very vivid dreams. I just noticed the past few nights (maybe a week) how vivid my dreams are. It is really weird. I could give you every single detail in the dream.The worst part is that I will wake myself up and when I fall back to sleep I go back into where my dream left off. It really ruins the quality of my sleep. I''ve noticed that they start soon after the Lunesta wears off at about 5-6 am... I take the lunesta at about 9pm. I read in an article the other day that depression/anxiety meds can cause vivid dreams, so I guess the lunesta is blocking it for the 8-9 hours until I should wake up.
Thank you DM for the update. I am currently trying to ween myself off Paxil. I am hoping to see positive results so that I can get my life back on track again. I am in a complete rut and my quality of life has diminished. I am hopeful that things are going into a good direction. I completely agree with you about the dreams, it is exhausting and even more so when you spend most of the next week remembering every detail or something in my day to day life will trigger the dream and I will remember it as if it really happenned. I too pick up where I left off if sleep is interupted. So all in all I am exhausted, I''m obese, I have no energy or ambition. It''s terrible....
 

Mrs.Guz

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jul 23, 2008
Messages
130
Okay, so know I am really depressed. I had no idea that Paxil causes weight gain.

I have been on Paxil for over 10 years and I am now in perimenopause. I have gained 30 pounds.

I go to a personal trainer 2x per week, walk, ride a bike and do nautilaus. I can barely lose any weight.

I need to talk to my doctor who prescribes the Paxil for me about this!
 

Pandora II

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
9,613
I''m also on Lamictal and lost a lot of weight on it - it totally supresses my appetite to the point that I have to actually remember to eat something. I also lost weight on Prozac.

My mother and sister also take Lamictal (although not as mono-therapy) and didn''t lose any at all - they put weight on instead.

I think it''s really just how it reacts with your metabolism.

Lamictal is also not a front-line med for depression or anxiety, it''s an anti-epileptic that is also used for bipolar disorder. However it''s very effective on bipolar depression.

A lot of doctors are very wary about prescribing it as it has one very nasty potentiially fatal but rare side-effect that means you have to up the dosage very slowly and carefully. I could only get it here through my consultant psychiatrist.
 

House Cat

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 22, 2009
Messages
4,144
Fellow chronic anxiety sufferer here...

What I have learned...

The only long term solution to chronic anxiety is therapy. There really IS a reason for the anxiety. I know that you might feel that your anxiety/panic attacks come out of nowhere, but they really don''t. If you get into meaningful therapy, you will find your reason and you will be able to heal the issue. If you do this, you will probably find that you have no need to take the paxil anymore. You will also be given tools to deal with the anxiety, without meds, in therapy.


There is a therapy out there that is called EFT. It isn''t used much in the US, but it is highly regarded in Europe. The therapist basically taps on your accupressure points while you do talk therapy and the healing comes very quickly. It is also something you can do at home when you feel anxious. The thing is, it is body therapy, tapping on the accupressure points calms all of the various centers of the body and either allows you to speak freely in therapy or when you are at home, it allows you to calm down very quickly.

As someone who has been prescribed valium to take 3 times per day, every day for her entire life...I can tell you that EFT really works. I very rarely take valium. I actually take a quarter of a pill about once every 3 months or so and my one month supply usually expires.

The problem with EFT is that when you google it, the websites that come up seem very infomercial to me. But you CAN google it and there is information about it out there. If you can get past the infomercial feel, you can learn to do it yourself. Although, I have found that learning to do it with a practitioner is much more effective.

Even if this therapy seems "hokey" to you, you might really want to consider some kind of therapy. I can guarantee that there is no weight gain involved with it and your solution will be long term.


By the way, wellbutrin is known for increasing anxiety. Any doc that puts you on wellbutrin for anxiety shouldn''t be prescribing psych. meds. All of the SSRI antidepressants are known for weight gain because increasing serotonin in the brain brings on the munchies. The only SSRI that I am aware of that might be the most weight neutral is Celexa. The benzos, like xanax, ativan, valium, they can cause weight gain too if taken regularly.

Anxiety is insipid and terrible. I''m sorry that you are dealing with all of this.
 
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