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The science behind Seroquel?

I have racked my brain trying to understand how Seroquel (which I am taking for anxiety, 50mg/night) can make one gain such exhorbitant amounts of weight. I have read dozens of "testimonial" from people taking this drug, and all blame "the drug" (i.e. Seroquel or other medications within the Seroquel family) for gaining weight. I am confused, for I do not believe that a drug can "make" someone do this. I tend to believe it is the PERSON who is shoving food into their mouths. Thus, my question is this: Has research been done regarding Seroquel's effect on the metabolism? Does it slow it down?I just find it difficult to believe that Seroquel is to blame (whereas the person is not taking responsibility for their own weight gaine).
8 Responses
293964 tn?1200417469
hi gabydamage.  I think you're right.  A pill does not have the power to MAKE a person gain weight.  It's more like what you said next about the metabolic changes that seroquel and it's family may cause in some people.  An individual may be predisposed to weight gain when taking seroquel.  And perhaps being tired -- a known side effect -- will cause a person to not have the energy they had before taking the drug.  You might not have a problem on 50mg.  I'm on 400mg and i'm tired.  shawn
377600 tn?1225167036
Actually, it spikes AMPK and other brain chemicals that excite the hunger areas of the brain--in some people--well--most people on antipsychotics.

I'm a very thin person, and I gained 20lbs in four weeks on Zyprexa.

I lost it all now though. I'm not on it anymore. I was on it about 8 weeks.

447130 tn?1225474466
I too was on Seroquel 300mg a night for sleep. I gained 30 pounds in 3 months. I did get hungry at night and sometimes had a snack but I hired a personal trainer and have been working 4 days a week for a straight hour of cardio style weight lifting (my heart rate maintains at 165 the whole hour) plus I have to do an hour of cardio everyday on top of the training. I have done this for 6 weeks now and have lost 2 pounds. I have lost quite a few inches but no real weight. I went off the Seroquel 2 weeks ago and continue my intense work out schedule, to date I have still not lost any weight. My calories are restricted to 1000 per day which I strictly maintain.
So I ask WHY after all this work and dumping the Seoquel am I not loosing weight? I am even of Aderall 60mg. in the day which totally kills the appetite. I have to make myself eat 1000 calories a day.
This drug screwed up my metabolism plain and simple. I work harder than anyone I know at fitness to loose the weight the Seroquel made me gain yet I can't drop another pound. I have 28 pounds to go, when is it going to happen?
I am running 5 miles a day and doing the 4 days of intense training even my trainer is frustrated.
Please if anyone has any suggestions let me know. I am doing all I can possibly do. I also realize patience is key so I continue my diet and excersise routine but at somepoint it has to give??
585414 tn?1288944902
Every currently available atypical antipsychotic has the potential to cause weight gain. Abilify has the least of that potential. Zyprexa the most. The future generation of antipsychotics, the glutamate antagonists one of which I am in official study for (read my journal entries) will not do this (or google "Dr. Javitt, glycine" for the official Phase II FDA controlled study). In the meantime until these are approved, its a matter of maintaining a sensible diet and if the metabolic changes cause excessive weight gain seeing a nutritionist. That's regarding anti-psychotics. As for mood stabilizers it can happen with Lithium and Depakoate but its less of a potential with Lamictal and Topomax actually can cause weight loss.
607502 tn?1288251140
I tend to believe that one does not understand a drug if one does not take it.  

The effect of atypicals and indeed pretty much all anti psychotics and mood stabilisers (with a few exceptions) and most of the anti depressant drugs on the appetite is well documented and understood - someone here has already explained the affect on the brain in broad terms and the mechanism is rather complex but it does increase appetite and people eat more and no you do not have any control over it.

These drugs do mess with the metabolism and Seroquel is one of the worst apparently with drugs like Remeron being very bad as well - the tricyclic anti depressants are very good at weight gain.

These drugs mess up the metabolism and increase hunger, its really got nothing to do with self responsobility and i think you are also forgetting that the people taking these drugs have a mental illness and may already have impaired self control issues to boot.

Also can we please avoid judgemental statements in posts.  They do not help ok.
Avatar universal
I've been on Seroquel since July, I haven't notice weight gain, but if you are concerned about it, I would get your thyroid and other hormones checked. A low thyroid sure doesn't help you in the weight department, neither does a low metabolism. I used to work my buns off 5-6 days a week, and it was hard for me to lose weight. So I personally think there are many reasons. I wouldn't blame it just on the drug. It's so helpful to many without feeling completley drugged out.
Avatar universal
A fair few of the medications used to treat bipolar and depression come with a list of side effects, one being, "weight gain".  There is one medication (possibly Zyprexa, I'm not 100% sure) where weight gain is such a significant issue that they also now offer healthy eating advice!

Also, the weight gain is also down to water weight in a lot of cases.  One example is my own situation - when I went on Depakote I gained over 14lbs, I wasn't eating any differently to how I had before, I wasn't craving sweet food.  When I lowered the dose of depakote the weight came off - again there was no difference in my intake of food or types of food.  

I am confident that a lot of people will say the same thing.  So, I definitely wasn't responsible for my weight gain and think I had every right to blame it on the tablets!
Avatar universal
i was on this serquil for 2 yrs at 100mgs at night..i went on a diet or just watched what i ate..and i maintained my own weighty even on a 35% reduction  of intake of food..so i got it in my mind that i wont gain weight on this mood stabilizer..i lost 10 Pound's in a month..then another 5 pounds in 2 monthes..then i had to stop the drug due to high heart rate off of it...mow listen..when i stopped the drug the i started gaining a littler by little back..but then i stopped the cycle...but then my sugar went up and down..these meds are very unpredictable..and each person has there own chemistry..not one person is alike in know way!!!!    GO FIGURE......JAMES
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