Depression Community
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1090984 tn?1463773450

Zoloft or effexor?

I am severely depressed, my doctor recommended Effexor but my friends said I should try Zoloft.  I have gained a lot of weight since my last baby 4 years ago and keep gaining.   I am not taking anything but so sad and depressed and keep getting fatter,  I cry all the time, I go to bed at 7 and just watch TV, I am tired a lot, my body hurts all the time.  But I need to be on something, I just cant get out of this sadness.

I was on paxil years ago and gained 25 pounds within months.  I went off and haven't been on anything else since,

which med works the best and which causes the least weight gain.  I just can't cope with the weight anymore!!!   I would like to take phentermine whilst on an antidepressant but afraid they might not mix well.  I am also on lisinopril 10 12.5, mainly because of the weight gain,
16 Responses
Avatar universal
Hi.  Antidepressants don't work the same for everyone, while your friends may have done well on Zoloft....you may not.  They are both good medications but it's often trial and error as to what will work best for us individually, so never go by others' experiences.  You definitely sound depressed, and depression may be causing you to not feel like exercising and eat to soothe your emotional state of mind.  I think once you start the Effexor and it kicks in (3-4 weeks) you will feel so much better and will have the energy to exercise (walking is a good activity for your overall health and for losing weight).  You may find you no longer have to eat to feel better.  The most important thing right now is to get you out of that depression so you can live your life, and then you can work on losing the weight.  Phentermine will not help you lose weight, the old Phentermine did but is was a very nasty and dangerous drug.  The FDA withdrew Phentermine and removed the dangerous ingredient which is what made you lose weight...and the new Phentermine does nothing.  There are doctors who prescribe it but they also insist that you be on a low carbohydrate diet with it. So you will lose weight but not because of the Phentermine but because of the low carb diet!  The Phentermine is a big waste of your money.  Cut back on your carbs, eat healthy snacks every 3-4 hours, instead of 3 meals...do some walking and the weight will come off.  I hope this helps and wish you all the best!
1090984 tn?1463773450
I tried phentermine last year and it did nothing.  I was surprised because back in the early 90's the weight fell off!!!   Doctors don't tell you it's changed.

Yes I am very depressed, but afraid of the weight gain caused by anti depressants.
480448 tn?1426952138
I totally agree with mammo's post.  Medication therapy is so much trial and error.  It sometimes takes a few different meds before one can find the right "one" for him/her.

Give the Effexor a try, it will take some time, and the improvements will be gradual.  You may even require a dosage increase after the intital 4-6 weeks, so go into this with as much patience as you can muster (I know it's hard).  It may take you a few months before you can fairly assess the effectiveness of the Effexor.  Effexor can be more activating, which may help with the weight issues and motivation down the line. EVERYONE is different, what may be a miracle for you may do nothing for me.  Try to go into it with an open mind, allow yourself to have your own experience.

As for the weight gain, I know it's discouraging and frustrating, but don't get too hung up on it right now.  Focus on one thing at a time, you will be in a much better place when your depression starts to lift, and likely much more motivated to do all that it takes to start changing your lifestyle to facilitate weight loss.  

I've been exactly where you are....I was disgusted by my weight all day every day, and I started not even being able to DO things the right way (important things, hygeine things) due to the excess weight, and I would just cry and cry.  I still have a long way to go weight wise, but as my mood improved, I stopped being so hard on myself.  I sucked it up and bought some bigger clothes so I felt more comfortable, instead of like a sausage stuffed into a casing that is 3 times too small.  I've lost about 15 pounds, and just that made me feel SO much better.  I know how hard it is.  

You'll get there, but it's going to take some time and work, but that's okay.  It's WELL worth it.  Keep us updated!  Hang in there!!
Avatar universal
Please look up Effexor in the boards here! I have been on it for the last 7 years and while it worked great initially, it seems long term use has some very bad results. I can vouch for this personally. Over the last 4 years I have gone from bad to worse...gained weight for no reason, am tired ALL the time, have very little motivation to do anything. I changed over to Wellbutrin (generic by Watson) last Friday and already my outlook it rediculously better!!! I remember when I used to be this way so I know this is "normal" for me. I would not recommend Effexor to anyone unless they had tried everything else. In addition to the long term use side effects, Effexor is about as hard to get off as Heroin! No, I've never been on heroin, lol, but I can tell you that is Miserable getting off of Effexor XR. So I would recommend that you look into Wellbutrin. I makes most people lose weight, gain energy and lol, want to have sex! For me, so far - so good. BTW, my daughters Dr. once referred to Effexor as "side effexor" and said that is what is know as in the medical community. Hmmmmm.

Avatar universal
So after reading what I just wrote I thought I should maybe expand a little. Effexor works on Seratonin and Norapinefrine. I don't know what Zoloft affects but Wellbutrin affects Norapinefrine and Dopamine. There seems to be some evidence that the comfort eating and sluggishness are related to dopamine neurotransmitters. For the last few years I have had uncontrollable cravings for sugar and anything that will turn to sugar in my body. This was completely new for me as I never even liked sugary foods when I was younger. So last night I took a bite of the cherry pie that my daughter brought over for Mothers Day and I thought it was the most disgusting thing! I have read other people complaining of these sugar cravings while on Effexor and now I am convinced that there is something to that. So while I am not sure whether it was getting off Effexor or getting ON Wellbutrin that has made this change in me, I really don't care. I am just so happy to be myself again..

480448 tn?1426952138
After reading CarolAnn's reply, I wanted to stress something I said in my post:

EVERYONE is different, what may be a miracle for you may do nothing for me.  Try to go into it with an open mind, allow yourself to have your own experience.

While it is a shame that CarolAnn may have had a bad experience, you absolutely can NOT take every horror story to heart.  You MUST allow yourself to have your own experience.  Please don't put too much importance on any ONE person's story, whether it be good or bad.

I think you should give it a try, it may really work wonders for you, and there is a risk with ANY med of having a bad experience.  You have to start somewhere hon!!
480448 tn?1426952138
I want to make another comment:

"my daughters Dr. once referred to Effexor as "side effexor" and said that is what is know as in the medical community. Hmmmmm. "

I've been an RN for almost 19 years, I have NEVER EVER heard this.  This is the kind of stuff we have to be ULTRA careful about posting.  I don't think we sometimes realize the impact our words have to people reading.  Sure, it's great to share our experiences, but not at the expense of scaring the crap out of the readers.

Same with the comment about Effexor being as hard to come off as Heroin.  That's only going to frighten people.  Sure, some of these meds aren't a picnic to d/c, but when done right, the side effects can be kept to a minimum.  It's all in the taper approach.  Amd AGAIN, one person may have had NO problem d/c'ing Effexor, yet have a nightmare of an experience coming off a daily Aspirin regimen, and vice versa.

PLEASE, everyone, let's be very careful to choose our words as to not scare people, or try to sway them into NOT trying a med that may be their "miracle".  It's not fair.

We all need to be mindful when we're making very strong statements.
1110049 tn?1409405744
I find 150mg Effexor suits me very well, but as commented above, we all react differently to different drugs.

You will have seen many postings which say Effexor causes weight gain, and that is my experience too.  Also it is hell to come off it.

You have to find out what suits you personally.  I don't have side effects with Effexor, but I have done with other drugs.  We are all different.

Effexor is the only anti-depressant I have gained weight with.  That is my personal experience.

I would rather gain weight then have bad depression.  Having said that, so far, on a diet, I have lost 17lbs, so it does show it is possible to lose weight whilst on Effexor.
Avatar universal

I have been on both Zoloft and Effexor for my depression
and both worked really well for me.  I prefer the Zoloft
because it worked faster and I had no problems when
I switched from it to another med (after 5 good years on
it before it pooped out).  The only problem I had when I
came off the effexor was some dizziness which lasted
a couple of weeks.  I am on Zoloft now for the second
time and have had 6.5 years of no depression.  Everyone
is different so I would go with what your doctor suggested
but for me both were great meds.

best wishes,
2160130 tn?1336845493
I have taken nearly every kind of antidepressant out there. When I hit bottom last year, they gave me Effexor. It saved my life. Everyone has a different body chemistry and it may take time to find out which kind of antidepressant helps you. I haven't struggled with side effects of effexor, but I did with zoloft and paxil. Everyone is different.

I, too, am struggling with weight gain. Probably a combination of meds and depression - I don't have a lot of energy to exercise. Try a low carb diet. It will kick start the loss and you WILL lose weight.
1090984 tn?1463773450
Thanks for all your replies. I hate feeling like this, it's spring out and I just want to hide in the house.  No energy, my weight gain makes me miserable and sad because I can't wear cute clothes.  I don't know what I can do.
1110049 tn?1409405744
So nice that others with depression take time to help others.  I find that in itself is a great boost.  Also, when feeling up to it, able to reply and help, hopefully, other people.  This forum is so great for that, and I hope it has given you the incentive to fight depression, as we all have.

I, and everyone else knows, how hard a struggle it is.  You just have to do what you can, when you can.  Don't beat yourself up about what you can't do, but praise yourself for every small thing you achieve.  One step at a time.

I think having no energy is so draining on us.  Look at the above postings, and thank all have responded.  Try and lose weight, as I have, even though on Effexor.  Your struggles will be worth while. Don't worry about the cute clothes at the moment, just focus on feeling better.

We all care about each other.  Let us know how you get on, I think it is always rewarding to have feedback from people we write replies to.

Do we help or not?  I like to think so.  Just to give others hope.
Avatar universal
I have been on effexor for 7 years and it has always been wonderful, I tried arrapax before that and felt terrible on it. I suffer from serve anxiety and panic attacks. I recently tried to decrease to the 75mg from 159mg and after 6 days had server anxiety again so my doctor put me back on the 150mg and I am 4 days later waiting for it to kick back in, I have moments of feeling better and then the anxiety kicks in again so I am just praying that I will feel better sooner than later. Anxiety and depression are such horrible illness that people just don't understand if that have never experienced it. To anyone starting a medication they all work differently for each person so ignore the horror stories and be guided by your doctor, if one doesn't work there is always something else that will. Using all my strength to stay positive as I know it has worked for me before and it will again I just need to give it time. P.S my brother was on Effexor 150 and has reduced to 75 now 37 and has had no side effects and feels great.
Avatar universal
Well said! People reading these blogs can be adversely influenced by blanket comments if in a fragile state.Effexor has worked great for me for 4 years with no side effects.Don't give up until you find the right one for you and don't rely solely on a pill to turn your life around.
Avatar universal
I will tell you that I too gained weight on Paxil, 50 pounds in 6 months, I switched to Effexor XR and I been on it for 12 years and I have never had any side effects, it was a life saving medicine for me, I had panic disorder with panic attacks.

I hope you found the right combo of med for you best wishes.


Avatar universal
One thing no one has mentioned is the idea that you would take the advice of friends instead of your psychiatrist. He or she has studied medicine for many years and most stay up on the literature. Your friends are speaking from their experiences or that of others - rumors. Your psychiatrist is advising from knowledge.
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