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151951 tn?1267991945

Effexor XR and IMPOSSIBLE Weight-loss

I've been on 75 mg. of Effexor XR for about 4 years now. I do realize that this is a very small dose to be on in comparison to some people. A year before that (when I was first diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety/Panic Attacks), my dr. prescribed me Paxil. While on that, I gained upwards of 30 lbs. in only 1 year!? It worked for my attacks, but after a while, it's effectiveness wore off and my body seemed to have plateaued. The weight-gain was out of control, so I asked my dr. what I should do. She switched me to Effexor XR from that point on. Since that time, I have had excellent success with this med. in the respects of controlling my anxiety (almost to a fault). But since starting all of my drug therapies (in total), I have gained 75+ pounds!!?!?!?? Being that I am barely 5'2", you can imagine how awful I look. I have tried every avenue of removing this weight (from the most basic & strict diet you could imagine, to the South Beach-esque diets) to no avail. I would love to get off this type of med. altogether, but if that is not an option, I am desperately seeking some advice on any other meds that may allow my body's natural metabolism to correct itself and return to what it used to be before I started any meds. Just for a visual, before I started I weighed 114 lbs., now I weigh 200 +. Please help me.
24 Responses
Avatar universal
Try:  http://www.crazymeds.org
Avatar universal
I was on effexor for almost 10 years. My weight went up and down by about 20 lbs. I started limectal 8 months ago i went from 106 lbs to 130 in 4 months. I stopped the meds 2 and 1/2 months ago and can't get the weight off. I just started the B12 w/ Adenosine and phentermine to curb my appatite. and a 975 calorie diet. I think this might help you not only with weight loss but b12 and b6 is a natural stress reducer. I feel great on this. I cut out all caffine and alcohol and i don't smoke. I get up in the morning and by the time i get out of the shower i have a ton of energy. i feel like i have had my morning coffee but i haven't had any caffine. Not sure where you live but you can always ask your DR. let me know i can email the diet plan they put me on. Good luck!
Avatar universal
I have gained nearly 70 pounds since beginning Effexor XR and if the only solution is to go on a 975 calorie diet, then I guess I'l just stay oeverweight.  As a teacher, I doubt that I could get through the day at school on that few calories, not to mention my work at home, or any hobbies or exercise!! I do take sublingual B12, and I do not drink caffiene. "They" obviously know that anybody who eats fewer than 1000 calories a day will lose weight. I'll bet "they" wouldn't be willing to do that. I have tried Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, and one other diet plan.  Each time I lost about 15 pounds, and that was it.  that is not sufficient when you are 5'2" and weigh 221 pounds. Taking off the 15 pounds took extreme measures, and my family referred to my occasional eating out with them as days when I ate "real food".  I have many college hours in Nutrition and a practicum in a Houston area hospital--also, took Anatomy and Physiology...By "real food", I do not mean french fries and pizza.  I should not be a skinny-minny, but I shoud not weigh 221 pounds and I should not continue to gain weight when I eat less and move more. Why do we not demand that science come up with a way to restrict the unnatural weight gain while taking medication important to our health and quality of life?  Why such a martyr?    from "tastelifefully"
Avatar universal
During the year and a half that I was on Effexor, I gained about thirty pounds.  My diet and exercise habits didn't change, at least not enough to put on that kind of weight.  I weaned myself off of it and have now been Effexor-free for about three weeks.  It is kind of tough going, but I am still taking something for anxiety which helps.  I am just not willing to accept being overweight despite doing all the right things.  So far I have lost a few pounds. Hopefully that will continue.
I will say that Effexor does work.  I was generally more upbeat when I was taking it; but it wasn't perfect.  It kind of killed my motivation and made me feel like a bit of a zombie.
151951 tn?1267991945
Wow, I completely forgot that I had signed up and posted anything on this website (with good reason, as it was like 4 years ago haha!). But I completely and unequivocally agree with "tastelifefully". He/She is absolutely correct in their response about the 975 calorie-a-day diet suggestion. While I genuinely appreciate the offering of what worked for "serendipity26", I could never function on that few calories. I believe the absolute lowest anyone should go, calorie-wise, is 1,200/day. Also, if you're an active person, that will require even more calories to be taken in. If you go any lower than 1,200 calories per day, your body will simply think that there is a famine (a severe food shortage) and start metabolizing its own muscle for fuel. Essentially, your body will 'eat' its lean muscle mass for energy, and remember that muscle helps to burn fat in your body. So if you're restricting your diet to such drastic levels, not only will you lose the muscle that helps you burn excess fat, you body will probably hold on to what precious fat it has (to your body's functioning it's precious, not so much to us when we're looking at it in a mirror type of precious lol!).

Anyway, I just thought I would throw that out there, because so many people are misinformed about what healthy weight loss is, or should be. As "tastelifefully" pointed out, I think I would much rather be overweight than to have to almost eliminate any nourishment whatsoever (in the sense that I would cutting my food intake down to virtually nothing).

So it is 4 years since my last post, and I am currently in the process of coming off of my Effexor altogether. This past week was my first week in almost 10 years, taking no medication whatsoever. I feel liberated in a way, not having to take a pill-a-day, every day! I'm certainly not saying it has been, or is easy, because that would be misleading. Although certainly better than I had initially anticipated, so that's definitely a good thing! It's too early to tell if my weight will be positively affected by my discontinuing of the Effexor, but I have high (albeit realistic) hopes :) Again, I am barely 5'2", so this weight on my frame is quite a bit more dramatic than say, on someone who was 5'10". This medication has pretty much kept my weight (approx. 195 lbs. give or take) hovering around the 200 lb. mark consistently, regardless of a clean diet and exercise. I will keep you guys updated on any progress or regression (let's hope that's not the case, eh!?) that I go through, as it is always nice to know what others are going through!

Take care and make sure to eat enough calories to sustain your body guys!!
1379217 tn?1279040606
I was started on Effexor 4yrs. ago. I had a brain injury Dec. 05. Since being on Effexor I have gained 40lbs. I never had to watch what I ate. My metabolism was extremely high. I still don't eat very much different. I am now being taken off this med & find myself feeling extreme vertigo. I feel like like my sugar is low and I need to eat some thing. While taking Effexor I gained weight at 3-5lbs. a week. My weight gain did not happen as soon as I started the med. This last year has been the worst. I gained in 08 then I had a plateau. The end of 09 started my gaining again. At this time I was in the hospital eating nutritionally balanced meals. I hope being off Effexor my metabolism will raturn to normal.
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