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Avatar universal

losing weight after effexor

I gained 20 lbs in the last 3 years that I was taking Effexor. I have tried everything. I'm eating less & working out more. I started taking Paxil but that didn't work at all as I have anxiety issues. Anyhow Effexor did wonders for my attitude however after 3 years I am now convinced that it was the cause for all the excess weight. Anyhow I was wondering if the weight comes off after I get off the meds? or am I stuck with excess weight forever in which case I will be contacting my doctor because they lied to me.
70 Responses
Avatar universal
Hey!  I have found someone with the same problem!  I was on effexor for about a year and I gained more than 20 pounds in that short period of time!  I was very small, like size 3 pants...now I am size 9 sometimes 7 if I'm lucky.  I was on effexor for anxiety and now I don't think it was worth it at all because now I am more depressed than ever about my weight.  I used to weight about 112 before taking effexor.  After getting off of effexor I weighted 136!  I had to buy all new clothes b/c nothing fit and I got even more depressed!  I refused to go on any depression medication because weight gain is a side effect for most of them.  My husband thinks I'm crazy, but it's a big deal to me.  I don't feel good about myself.  I don't feel sexy or attractive either.  Let me know if you figure anything out that works because I want this extra weight off ASAP!

Thanks and good luck!
Tara
2 Comments
From what I gather, the meds have altered our metabolism.  With the meds, my liver learned to metabolize fat differently and my adrenals were fatigued (chronic stress due to a totally unexpected situation with my son led me to find relief in an anti-anxiety/antidepressant).  
I’ve been off Effexor for about a month now (after having been on 150mg daily for one year) and expected the weight to just drop off the same way it came on.. NOT so.  Did some research and found the following information to getting my metabolism back to the way it was before.  I have to say, it makes sense and seems to be working.  3 weeks in and have lost 5 pounds PLUS I have more energy and don’t get stressed the same way I did before.
1. Exercise
• Traditional weight training with plenty of time between sets (3-5 minutes between sets). This is the original interval training as it teaches the body to exert and then recover. You can also engage in short complete recovery intervals. This means you push hard for 1 minute and then you move in slow motion until the heart rate returns to resting before repeating (limit this to 20 minutes or less). The most dysfunctional metabolism will only be able to do one work bout because the heart rate will never return to resting. This method allows you to measure your progress.
• Leisure walking, restorative yoga (not intense power yoga), and/or tai chi. All of these train the parasympathetic nervous system to regain function. Some will need brain chem training as well, such as cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness meditation to quite the mind which can be an insidious trigger for sympathetic overdrive.
2. Restore HPA axis function.
• This is done through exercise as well as through supplementation. The relaxing adrenal adaptogen herbs work very well in this regard. The two best clinically for us at Metabolic Effect are Rhodiola Rosea (RO-DEE-OH-LAH) and Ashwaghanda (ASH-WAH-GON-DAH).  Both work to restore HPA function and protect from further stress effects. Many women experiencing ovarian dysfunction will likely benefit from Vitex berry as well.
3. Digestive Repair.
• This part is a topic all its own as getting the digestive tract back on line takes a systematic and layered approach. We use what functional medicine docs call the 4R program.
• R= Remove offending agents (foods, infections, etc) that are compromising GI function.
• R= Replace digestive enzymes and/or HCL that was suppressed from high sympathetic (fight/flight) and low parasympathetic (rest/digest) function.
• R= Repopulate with good bacteria that aid gut integrity and immune system balance.
• R= Repair the atrophied gut lining from chronic stress.
4. Replete nutrients. When digestion is restored, nutrient repletion is started with focus on zinc, magnesium, and the B-vitamins. This includes the use of fat and amino acids to restore brain chemistry which can lift people’s depression and anxiety. Vitamin D is another issue that needs to be looked after here.
5.  Restore membrane integrity. This comes from fat supplementation along with phospholipids. Krill oil is the best and most useful oil in this regard, as are saturated fats.
6.  Finally, metabolic restart happens. This is where we switch over to more stimulating adrenal adaptogens including the ginsengs and begin to use mitochondrial factors: lipoic acid, acetyl carnitine, and co Q 10.
Total time for the metabolic rehab protocol depends on the person as there is much individuality and tailoring to the person. Typical time period for recovery is 3 to 12 months (some shorter, some longer).
From what I gather, the meds have altered our metabolism.  With the meds, my liver learned to metabolize fat differently and my adrenals were fatigued (chronic stress due to a totally unexpected situation with my son led me to find relief in an anti-anxiety/antidepressant).  
I’ve been off Effexor for about a month now (after having been on 150mg daily for one year) and expected the weight to just drop off the same way it came on.. NOT so.  Did some research and found the following information to getting my metabolism back to the way it was before.  I have to say, it makes sense and seems to be working.  3 weeks in and have lost 5 pounds PLUS I have more energy and don’t get stressed the same way I did before.
1. Exercise
• Traditional weight training with plenty of time between sets (3-5 minutes between sets). This is the original interval training as it teaches the body to exert and then recover. You can also engage in short complete recovery intervals. This means you push hard for 1 minute and then you move in slow motion until the heart rate returns to resting before repeating (limit this to 20 minutes or less). The most dysfunctional metabolism will only be able to do one work bout because the heart rate will never return to resting. This method allows you to measure your progress.
• Leisure walking, restorative yoga (not intense power yoga), and/or tai chi. All of these train the parasympathetic nervous system to regain function. Some will need brain chem training as well, such as cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness meditation to quite the mind which can be an insidious trigger for sympathetic overdrive.
2. Restore HPA axis function.
• This is done through exercise as well as through supplementation. The relaxing adrenal adaptogen herbs work very well in this regard. The two best clinically for us at Metabolic Effect are Rhodiola Rosea (RO-DEE-OH-LAH) and Ashwaghanda (ASH-WAH-GON-DAH).  Both work to restore HPA function and protect from further stress effects. Many women experiencing ovarian dysfunction will likely benefit from Vitex berry as well.
3. Digestive Repair.
• This part is a topic all its own as getting the digestive tract back on line takes a systematic and layered approach. We use what functional medicine docs call the 4R program.
• R= Remove offending agents (foods, infections, etc) that are compromising GI function.
• R= Replace digestive enzymes and/or HCL that was suppressed from high sympathetic (fight/flight) and low parasympathetic (rest/digest) function.
• R= Repopulate with good bacteria that aid gut integrity and immune system balance.
• R= Repair the atrophied gut lining from chronic stress.
4. Replete nutrients. When digestion is restored, nutrient repletion is started with focus on zinc, magnesium, and the B-vitamins. This includes the use of fat and amino acids to restore brain chemistry which can lift people’s depression and anxiety. Vitamin D is another issue that needs to be looked after here.
5.  Restore membrane integrity. This comes from fat supplementation along with phospholipids. Krill oil is the best and most useful oil in this regard, as are saturated fats.
6.  Finally, metabolic restart happens. This is where we switch over to more stimulating adrenal adaptogens including the ginsengs and begin to use mitochondrial factors: lipoic acid, acetyl carnitine, and co Q 10.
Total time for the metabolic rehab protocol depends on the person as there is much individuality and tailoring to the person. Typical time period for recovery is 3 to 12 months (some shorter, some longer).
Avatar universal
Hi there,

I had put on over 40 lbs when on effexor.  I quit back in June and it took until October until the weight started coming off.  While on the pills I was working out 6 times a week, and eating super healthy (no sugars, no white flour, no alcohol), but I was stuck.  The doc kept telling me more exercise and less eating.  Well if I had worked out anymore I would have had to given up what little social life I had, and eating any less would have probably been unhealthy (I'd say I was around 1200 calories).  I quit the pill and dropped my routine back to 4 times a week and allowing myself happy hours of Fridays.  Sure enough after months of this the weight is coming of and still coming off.  You body takes times to adjust to any chemical or hormonal changes.  Just as it probably took time to adjust to taking meds, it will take time for your body to flush them out.  Eventually you'll get back to where you were, it just takes patience.  I'd say give it 3-6 months to get back to where you were before the meds.  I a tough with witdrawal symptoms when first quitting the meds.  I would cry if somebody even said hello to me, but my mood balanced out right when the weight started to come off.  Good luck to you!
1 Comments
Hi dont no if u still use this . But i gaind like 3 stone in venla . And u woz defo less ative as i woz before . I went on this drug . Been of it now neely 2 mothn withdraws were not good at all but iam here . It also made me sleeep way to much etc. I feel more alive of it fpr sure . Iam back to doin more gym etc and that now which is good . Not bacl to my old fitness but getin ther . But hopefully u are rigth and this weigth starts to come of . Iam 6.2 so lucky iam tall . And it has went not just to the belly lol
Avatar universal
Hi everyone.....
Effexor put a lot of weight on me, too.
I`m just now getting results using a weight loss clinic. Pills, shots, diet exercise, and not much food. And water, lots of water.
I am still on effexor and probably will be for a while yet.
This  diet , is at least motivating me to really keep working at it and hopefully be able to get off the diet meds, and the effexor sometime,too.
Avatar universal
I originally was taking Paxil for 2 years for depression and anxiety and then a friend of mine mentioned she was taking Effexor and the side effects were less. I have been on Effexor 150mg for 2 years and my weight gain is disgusting. I am 40 years old and was never bigger than a size 2 and now i am a size 8 and feel very undesireable. I am now on my 3rd day off of effexor and am feeling the side effects (not fun) but hopefully worth it. How long does it take for the weight to start coming off?
Avatar universal
I have been taking effexor for about 4 months. I also have gained weight, but didn't have any idea it could be from this. I have recently tried to get off this drug and it is an absolute nightmare!! I tried to wean myself off very slowly. My Dr. put me on 300mg. I started by alternating taking 2 one day and then 1 the next for about 2 weeks. Then I started taking just 1 a day. So far everything was ok. Then I went to taking 1 every other day. Still ok. Just last week I went off completely. What a nightmare!! I started having nightmares, brain zaps?, dizziness, nausea, eye problems. I have never felt this bad!! This is a drug that needs to be taken off the market. I have researched and read many other peoples testomonies and have not heard  anything good about this drug. Please do your research before taking any drug your dr prescribes for you. They don't always know what these drugs can do to a person.
Avatar universal
I was on Efexor XR for a year for anxiety.  It worked really well for my anxiety but made me gain 20 lbs!!! that's a lot when you're 5'4 and used to weighing 112:(  During the year on Effexor I was working out 3x a week with a trainer ans started running!  I couldn't understand why I was gaining weight and not losing.  And YES it was a nightmare to get off this drug.
I'd love to hear how everyone is doing!
Avatar universal
I also gained weight with this drug and my bra size went up 4 sizes.  I was on this drug for 5 years and it worked well with me but I didn't like the weight gain or size J cup bra I needed.  I took myself off the drug but I did it very slowly over a 6-9 month process I finally got to once a month with the pill and was able to tolerate not taking anymore.  Once I stopped the drug in a matter of 2 weeks I lost 4 cup sizes.  Now I'm beginning to loss weight.  I've been off the drug for about 4 months but I now have panic attacks like I'm going to go nuts if I don't get some Effexor.  I've heard lots of good about Wellbutrin so I'm taking it now. Wellbutrin's side effect is weight loss not gain from what I've read and heard.  It's not helping me much yet but I'm on the lowest dose and I'm going to try a higher dose.
Avatar universal
It's been about four years since I was on Effexor.  I didn't gain any weight until the last nine months on the drug (I was on it for about three years).      My husband said I was becoming manic, but I refused to believe him.  I finally realized he was right, so slowly went off Effexor (it's like going off of heroin).  As I mentioned earlier, I gained weight in the last nine months.  My weight hadn't changed in twenty years . . . and in nine months i gained 30 pounds.  I was shocked.  I had always worked out religiously, and had a very healthy diet.  After doing much research, I found that Effexor changes the way your liver metabolized fat, and can take up to a year to start to metabolized fat normally.  It did take close to three years for all of the weigh to come off, but it has, and stayed off with no problem.  

Effexor has left me with a bigger problem, though.  I mentioned that I was having manic episodes.  After I went off Effexor, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.  I really feel that this drug has taken years from me, and continues to.  I have read that people have committed suicide on this med.  Why does this medication continue to be prescribed?  
1 Comments
Hi, I hope you are doing well.  I have been off Effexor completely going on two weeks this Wednesday.  What should I do about losing my over 30lb. Weight gain?  How do I help my liver get back to normal to burn fat normal. Desperate for any information and thank you in advance.  HELP!!!
Avatar universal
I am a recent candidate of removing Effexor from my life.  I have gone through the withdrawal symptoms like nervousness (the shakes), weird dreams, pressure in my head as though my brain is swelling, confusion, eyesight problems, a "deep" dizziness (in short bouts), insomia, loud ringing in my ears, achiness, and flu like symptoms.  I was on 125 mg. per day.  I started with 75 mg. for one week, 37.5 for one week, then off of it.  Withdraw symptoms were bad, so being what I knew best for me, I am opening a 75 mg. capsule and wetting my finger and putting it in the "little balls" every other day.  Probably on Monday, I will stop completely.  Withdrawal symptoms are almost completely gone.  I started all of this approx. three weeks ago and I have lost 14 lbs. so far.  I had gained  a lot of weight over the years and couldn't figure out why either.  I  used to weigh around 160 and blossomed up to 220.  That's 60 lbs!!!
     I feel my personality changing.  With Effexor, I was more laid back and would let things ride.  Now I am now more full of spunk.  I even talk back to the television, but you know, I like it.  I feel more energy then I have felt in years.  I even see my surroundings differently.  Everything is really alive out there.  I'm now high on life!  

Take Care,
Miss_Suzy_Q
Avatar universal
I started taking effexor about 2 years ago after I had my beautiful daughter. Almost from the moment that I started taking it the anxiety I had just seemed to go away, it was wonderful. I had just gotten my weight down from being pregnant (worked very hard at it)! after about a year I started noticing that all of that weight that I had worked so hard to lose started to creep back again. I started exercising more and writing down everything I ate, reducing my carb intake to include no sugars, bread, or pasta. I ate a salad for lunch everyday, and I still continued to gain weight. I finally had enough, as of Sunday I am effexor free and I have lost 5lbs so  far. I was on 150mg a day and trust me it was a hard road getting off this drug. After 2 weeks I still have some side effects, but it is getting much easier. The first week was the worst for me. I litteraly felt like I had the flu. I am so glad I stuck with it though. I will never ever take another drug like effexor again. it is just not worth it! Anyone out there who has lost all of their weight after being off of this drug I would love to here about it and how long it has taken you.

April
178107 tn?1315951230
I had been on Effexor for about 6 months and I have gained 25 pounds.  I sweated profusely almost all the time.  While on vacation a couple of weeks ago I decided I couldn't take it anymore and stopped it cold turkey.  Within two days my husband was ready to have me commited. As soon as I got home I called my doctor and he put me on Pristiq. It is suppose to be a lot like Effexor without all the sight effects. It's made by the same company.So far the sweating has improved.
I was also on 150mg a day. He has started me on 30mg of Pristiq, I wonder if I my be able to taper off of it also.  I would like to get off any kind of drugs like that. Your tougher than I am with the Effexor.  Another day or two and I would have been in the hospital.
Avatar universal
I am so happy to hear from others going through the same weight-gain / loss issues with Effexor. I just weaned myself off from 150 mg to 75 mg to nothing (I'm now using St. John's Wort as a supplement instead) in a few weeks, with lots of withdrawal symptoms/pain, etc., but I have to believe it's worth it. I, too, gained 40 pounds since starting the Effexor in February 2007. I was taking it for fibromyalgia pain management, but I am trying to do more natural solutions now and talked to my doctor about eliminating the effexor and trying other options (including increasing my exercise to every day, anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour, 30 minutes), making sure I get at least 15 minutes in the sunshine or outside even if overcast, so my serotonin levels stay high, journaling, etc.

Honestly, I am depressed about the 40 pounds, but I will trust that if I keep going, exercising, eating healthy, taking care of myself, that the effexor weight will start to come off. I'm at 195 pounds now, and hope to be at 145-150 at some point.

Anyone that has also gone off Effexor and took a LONG time to experience weight loss who'd like to comment is very welcome to! We can all use the support!
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