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Avatar universal

weight gain and Paroxetine

I am 25 years old and very active. I exersice every other day (i run about 3 miles and do some sit ups and back exercises), I also eat very healthy.. lots of fruits and vegetables... very little fried foods, and NO junk food.  I try very VERY hard to keep my weight at a place that makes me happy.  
I am going on Paroxetine starting today (i have been on it before and went off it for a couple of years).
I AM TERRIFIED OF GAINING WEIGHT WHILE ON IT.. i have read many forums that say this medication causes weight gain.. but if i look out for my weight and keep exersising and keep eating right.. is it true that i WILL DEFINATLEY gain weight?? even if my caloric intake does NOT change????
I dont want to gain weight... but need to be on this medication.. what is the best thing to do in my situation?? how can I keep taking this medication and NOT gain wieght?
17 Responses
Avatar universal
I was on Paroxetine for a couple of years and gained a lot of weight.  I am not a very active person and tend to eat unhealthy.  It is only my opinion but if you watch what you eat and exercise I bet you'll be fine.  If you are aware of what is going on then you won't let the weight creep on!
Avatar universal
I never had a problem with paxoretene weigth gain or otherwise. I hope you are like me and don't gain weight it.
Avatar universal
I am coming off Paroxetine after almost a year (due to too many unwanted side effects-constant dreams/ nightmares etc etc).
My diet is fairly healthy but I don't exercise all that much. Upon starting the tablets last year they killed my appetite and as a result I lost about 12 or 14 lbs in weight quite quickly.
I too was TERRIFIED of putting weight on and almost didnt start them for this reason. The weight I lost crept back on and I'm back to how I was before but haven't gained any additional weight.
It sounds like you really look after yourself so as long as you keep an eye on things I'm confident you'll be fine.
Avatar universal
I started Paroxetine about two years ago at 25 mg per day and have gained about 16 pounds.  I continue to keep gaining.  I dont exercise at the gym but I walk to work every day and I eat very healthy.  I am thinking of going off of it because I feel mentally better but the weight gain is starting to upset me.  If you are on it for a year it should not be a significant weight gain... I have only started to notice the increase in the past year.
527657 tn?1214051850
You will gain weight on paxil. maybe not at first but u will its a gradual thing no matter how healthy you eat. sorry guys no way out of this one. i just weaned myself off of it for the second time to to very bad motabolism and horrible weight gain.

Avatar universal
Did you lose the weight soon after stopping paxi? I have been on it for two months, i go to the gym alot and eat fairly healthy but i have gainned weight in the last month. I am very down about my weight gain and as a result i have stopped taking paxil, my only hope is that with lots of hours in the gym this extra weight will drop off?
527657 tn?1214051850
No im sorry to say you will not lose the weight no matter how healthy you eat or how much u exersise.  i put on over 30 pounds and im off of it now it will be a week tomorrow.  within a month i will start losing weight.  It will start dropping off but i will never return to what i weighed before i started it. too bad its a good drug but the side effects make it unbearable to stay on. i knew someone who gained over 300 pounds u just never stop gaining its a contiual thing so im off it fof good now.  All i can say is good luck!!

How did you deal with the withdrawal symptoms?
Are you having withdrawal?  All SSRI's can cause it and all are recommended to reduce the dose or titrate down slowly.  A doctor can guide you.  And everyone is different as some take longer than others.  Sometimes a doctor will have you go back on with a very low dose to help withdrawal and then wean you again slowly from there.  But for many, the withdrawal peters out as each day goes by.  You hear of some with horror stories but those are not altogether common.  So, what dose were you taking and how did you titrate down?  Let us know, and we'll try to help.  
Avatar universal
Are you really so daft? You will not lose weight no matter how much you exercise or eat healthy? No matter how much? This is one of those claims that when I'm about to get to bed and read, I then have to go, "Ah, dammit, some stranger on the Internet is wrong about something again. Guess it's time to set another bizarre absolutist straight."

Look people, yes, you may gain weight on Paxil and you may not. Your weight gain might even be coinciding to a your increase in age and thus slowing of your metabolism. Or it could really be the medication itself. Different medications work differently for different people.

But don't let some snob tell you that just because they perpetually gained weight on a drug NO MATTER HOW MUCH THEY EXERCISED OR ATE HEALTHILY that it will be the case for you too and there's nothing you can do about it while being on that drug.

And if you are gaining weight and suspect it's primarily due to your Paxil, then by all means, discuss other treatment options with your doctor.
Avatar universal
I've been on Paxil for about 6 years now. I had heard that it may cause a small weight gain. Over the first 3 years on it I gained 80 lbs. It crept on slowly and when I complained to my doctor, she said to just keep what I was doing but I hadn't made the correlation with Paxil. I was walking 2.5 miles 5 days/week and going to Curves 5 days/week. She said I should start losing weight. Finally I managed to hold steady at a  high weight by going up to 3.5 miles 5 days/week and Curves. I will admit there was a point where I gave up because it was so frustrating. What I had to actually start losing weight was walk 4.25 miles 6 days/week and Curves 5 days a week and made a few healthier food choices. However I was never a big junk food eater and I eat out once every 2-3 months. I lost 40 lbs in 1.5 years and plateaued so I started Weight Watchers. I lost 7 more pounds and have plateaued again despite following the program and continuing my exercise. I have an appointment on Monday to see about getting on something else. Every person is different so you can't say that someone will or won't gain weight or that no matter what you do you won't lose. I will say that for me it has been extremely difficult and time consuming (about 10 hr/week). Hopefully something else will be better for me.
Avatar universal
I've been on 2 different anxiety medicines.  Paxil (paroxetine) for about 10 months now though within the last year.  I have not changed my eating habits, nor my daily exercise regimen.  Within 1 year, I've gained over 50 lbs. I'm very frustrated & cry here and there because of it.  Is there any natural herbs that you can take for anxiety that does not have any side effects?
Avatar universal
I thought I'd update my situation. I did change medications at the next doctors visit. I'm now on Zoloft. I had a very hard time getting off Paroxetine. It took almost 2 months of going down a little at a time. Let me tell you, it was the longest 2 months of my life. I was so sick and out of it all the time. I went to Zoloft because that is what my mom is on and it has worked well for her. I too have seen good results although I have been surprised to find out that a person can have lasting side effects even after going off paroxetine because of it's effects on brain chemistry. I'm now 6 months off it and I'm just now starting to really feel like myself again on a regular basis despite being on the Zoloft all along without any changes in dose in 4.5 months. I'm hoping for everyday soon. I'm just now realizing everything I lost while on it as they come back.

Anyway, for the weight. Once I got completely off the paroxetine the weight just started falling off. I'm now down 70.5 lbs and almost where I was before I went on it. I have been able to cut back my exercise from 10 hr/wk to 3-5. Much more manageable. I feel like a different person now, mentally and physically.

It seems like if a person has weight gain on it, they will have a very hard time losing weight without changing medication. I'm not a doctor but that is certainly my experience and that of many others I have read about online. I was painfully hungry most of the time while on it. I would eat a meal and be starving again in 20 minutes. I never ate poorly but you eat enough of even the good stuff and you're going to gain weight.

So anyone who is concerned about gaining weight on paroxetine, watch it. You can try tracking your hunger and keeping a food diary. See if anything changes. I wasn't starving right away, it sunk up on me so I couldn't figure out what was really going on.

Zoloft has worked very well for me but another medication might be better for you. You could have even worse side effects on Zoloft than paroxetine. Work closely with your doctor and educate yourself and your loved ones of potential side effects. I personally didn't see how I changed on paroxetine but others around me did and people I only knew on it have seen the change for the better now.
Thank you for your experience.  I am out of clothes that fit ...ive begged my doc to change it but he insist to give it time..it will balance out he says...well its not.  My docs visit in 2weeks.  If he wont change it im changing docs. Thx ...
Just going off Aropax after 5 months 20mg,I did not change diet or exercise..gained 12 pounds!!..doctor also surprised at so much so quickly...more energy now & have lost 3 pounds in a week !!
So stick to your guns..it didn’t suit me at all!!good luck luv
Avatar universal
I understand these comments are old, but for anyone who is looking for answers re: Paroxetine and weight gain, I hope this helps.

I was given Paroxetine by my doctor over 1 year ago and I have gained about 6kgs.  I did not change my eating habits, I just thought oh i'm getting older, so I'm getting fatter.  For 5 months I worked out at the gym 4-5 days a week and lost nothing.  I have taken myself off this drug the gain was making me more depressed than before.  I DO NOT recommend you come off it without medical advice, so far, I'm fine, but I am making an appointment to see the doc this week to change the meds.  It's a great drug and certainly changing my life in terms of depression.  But I'm not going to slog my guts out at the gym for nothing and I can't live with the weight gain

St Johns Wart is a good alternative to the person looking for something herbal
3109204 tn?1341604806
hey.. do U know some alternative food that may help against WT GAIN after withdrawing 'paroxetine'?
Avatar universal
YES!  Turns out you CAN lose weight while taking Paxil!!  I have been on paroxetine for over a year now and I must admit that within eight months I did gain around 8 kgs.  I blamed the medication for it constantly and was trolling the internet just confirming my sispiscions that it was in fact all the paxil and after reading SO many posts about paxil and weight gain I kind of gave up hope.  I was annoyed because the paxil Helps me sooo much and I am o glad not to suffer from any anxiety anymore so I just accepted the weight gain.  Anyway one day I decided with a friend to try Weight Watchers just to see if I could lose any weight while on the medication and.....what do you know!  I have already lost 5kgs in only 6 weeks!! And what's more I have realised that even though I didn't realise it I was in fact eating A LOT more food than I should of before WW.   When I was very ill with my anxiety I dropped weight like a 'crazy' (excuse the pun) woman because I hardly ever ate and my metabolism was working over time from the anxiety.  So there is the proof..YES YOU CAN AND WILL LOSE WEIGHT if you improve your eating habits!  I believe that the meds may slow my metabolism down but hey so does old age,  not being a child,  undera active thyroid,  illness etc..  And yes I do seem more hungry sometimes but I just eat plenty of fruit and veges as a snack.
16427060 tn?1447846041
I got on paxel about 10 years ago and still on it. In the first 6 months I put on 50 pounds, especially in my belly, since then I have tried different diets and none work, I still have the 50 pounds.  I have tried a couple times to get off paxel, the longest time was three months and lost 25 pounds rifght away, but, the withdraws from the meds were terrible so I went back on which was just as terrible, so to say, I feel a lot better, but, I do get very down about my weight. I have read that paxel messes with the metabolism and hormones. So it makes it difficult to loose the weight. It's a lost battle.
Avatar universal
I have been on Paroxitine for around 18 months and have gained weight in the last 4 months....6 kilos to be exact.  I am an active person, eat sensibly etc, but this weight gain is certainly making me very unhappy.  I am going to try to wean myself off it now and get back to my original weight.  I take 10mg daily...so the dosage is not very high.  I will try St Johns Wort. Wish me luck!
Avatar universal
I started it a little over a month ago and it helped my anxiety almost fully but it did cause my depression to raise, so they put me on remeron to help with the depression. Within a month I gained 16 pound which might not seem like much but to me that was a nightmare because I’ve always struggled with self esteem issues mostly surrounding my weight.  So I looked it up and Paxil is one of the top depression medications to cause severe weight gain and remeron alongside does too. So I stopped cold turkey and went through a horrible withdrawal for two weeks, talk to your psychiatrist and have them balance it out or change it but hatever you do don’t stop without getting winged off
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