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Effexor weight gain thread.

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What can I say? I too am a gym instructor and fitness fanatic and a profound sufferer of panic and depression (thanks mum and dad!). I too have put on an astronomical 24kilos (about 52lbs) of flab and feel very self-conscious. After reading all of the messages, we have to remember that everyone one of us is united by a common condition - those God awful depressive feelings and horrendous, heart stopping panic attacks.

My disorder stopped my life. As a soldier, I could not stand on the drill square - I would panic and collapse. Two marriages have failed due my fear of life and I fell into a deep hole that I could not crawl out of. I am incredibly paranoid about medication and sometimes hate effexor.

But I recall the alternative; racing to the hospital at all hours of the night, feeling like I was having a heart attack; the desperate sadness; sleepless nights contemplating my self-worth; mood swings and vengeful thoughts. As much as I don't enjoy the weight, I do not miss those extreme feelings.

I am going to see my doctor today to discuss withdrawing from effexor, but I will never say that I won't be back. It has helped me stabilise my life and become balanced.

Whatever you do, remember what those panic attacks and episodes of depression were like. Yes, it probably does mess with your metabolism, but our metabolisms probably needed a bit of manipulating: remember that we are prone to anxiety and depression.
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Hello all!!!

I have been taking Effexor XR 75 mg since December 2007 and I have went from 125 lbs to almost 160 lbs. I am severely depressed from that in itself and I am currently coming off of the drug, today is Day 2. I am now experiencing the withdrawl symptoms which are HORRIBLE, yet I have decided to try another medication that will not encourage more weight gain. Anyhow, I think that there is something in this drug that promotes weight gain in some people. I have read forums where some people have not gained any weight, lucky them.

I wish you all luck!!!
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I've been on effexor for 3 years, on a 150mg dose. Before going on people used to tell me I was too thin: now, my BMI puts me at overweight. I decided a year ago that I wanted to get off it, but was too scared because of everything I have read. I finally decided I had had enough in May, and began to reduce the dose. Until last week, I was on 75mg, and then decided to quit cold turkey (it is easier for me, because I am not working right now so I could stay in bed for a while).
The symptoms have not been fun, but I have been able to control them by taking travel sickness pills to help with the dizziness, and painkillers for my slight headache. Now, it is day 8, and I'm feeling ok. So I just want to tell everyone who is afraid like I was-everyone's experiences will be different. Withdrawing was nowhere near as bad as I expected, I just needed to take it easy for a while. I think you just have to make up your mind you want to do it, and expect not to feel great for a while.
Re the weight gain, I am hoping that I will lose it, and I would point something out. All of the forums I have visited have been full of people complaining about weight gain while still on the effexor, with very few posts from people who've successfully quit and not managed to shift the weight. Not to say it doesn't happen, but if it was common I think there would be a lot more posts like that on these forums...
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Whilst it's heartbreaking to read everyone's stories it is SO good to know that I'm not alone. I've been on Effexor XR for about 5 years. Started at 75mg, up to 150mg, a couple of episodes at 225mg and have been on 75mg for the last 3 years. For ages I didn't work out what the weight gain was all about - I've put on about 2 stone. It's only by reading postings on sites such as this that I've learned so much more about this drug. I am addicted to it in that the withdrawal effects are horrendous - I've tried to come off twice. However, I'm fed up with the weight and the original reasons for my depression (bullying at work) are gone now, so I want my life back!
Good luck everyone!
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Thanks to all of you have writen a post. I have been on Effexor XR for at least 6 yrs and have gained sooooooooo much weight. I am currently double the weight I was in High School. Granted I am now 46 years old. I started taking Paxil 12 years ago and gained weight instantly. The doctor had me try Welbutrin and Zoloft which did not help me at all. After awhile off any meds he put me on a low dose of Effexor and the weight continued to increase with every dosage increase. I am currently taking 150mg and am going to start to wheen myself off with the help of my doctor. The excess weight is more depressing than depression itself. I have spent most of my life around 125lbs-140lbs, now I weigh in at a whopping 267.
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I thought I was going crazy. After reading this thread(s), I know I'm not. I have been on Effexor for 3 years. It's the first time I've stayed on an antidepressant for an extended period. (I suffer clinical depression, anxiety and panic disorders, as well as alcoholism.)

I'm 43, 5'3", and all of my adult life have weighed no more than 115-120 lbs. I have always exercised and had a fairly high metabolism. As long as I continued to exercise, I could eat what I wanted (within reason and in small amounts, of course).

Since taking Effexor, I have gained 30 lbs. I am now at 150 lbs. I have cried many tears over not being able to lose this weight. For someone with my height and frame, 30 lbs is a phenomenal amount of weight to gain. I can't wear any of my clothes, and refuse to buy new (larger) ones. I'm on a fixed income and have very little to spend anyway.

My therapist and doctor are convinced Effexor is not the reason for my weight gain. I have stopped drinking alcohol -- which added at least 500 calories to my daily intake -- and also stopped eating meat and other high-calorie foods. I admit I have developed a sugar "craving" (a possible side effect of sobriety), but in no way am I eating enough sugar to have packed on this weight.

I'm convinced Effexor is the cause of my weight gain. I am going to insist my doctor switch my medication. I might ask to try Prestiq, which is fairly new on the market, and is not known (yet) to cause this kind of weight gain.

THANKS to all who shared your stories! When people ask you what the "big deal" is about gaining all this weight, tell them to stuff it. They obviously have not experienced the added depression, not to mention physical problems, that come with a massive weight gain.

Jen
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Quote:

Re the weight gain, I am hoping that I will lose it, and I would point something out. All of the forums I have visited have been full of people complaining about weight gain while still on the effexor, with very few posts from people who've successfully quit and not managed to shift the weight. Not to say it doesn't happen, but if it was common I think there would be a lot more posts like that on these forums...



This is exactly my question... after all I've read and after getting through all the stuff of the withdrawls... I'm now wondering WHEN and HOW LONG will it take for me to lose the weight - WHEN will the metabolism start to regulate - at what point will I know it's not the drug anymore but me!!

Please give me you're weight loss AFTER Effexor story!! :?
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I know that some people have lost some weight on Effexor but unfortunately I'm not one of them as I haven't taken it. I want to know if someone else has successfully done it too. Does someone out there have that experience?
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Ok we'll I have been on Effexor for about 4 years now. Experienced no weight gain. Only experienced the weight gain when I stopped working out for about a year. during this time I went from 200 pounds to 225. I got back into working out regularly for the past year while still being on effexor I'm back down to about 195.
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ant2530 wrote:

Ok we'll I have been on Effexor for about 4 years now. Experienced no weight gain. Only experienced the weight gain when I stopped working out for about a year. during this time I went from 200 pounds to 225. I got back into working out regularly for the past year while still being on effexor I'm back down to about 195.



Thanks for supporting that. I thought that it was possible to lose weight but I wasn't hearing anything encouraging. Thanks for posting your experiences.
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The human body is SO complex! There seem to be so many factors that determine what happens to us.

I am on a combination of Effexor (150 mg) and Topamax, and thank my lucky stars that I can eat anything I like and not gain weight.

I'm SO there with those of you who are having a hard time with weight gain on Effexor.

I am a 72 year old former fat woman/binge eater/seriously depressed/bipolar person who weighed 239 before gastric bypass surgery.

Now, at 5' 4" tall, I weigh 125 or so and stay pretty much at my ideal weight on these meds. And I've usually been reasonably emotionally normal on this regime for the last seven or so years, give or take a few nosedives.

I wish that were true for everybody else.
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I have been taking effexor XR for 10 years now...I have always had to work hard to loose weight but with reduced calories and exercise it has slowly come off. Recently after it creeping up to it's highest ever I started working out daily and counting weight watchers point.. I actually gained weight. I figured it was muscle gain, so I kept at it...5 weeks later I fluctuate between my starting weight to a pound or too MORE!
This sucks, the math does not make sense, if you take in X and burn off X something should give! WHY CAN'T I LOSE WEIGHT????
I want to scream and cry, which is much better than what happens to me when I try to get off the drug.
WHAT CAN DO?
-J
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Well, it certainly sucks for the many of us who have gained weight on this drug. It didn't happen right away, but over the course of about two years on Effexor I gained 35 pounds. My exercise and diet habits have not changed, at least not much. I work out regularly and eat carefully. I finally weaned miyself off of it (with my doctor's approval) and have been Effexor-free for about three weeks now. It is tough going, but so far so good, basically. I started the drug for panic attacks, and am still taking an anti-anxiety med to help with those. I have lost a little weight, and my pants are looser. At my age (44) I think losing the weight will be tough; but I think I can do it. I am not going to give up. I may actually start on ADHD meds, which my husband has been wanting me to do for years. I was a late diagnosis because I did well in school; but I am very disorganized. Normally I would never take a pill to lose weight, but since a pill made me gain weight, I don't feel so bad about it. Thanks everyone for sharing.
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Zulie,
Thank you for sharing. I have changed from effexor to pristiq which is really almost the same drug. It has been tough, many crying spells and irritability.... I have also signed up with a physician who specialized in weight loss, so we shall see. I do not give up so easily either, but have never been so frustrated before!!! Keep me posted, and I will do the same.
Welcome!
-Jeanne :-D
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