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Mirtazapine and weight gain

(50 Posts)
Maisiethemorningsidecat Sun 11-Jul-10 16:43:56

I've been on these for a few months now - only 15mg - but omg the weight gain is really getting me down. I've put on at least half a stone (OK, nearer one stone), and for someone who's always weighed 8 stone I now have nothing that fits and am actually feeling low again because of the weight gain. I know I'm being very vain and shallow, but I'm 41 and beginning to feel very frumpy anyway, and although I'm still eating healthily it's still piling on.

Has anyone stopped taking it and reverted back to their normal weight?

SagacityNell Sun 11-Jul-10 16:53:59

I just came off Mirtazapine and one of the reasons was the weight gain. I have been on Sertraline 2 days and already lost 2 lbs. Partly because they are knocking me sick though i am honest.

Hi Maisie I have been taking 15mg for over a year now. Initially I probably put on a bit of weight, but honestly it settled down and went back to my normal weight naturally without extra effort.

It is important to eat healthily but this is true whether or not you are on any AD.

A lot of ADs have side effects at first but they tend to wear off over time as your body gets used to it.

Out of interest, why were you put on mirtazapine? Usually they start you off on an SSRI like citalopram and if you don't get on with it, look at other options. Also depending on the symptoms you are experiencing... for me I have terrible insomnia with my depression, so mirtazapine was great for me as it helped me sleep.

Hope it settles down for you, but if not go back to the dr. and see if there is an alternative that could work for you.

Maisiethemorningsidecat Sun 11-Jul-10 17:40:38

Thanks both smile

I tried citalopram, but literally could not raise my head from the pillow despite being on a very low dose. There was no way I could drive to work, or function whilst there, or look after 3 children. I was put onto mirtazapine because I had trouble getting to sleep and then staying asleep, but I'm still finding I'm a bit zombiefied in the morning and could sleep for Britain.

The weight gain thing is really getting me down, and hasn't settled down a few months on. I think I need to go back to the GP and ask for another one - if I'm feeling so low about putting on this weight then it's a bit pointless being on them really!

They do affect everyone differently. Perhaps this is not the one for you. The sleepiness should definitely have settled down after a few months.

Some of the older style tri-cyclic ADs may be worth a try? Some of them have a slight sedative effect, but not to the same extent as mirtazapine.

Maisiethemorningsidecat Sun 11-Jul-10 19:17:31

I think I'll suggest the older style ones to the GP and see what she says. The weight thing is a big thing for me, so I definitely want to get that sorted. I'm hoping that I'll revert back to my normal weight once I stop them, as I really can't afford to replace an entire wardrobe and don't want to feel low about being overweight as well.

Why don't you treat yourself with something exercise-related that you'd really enjoy - e.g. relaxing yoga, dancing classes, jogging whatever. It will give you a kick-start to losing the weight and will boost your mood too smile

Maisiethemorningsidecat Sun 11-Jul-10 21:02:03

Unfortunately I really don't have the time for regular exercise. We've got 3 children, and I'm working practically f/t at the moment, so it's very hard to fit exercise in, other than the usual bike rides/hikes etc. at weekends. I have a stepper that I use, but other than that it's a challenge to do much more.

bike rides and hikes sound like exercise to me!

I do understand, it's so hard to fit it in. I only have 1 child and it's a struggle. We've got a dog so at least I am forced to do two walks a day, in all weathers!

SagacityNell Sun 11-Jul-10 21:14:07

You fit in more than i do Maisie i have 3 DCs as well and am just a lazy arseblush

Maisiethemorningsidecat Sun 11-Jul-10 21:23:59

With my arse growing daily, it's becoming harder to drag it out of the chair, believe me! We did go for a bike ride today, but the 3 year old decided that he wasn't going to play ball, and screamed and tantrummed for most of it. My, that was a fun afternoon hmm

it is absolutely famous for it - known to make some people crave sugar so badly that they eat it from the spoon. it is the absolute worst drug for weight gain in the AD rack.

basically it hits the histamine receptor really hard hence the good sleep inducing effect and the massive craving for sugar and other carbs. it makes you fat and it makes you sleep and doctors who know their stuff should warn you of both.

maybe there are some who it settles down for or who aren't so affected but for many it's just more and more and more weight gain.

Maisiethemorningsidecat Sun 11-Jul-10 21:36:00

The GP did warn me about it, but I was quite blase and thought it wouldn't really affect me, given that I don't (usually) put on weight easily - bloody hell, was I wrong. Definitely going back to the GP, this can't go on. Apart from anything, it can't be healthy to put on so much weight so quickly.

i'd go back - there's no point putting off the inevitable. you know in yourself whether you'll be able to cope with something or not. i couldn't cope with it - i put on over 2stone in a few months and then was like, no! replaced general depression with depression about being so fat and not being able to control myself food wise.

high serotonin ones and ones with a mad hit on noradrenaline (bloody effexor) make me anorexic, mirtazapine with it's histamine kick made me binge eat - i remember catching myself eating golden syrup on a spoon once and thinking fuck this i'm out of control.

if you want an srni which doesn't seem to tip you either way then cymbalta (brand name don't know generic one) seems ok however be warned it is a really dangerous one for coming off of - and i mean that it can be genuinely dangerous not just oh a bit unpleasant and that's just people who have these problems and it's in their head type way - evidence is gradually gathering despite suppression from interested parties.

tbh if you really feel you want to stay on AD's i'd go for a long standing tricyclic - they are down played as there's not so much money in them for the drug companies but really have a much longer and more established safety record and what side effects there are are well established and documented - ie. possible drowsiness, possible slight weight gain, possible dry mouth. the newer ones are turning out to have more and more issues but are profitable enough that it is constantly repressed and takes ages to make it to PI sheets or journals.

sorry if that's tmi or i've offended anyone who takes these pills but no good being blind to realities.

swallowedAfly sorry you had such a bad time of it.. were you able to lose the weight again after you came off mirtazapine?

Duritzfan Mon 12-Jul-10 19:44:43

Hi Maisie

I had exactly the same as you .. I was on mirtazipine for about a month before my weight started creeping up..like you I was relatively small - a size 10 - and have never had to even think about my weight - in fact I have often been assumed to be anorexic because I used to be so skinny...

I went from 8st to almost 12 stone on mirtazipine - and I couldnt handle it at all.. I was exercising and my consultant psych even prescribed something to increase my metabolism to help me - nothing worked - when I had to go shopping for a pair of 16 bottoms I cmpletely lost the plot and told the pysch I was coming off them whether he liked it or not as the depression over the weight gain was now contributing to my underlining depression !

I came off them, and within a fortnight I had dropped a stone.. within three months I was back to a size 12 and just under ten stone .. I never needed to be stick thin - but being a 16 when you have spent all your life as a 8 feels huge ..

I would have to be very very very depressed to try mirtazipine again !!

I have used and got on with amytriptiline, effexor and sertraline - none of these have had any effect on my weight ..

I feel sure that your weight issues will improve in a matter of weeks once you cone off the mirtazipine - there are so many other drugs out there that work as well ..I hope you find something that suits you better...xx

Maisiethemorningsidecat Mon 12-Jul-10 20:14:45

Thank you so much, all of you - you don't know how much these posts mean to me (OK, indulge me - I'm a bit of a wreck at the moment grin). I thought I was going to get shot down in flames for being so shallow, but it's been so lovely to have supportive posts from people who have been through the same thing.

I'm really interested in the tri-cyclic ones that have been mentioned, so will put my information manager skills to the test and do a bit of research.

MrsThisIsTheCadillacOfNailguns Thu 16-Sep-10 23:42:13

Only just spotted this thread and was amazed.
Maisie you could have been describing me.I was 8st 7 when I started taking Mirtazpine last Nov and am now 10st2lb.Like you I was a tiny size 8-10 and never put weight on,and for a start I was quite pleased with a bigger bust,but not the bigger thighs,waist,bum arms ect.It is really getting me down now,because none of my clothes fit properly and it feels horrible that my thighs rub together and that my stomach hangs over my jeans.I do an active job and took up cycling,stopped eating between meals despite feeling so hungry that my stomach hurt,but still the weight is piling on.Other than that,the drug has really helped me feel better,but I'm starting to get miserable about being so hungry all the time and getting steadily bigger.I can't afford and don't want to buy new clothes because I'm too fat for my old ones.

Did you speak to your GP and change your medication? I'd be interested to know if you lost any weight after stopping Mirtazipine.

Hi MrsThisIsTheCadillacOfNailguns - what dose do you take?

MrsThisIsTheCadillacOfNailguns Sat 18-Sep-10 08:19:28

GetDownYouWillFall,I'm on 30mg.I saw my GP yesterday and because I'm feeling so well,and have been on them nearly a year,we have decided that the time is right to wean myself off them,so am going down to 15mg.

However,I am under no illusions-if I start sliding down again I'll go back on them-better fat and happy than thin and miserable I suppose.I did mention the weight gain to my GP and he laughed and said that no one ever loses weight whilst on Mirtazipine,it is famous for weight gain.He also says that eventually the weight gain will start to plateau-but when it does that is unpredictable.

Apart from that,it has worked really well for me,sorted out my insomnia and anxiety a treat.I've taken Fluoxetine and various other drugs in the past and they have either not worked or had nasty side affects.Mirtazipine is the best of the bunch as far as I'm concerned.

Hi there Mrs you may find that the weight starts dropping off on 15mg.

I have never taken more than 15mg and my weight has not increased significantly at all from where it was when I started.

I've been taking it since June 2009. I did notice an increase in appetite at first, but I think like all side effects, it starts to level off after a while.

I am still 8 stone and about 4-5lbs.

I too have tried other ADs and none of them worked for me (citalopram was evil and lofepramine gave me an awful dry mouth and the chemical taste of the tablets made me wretch horribly).

Mirtazapine did wonders for my sleep. Even now I am wondering how I will cope without them.

MrsThisIsTheCadillacOfNailguns Sat 18-Sep-10 21:57:23

Oh that is interesting.I agree about the sleep thing-it is wonderful going to bed and knowing that you will sleep.I actually look forward to going to bed now.Thank you for telling me about the lack of weight gain on 15mg as it is reassuring if I don't manage to cope well without taking the drug.

I think it was Citalopram which gave me muscle twitches. It was like having restless legs,but all over.After 2 nights of jerking about like someone was pulling my strings,I went back to the Drs and asked for something else.Nasty stuff.

I actually am down to 7.5mg now, and find I can still sleep on that. You may be able to get down to that dose too, find it still helps you sleep but doesn't have such an effect on your weight.

Yes I had that with citalopram too - terrible agitation. Was also violently sick on them, and it made me so much worse. Yuk yuk.

MrsThisIsTheCadillacOfNailguns Sun 19-Sep-10 20:50:38

shock at the Citalopram.That would have finished me off,I have a phobia about sick.

You are doing really well to manage on such a small dose.Do you mind me asking if you are going to keep taking it for the forseeable future?A friend who is a CPN said that there is no reason not to take it long term if it suits.

Hi there Mrs. We want to try for another baby soon, so am in a bit of a dilemma...

stay on a really low dose and (hopefully) stay well

OR

Come off them completely, get pregnant and risk crashing and going into a bit of a crisis...

Hmm, don't really know. If I weren't planning another baby I don't think I'd have a problem staying on them long term.

How about you?

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