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Mirtazapine and weight gain

(41 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

Message withdrawn

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.

Message withdrawn

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 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


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?

MrsThisIsTheCadillacOfNailguns Mon 20-Sep-10 12:26:25

I'd like to think I can stay off them,but in reality,I'm not so sure.I had problems with depression in my teens,then no trouble at all until I lost a baby before having dd1,when I was 34.[was very complicated as we'd had fertility problems prior to this].After that I spiralled,due to being told that the fact we'd conceived at all was a miracle,and that our already slim chance of having a baby were now virtually nil.

Anyway,bloodymindedness is my middle namegrin I had dd1 and had very bad PND afterwards,and thinking about it,have not had a long period of time since then without depression/anxiety.In fact I was taking Fluoxetine [for all the good it did] when I became pregnant with dd2.I seem to manage for a few months,then get unwell again and it has been like this for 8 years now.

I suppose that if I had to take Insulin every day,I wouldn't feel bad about it,so why should I feel bad about anti-ds? If things start going badly I'll ask to go back on them again,weight or no weight.

Have you spoken to your Dr about taking Mirtazipine during pregnancy? It is hard isn't it?-a fine line between functioning well and possible affects on the baby.

I have to go back to work I'm afraid,I was half hoping that it would rain so that I wouldn't have to go.I'll pop back here later.

Oh dear you have been through such a lot. You must be such a strong person. Well done for persevering, and wonderful you have ended up with two DDs despite being told you may never have any children.

PND is hideous isn't it. Mine seemed to rumble on for ages too, and still have traces of it 3 years on, though I am so much better than I was.

You are so right re. the insulin thing. A friend of mine has epilepsy and took her epilepsy medication all through pregnancy.

I don't think there is such a stigma with other illnesses. This same friend said, when we were discussing the subject of medication during pregnancy, "yeah but you wouldn't want to take something if it wasn't, like, for a real illness" hmm

I did speak to the dr. about mirtazapine in pregnancy. She said she was going to go to the National tetrology service to try and get the most up-to-date info on the evidence. However, she has not got back to me and that was nearly 2 months ago. She did say it would take some time, so am hesitant to badger her. Just not assertive enough!

Been prescribed this today by a new gp. Not been warned about weight gain at all and as gaining weight is a big fear of mine that only comes into play when I'm anxious/depressed I don't think she made the right call. Perhaps if she had actually asked about my symptoms rather than just toting up the score on the depression form she would have discovered that.
so, not going to take the stuff.

OhYouBadBadKitten please give it a try? Your Dr. would not have given it if she didn't think you needed it.

As I said earlier on this thread I have been on it since June 09 and have not gained weight. It has by far and away been the most helpful of the (many) drugs I have tried in the past in terms of tacking depression / anxiety,.

MamaLeMay Fri 24-Sep-10 13:43:39

ohyoubadbadkitten, I'm feeling exactly the same as you! my GP changed me from fluorexine as it didn't help my anxiety and was making me REALLY sweat.... I googled about these and have been so worried by everyones reaction to them; weight gain and feeling 'zombied' the next day , that I've been too scared to even start them?! My youngest ds is nearly 4 months and I want to lose my pregnancy weight so it's shocked me that practically 9 out of 10 reviews I've read on the Internet have all said that they gained ALOT of weight....confused

I'm just really scared of making things worse. maybe in a week or so, when I've got less on I might try it for a week. perhaps. I'm not sure, this week I've turned into a dithery idiot who can't even decide which sandwich bag to use.

lilruthie Sat 02-Oct-10 16:56:53

hi there i was on it for 8mnths and yes hun i put loads of weight on n just couldn't function on them all i wanted to do was sleep n eat but good news is when i got taken off them n tried another AD i lost my weight very quickly so speaking from my experience hun yes you should lose the weight pretty quickly if you have to stop taking them for any reason.

Beckyb0027 Thu 20-Jun-13 08:12:53

Hi just seen this thread. I have been on Mirtazapine for about a year and started on 15mg before going up to 45mg. I am now weaning off them and am down to 7.5mg. They did the truck for me in terms of helping with the depression, that coupled with a fantastic counsellor!!
I have however gained over a stone and the appetite is ridiculous. My GP told me that the lower doses are worse than the higher doses in terms of side effects and he is right, I am still gaining weight!

I just hope that once I come off them completely the weight will start to come off again. Some of your comments have given me some hope that it will. Mind you I think I would rather be overweight and feel happy than be in the rotten place I was in last year.

Orchidlady Thu 18-Jul-13 09:55:25

Just stumbled across this thread, my DP in 30mg for past year and put on loads of weight, he has always been slim so very new to him and making him very unhappy, now depressed about being over weight. He "forgot" to take them for a week and what a massive difference, he has slipped right back, so obviously needs his pills. sad

Ragusa Fri 19-Jul-13 21:18:41

Orchidlady, sorry your DP is struggling but just to say he may not have 'slipped back', he may have had withdrawal symptoms. Meds like Mirtazapine need to be tapered off slowly to avoid rebound anxiety and depression. If he is cheesed off with weight gain, he can tell the GP and maybe could try something else.

PoodleFlavouredFreddos Fri 19-Jul-13 23:55:44

oh please please no.
I have been on 15 mg of mitazipne for two weeks.
I have an eating disorder and I can't gain weight, I can't. My cpn told me it was 'unlikely' but reading this thread i'm going to ask about other options. I am on other anti psychotic medications that has caused weight gain in the past & i really can't do that again.

how quickly does the weight gain start?

PoodleFlavouredFreddos Fri 19-Jul-13 23:59:42

if i don't take my dose tomorrow will i suffer any withdrawal? I have only been on 15 mg fortwo weeks, but I can;t call my cpn until tuesday & what if it makes me gain weight over that period?

Ragusa Sat 20-Jul-13 13:25:00

poodle what?!? Mirtazapine is notorious for causing weight gain. Like you say, it even says it on the PIL.

Please don't just stop taking it all of a sudden though. Is there no-one you can see on Monday. I think you are unlikely to put on weight between now and Tuesday so don't panic.

Funnyfishface Sun 21-Jul-13 00:31:11

Hi all.

I am on citalopram for anxiety. Started October 2012 and have gained 10lbs. From 8stone 8 to 9 stone 4. I am on a calorie counting diet which is getting me down. It's all around my middle.

The go says weight gain is not a side effect but I have never had a weight problem and this makes me very miserable. It's making me want to stop them. I'm only on 10 mg

DiaryOfAWimpyMum Sun 21-Jul-13 10:57:34

Poodle please stop panicking Mitrazipine do not make you fat upon sight of them, they give you more of an appetite and if you eat the wrong food, yes you will put on weight.

I have been on them 3 times, 1st time I went from and 8 up to a 14/16, I lost the weight after a few months after being unwell with a horrid stomach bug.

I needed to go back on them January last year for sleep so did so and bought in only healthy foods and walked the dog 3 times per day and only gained 3lbs, .

The final time was in November last year to a few months ago and I gained weight but was very conscious that I was eating total crap and wasn't moving much either (ie walking dog or any exercise).

If you have an eating disorder this is why you may have been given them, they help with anorexia etc.

Usually if you are depressed you may not eat, these give you an appetite but if you eat well (healthy) you need not put on weight.

Chrisstubbs26 Mon 24-Feb-14 09:36:43

Hi, I've been reading this thread, I started taking this AD two weeks ago I also started at my local gym, I have not lost any weight, does anyone know if this will wear off as due to my depression(grief over losing my mum) I was eating anything and everything, I have now stopped eating rubbish but the weight is not budging, I'm hoping this isn't the case as the AD seems to be working please give me good news :-)

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