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Mirtazapine and weight gain

(59 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?

NotAJammyDodger Fri 15-May-15 21:05:38

What I find really frustrating is all the dietary advice you get assumes your not eating healthily in the first place. Docs know Mirtazapine is notorious for weight gain - which can so adversely effect self esteem - so why do they persists in lecturing you about eating healthily and excising (when you already do). Still, I suppose there is not a lot else they can do, other than change your meds. hmm

Hestheone Thu 14-May-15 21:12:35

was on 40mg mirtazapine and put on 2 and a half stone and i was big anyway,i eventually came off the mirtazapine because the weight gain was making me worse,lost the 2 and a half stone but wish i was still on the meds so i wouldnt feel so crap

NotAJammyDodger Thu 14-May-15 20:49:57

Getdown is Mirtazapine available as a 7.5 tablet or are you pill cutting a higher dose? I'm currently splitting a 30mg into 15mg but it's quite a small size to halve again. Thx.

wfrances Thu 14-May-15 16:51:35

im on mirtazapine- started around 6 weeks ago
its made me crave cigarettes - i havent smoked for 20 years.
ive been on a really low dose -7.5 mg and just upped to 15mg as im very sensitive to all meds and the last a/d i was on - i had a really bad reaction -they had to come out and sedate me.
i don t think ive put weight on, ill check later.

LolaC86 Thu 14-May-15 12:58:12

Hi everyone,

I've just stumbled across this thread today after searching upon mirtazapine and weight gain. I've been on mirtazapine since Jan, started at 15mg and upped to a tablet and a half .. so i guess 22.5mg! ... I've put on more than a stone, gone from hovering around 10st to just over 11st, a size 10-12 to a 12-14. When the doctor first mentioned that these might make me put on weight I wasn't concerned as at the time I really wasn't eating and I thought it wouldn't be a problem but its really really getting to me. Like everyone else I'm worried as it seems so shallow and trivial and its not a drastic thing to put on a bit of weight but its making me feel so horrible about myself, and kind of displaced, like ..t this still isn't the real me .. which isn't good as the tablets were meant to help me find 'me' again after feeling lost for a long time. I've started to get over analytical and thinking how many calories are in certain things, but still do have a horrible appetite and crave carbs and chocolate. I have just recently started at the gym and going swimming but so far have noticed no difference at all.

I was sure that I would persist with these tablets but I now have an appointment next friday with my doctor as i'm not sure i can take it any more. I was on sertraline prior to this but swapped as they increased my anxiety and made me very twitchy, it was quite scary.

I hope that my doctor will be okay with me switching, i dont want to crumble and have to insist.. otherwise the tablets do help me sleep, and i have felt better on them .. but sometimes 'just okay' if that makes sense.. i haven't much looked forward to anything or felt motivated or excited .. but ive still had plenty of bad times. I also feel like they are giving me a fake sleep if that makes any sense too .. sometimes i know ive had a bad night sleep based on how exhausted i feel but i havent been tossing and turning or feeling awake .. and i am so tired all the time.

Anyway, I just wanted to share my experience.. found it really interesting reading through everyone's post and helpful to know what everyone else gone through. smile

Joanne0502 Wed 07-Jan-15 10:33:59

gringringringringringrin Hi guys thanks to all of you being strong and open about your experience on mertazipine, I had the courage to go to my doctors and he has now changed my meds I have been of mertazipine since Sunday and I feel so much better, my stomachs has reduced I'm no longer hungry all the time, in fact I've not eaten very much at all, my emotions are ok at the moment but I have the support of my doctor, I'm very lucky he I s fantastic, I will update again in a few weeks to let u know my experience ️xxx thanks again ️xx

Joanne0502 Sun 04-Jan-15 23:44:54

OMG I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders, I was just in the bath crying my eyes out over my weight I can not move in my bath,( for the last two months) seriously I noticed I had gained so much weight, even to the point where people were asking "when's your baby due", I came downstairs determined to make an appointment with my docs tto beg Him for help, I couldn't understand why in two months I have gone from 12 stone to 14&1/2 stone, I went on Google and found warning mertazipine!!!!! Weight gain, which then led me to this site, I can't believe it, THANKYOU, I have suffered with depression for 8 years and have tried many anti depressants I was prescribed duloxatine 90mg and zimmavaine 7.5mg(sleeper) as I hadn't literally slept for 5 years, but a year ago my doc asked me to try come off my sleeper as they have discovered they have long term side affects I was so proud of myself when I gave them up, but went back to struggling with sleep, my doctor then prescribed mertazipine 15mg and told me to continue with the duloxatine, I gradually cut them down ( another big achievement) but again began to struggle (sleep) so he put my mertazipine up to 30mg and as explained earlier I am now two and a half stone heavier, I have no energy, I feel so low, and unattractive, I put it down to middle age spread, I'm 38 and have never been thin but I have never been this heavy not even in my pregnancy's and now I know why, I am not going to take my tablet tonight or ever again, I will ring my gp first thing in the morning and hopefully I can start on something else, and feel like me again. I am worried about my sleep and moods but I can't gain any more weight, it's not fair on me or my children ��

sadandbad Sun 04-Jan-15 11:24:06

I was on it a few years ago. Best anti-depressant ever! However, the weight gain was terrible. Just to reassure you though that as soon as I came off it, the weight fell off (and I was about the same weight as you). It is part of the drug so in most people will come off when you stop taking it. That drug literally saved my life when I had postnatal depression.

imaginative Sun 04-Jan-15 10:37:25

I've been on mirtazapine for around 3 years. I have always been skinny but have out on a stone since starting on them. It has been the most amazing drug for me. I used to suffer from several migraines a week, hives and itching, IBS, insomnia and depression. Mirtazapine has stopped ALL of these things. But the weight gain really got me down. A couple of years ago I tried to come off them and go onto trazadone, but suffered terrible withdrawals, insomnia and nausea. I lost half a stone in a week.

Anyway, what I wanted to say, is that the weight gain does level off. My weight has been steady despite eating normally for the past two years. But I am not happy with my weight and am currently on a diet. I lost a couple of pounds very quickly, but now it seems to have stopped. Despite never snacking and resisting any sweet foods and chocolates and having a very active job where I am strenuously exercising for 3 solid hours a day. I would love to come off them, but actually think my body needs the drug to be normal. I think I will probably be on them for the rest of my life. If they ever bring out a drug that does the same, without the weight gain, then I will switch as I hate feeling fat.

Pandora37 Fri 12-Dec-14 17:50:13

I do take it before bed but it doesn't make me sleep! I still take roughly an hour or two to get to sleep afterwards and I normally wake up at least once during the night (unless I've worked a 12 hour shift that day then I'm out like a log. But on a day off or if I'm working a short day my sleep is disrupted). I've tried taking it a bit earlier in the evening to see if that made a difference. It did make me feel drowsy but I couldn't actually fall asleep which was very frustrating. Then I'd suddenly wake up again. I can imagine with CFS it would make you very sleepy! I do feel like a zombie when I get up but I always feel like that in the mornings grin.

Sounds like mirtazapine had quite a bad effect on you. Hopefully you can find something else that works if you need it. smile

fiftiesgirl Fri 12-Dec-14 13:49:41

I usually read the leaflets too, but maybe I didn't with this one for whatever reason. To be honest I could have but dismissed it as so many meds of any type have a huge list of side effects. Plus I've been on several things before (ADs, contraceptive pills, long term medication for a skin issue etc) that have listed weight gain as a side effect and I've not experienced the weight gain. I guess I was lucky before!

With regards to sleepiness, Maybe you've been lucky there. Mirtazapine has to be taken before bed as it makes you drowsy, that's why you shouldn't take it in the morning like other ADs. I think combined with my CFS it was deadly - I literally was sleeping for whole days at a time and even then feeling like a zombie when I got up.

Pandora37 Fri 12-Dec-14 11:58:18

That's fair enough. Mirtazapine doesn't make me tired or sleepy but I've heard that it does for lots of people, it's rubbish feeling like that.

I think doctors are in a difficult position because everyone reacts differently to different ADs. I was on sertraline before and I didn't put on any weight at all on it but I've heard of people who have put on 3 stone. They should have told you about mirtazapine and weight gain if you asked though. I always read the leaflet you get with new tablets and it does say weight gain is a common or very common side effect, so at least I know a bit about what I could be letting myself in for.

fiftiesgirl Fri 12-Dec-14 11:06:42

Hi Pandora,

If anything, my mood has been greatly improved - I feel a lot happier in myself and have far more energy. I really think the weight gain and the constant tiredness was actually making me feel bad, though not as bad as the darker days without AD meds. Feeling tired all the time (and sleeping constantly) was making me feel terrible, like I was missing out on so much. And my partner was having to do all the housework, and remember everything on the to do list (all I could focus on was food and sleep) which was a huge guilty burden. The weight gain really was noticeable, because, as I mention, I'm naturally very narrowly built (my sisters joke I don't have shoulders they're that slender and I find bags/bra straps etc slip off constantly. My natural waist at 7 1/2 stone is 24in) I think what is rather telling is the fact that I am no longer craving sweets all the time - that wasn't hunger, that was artificial and brought about by the tablets (I was eating far more than my body was burning, despite attending gym classes very often) Now my 'appetite' has decreased, I don't feel hungry throughout the day. For several years, my weight was a solid 7st 2lbs to 7st 4lbs, so an increase of 10lbs was really not a fluctuation! When I realised I had ended up off the tablets for a while, I looked up any withdrawal symptoms and the best way to come off them properly, everything I read advised dropping the does to 15mg for a few weeks, then stopping so maybe that's why I've not experienced any symptoms, as that's what I'd been doing in the weeks before I ran out of tablets? Other than not falling asleep straight away when I go to bed (it now takes me approx. 20 - 30 mins to fall asleep, as opposed to less than 5 on mirtazapine, which I think is actually quite normal, esp as I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) Really, I feel a bit let down by the doctors, that I specifically asked not to be put on a tablet that could cause weight gain or tiredness and was told mirtazapine did not cause weight gain and would help me get the right sleep! I feel like either the Doc didn't know about mirtazapine or thought I needed to gain the extra weight and lied to me. Either is shocking!

Pandora37 Wed 10-Dec-14 21:41:48

Although actually thinking about if you're only on 15mgs and you've been going weeks without it without it making any difference then it's probably not worth staying on it. I'm on 45mgs and I'd know if I suddenly stopped taking it - I'd probably be in a heap on the floor crying! You don't mention if not taking them has affected your mood negatively at all, I'm assuming it hasn't. If your mood is okay and your weight is upsetting you then it's probably best to change.

Pandora37 Wed 10-Dec-14 21:33:02

I have put on weight since I've been on mirtazapine (I started it in October and have put on half a stone) but I'd lost a stone through depression/stress before I started taking them so really I've only regained half the weight I'd lost. I'd have found it very difficult to maintain that weight long term as I've tried before and failed so I don't blame the mirtazapine for that really.

Losing or gaining half a stone isn't what I'd call dramatic as my weight can fluctuate that much normally anyway, and I'm only between 5'2 and 5'3. But it's different for everybody and I guess if you're a set weight all the time it would be noticeable to you. It might not be as noticeable to other people though - someone at work told me she's gained half a stone recently and she's not very tall either but she honestly looked exactly the same to me.
I know you're quite short but 8 stone really isn't very much at all. But obviously it's up to you what you do. Do you think you'll switch to another AD?

fiftiesgirl Wed 10-Dec-14 15:28:13

I'm so glad I found this! I've been on mirtazapine 15mg since July. Within the last 3 weeks, I've stopped taking it - this wasn't intentional, I forgot to pick up my supply and haven't yet managed to do so. In these weeks I have gone from 8st to 7st 6lbs without consciously changing my eating habits (I've stopped snacking on so many sweet treats and constantly eating, but this wasn't something I set out to do)

At first I didn't put the 2 together, but this past week, for some reason, I started linking it in my mind and wondering whether the weight loss was due to stopping the meds. I have now made an appointment with the doctor to say I am not going to take mirtazapine any longer.

With regards to the withdrawal symptom, I've been a little more awake at night and not got to sleep so easily. However, I've also been a little more awake during the day. I also have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome though, so sleeping has NEVER been a problem for me haha! Other than that, I haven't really noticed an effect (besides the dramatic weight loss and the disappearance of the crazing)

Before I was depressed last winter, I weighed around 7st 2lbs. I am naturally very slight (I am 5ft tall and have very small hands/feet and very narrow shoulders etc) so this looked quite healthy (combined with the fact I had good muscle definition as I was working out for several hours per day and eating a very healthy diet)

When the depression hit, this crept up over 6 months to 7 and a half stone (this was probably due to the fact I was feeling depressed and didn't attend all my gym classes etc, though I'd also been with my partner approx. a year by that point and everyone says that people in relationships gain weight!!)

I was put on Mirtazapine 15mg in July right before I went on holiday, I came back weighing just over 8st which I put down to holiday eating (could not resist the Italian ice-cream, though this could also have been the sugar craving?) I have since struggled to drop the weight and had no will power to resist any food (where I work there's often cake or biscuits or leftover sandwiches from meeting out)

I ran out of tablets for approx. 1 week in Aug and, ironically, I dropped some weight then (around 3lbs) though I have literally only just realised the correlation! Haha!

I know that 8st may not seem much, but when you are used to being a certain weight and you are suddenly increased it can make you feel terrible. I would also add that, at 5ft, there less of me for an extra 1lb of weight to spread out over so even a little added weight will show up. I wish I had realised this sooner as I have felt so much happier about myself these past weeks.

gibb55 Sat 06-Dec-14 19:35:18

Sorry I meant I feel uncomfortable. It is like taking hrt but yes I suffer from depression but I don't what to be carrying this weight around and I always go running every alternative and this anti-depressant does make you want to eat rubbish stuff and at different times during the day and night and you don't even feel hungry!! I am coming off them tonight and will see the Doctors on Monday!

gibb55 Sat 06-Dec-14 19:26:17

I to have been putting on weight after taking 15 mg of Mirtazapine for a couple of months now and feel really comfortable especially round the boob area. In fact when I take one pill at night it literally knocks me out and I don't wake until 11 am or 12 noon. I am seriously thinking of coming off them as it seems to affect my hormones and I am coming up 60 in January 2015.

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 :-)

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.

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

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.

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?

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?

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.

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