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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?

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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,.

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.

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!

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.

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