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Any good alternatiives to citalopram where I might actually LOSE weight please?

(60 Posts)
doubleshotespresso Mon 19-Mar-12 14:01:07

I have been taking citalopram (a fairly high dose) and was wondering if anybody out there has had a similar experience to me?

Its generally worked in terms of depression/insomnia/anxiety- like many of you I guess- some days are better than others, but I'mnot "on edge" quite so much now...

However, I don't seem to be able to control my weight at all- I have zero energy most days, a walk around the park literally exhausts me to the point of tears and I seem to be craving starchy/high carb foods all the time, which is totally out of character for me normally. I don't have a sweet tooth at all and virtually never eat crap/take-out foods.... I don't eat red meat .... I eat loads of fresh fruit & veg...... I am at my wits end- and now am terrified of going beyond a size 14..... (big for me)

My GP describes it as a common side effect, but didn't offer any solution.

Can anybody recommend any alternatives please? Or any other helpful pointers?

Am getting desperate...............

orangeflutie Mon 19-Mar-12 14:50:30

I do know what you mean with the carbohydrate cravings and weight gain. I get the same and my tummy has definitely got bigger since I've been on ADs.
Unfortunately I think a lot of ADs seem to do this. It isn't the same for everyone though. I actually lost weight on citalopram. It suppressed my appetite so much in that I didn't want to eat at all!

I'm on dosulepin now, an older tri-cyclic AD. It's very good for my depression but I'm sure it's caused me to gain weight. If I'm honest it's getting me down a bit too. I'm hoping I can reduce the dose over the summer months and maybe reduce the size of my tummy at the same time! Is there a chance you can do the same?

I'm trying to think of alternative ADs for you. Maybe sertraline? I generally thought the SSRi ADs were more appetite suppressing but I'm not sure.

Sorry if I've not been much help. Hopefully someone else will come along who will be able to help you more.

doubleshotespresso Mon 19-Mar-12 15:20:27

orangeflutie-thanks- been beginning to think I was losing it a bit. It's just so frustrating!!

Thanks- I'll look into the sertraline....... something has to give soon.

Anybody else MN?

Hebiegebies Mon 19-Mar-12 15:23:11

2 1/2 stone gain later, I'd agree with you about Citalopram

doubleshotespresso Mon 19-Mar-12 15:24:52

Hebiegebies- can I ask how long you have been taking it? Does it ever level out do you think?

Hebiegebies Mon 19-Mar-12 15:32:53
doubleshotespresso Mon 19-Mar-12 15:50:29

Well that IS interesting! Thanks so much Hebigebie. x

Sparklingbrook Mon 19-Mar-12 15:54:45

When i first started on Citalopram I hardly ate for 2 months. Then I got my appetite back and am constantly starving. sad I don't seem to know when i am full any more and my trousers are getting tighter.

I need to gain some control back somehow.

doubleshotespresso Mon 19-Mar-12 15:58:29

Sparklingbrook yes that's pretty much how I'm doing right now- have never felt so out of control when it comes to myself.

TI cannot seem to get out of this rut I've been in for way too long now- such a vicious circle-completely run out of ideas!

Sparklingbrook Mon 19-Mar-12 16:01:00

I used to walk 3 miles a day but I stopped doing that due to lethargy and general can't be botheredness. I keep half heartedly starting a weight loss regime and then it all goes to pot.

I am seeing the GP for more Citalopram tomorrow and i am going to ask his opinion.

doubleshotespresso Mon 19-Mar-12 16:20:42

Yes I have an appointment again this Friday but feel kind of vain asking for a change of meds based on weight, however, I feel this last week or so as if I'm "slipping" and just need to eliminate this problem as fast as I can. If you get any pearls of wisdom, please do share...... thanks

Sparklingbrook Mon 19-Mar-12 16:21:46

I will. i am happier in general but now feeling down about putting weight on-kind of defeats the object.

doubleshotespresso Mon 19-Mar-12 16:30:53

I know it certainly does! I have never felt so exhausted either!

Sparklingbrook Mon 19-Mar-12 16:45:44

Are you sleeping ok double?

doubleshotespresso Mon 19-Mar-12 16:52:15

Erm -well I have a long history of insomnia, but in the last two months I've been slleping for about 4 hours a night which is great for me-real progress....

But I am getting that "did somebody bash me on the head in the night" feeling when I have to get it together in the morning....

Sparklingbrook Mon 19-Mar-12 16:53:05

I feel quite dopey in the morning. sad

I lost half a stone in the first few weeks of citalopram, and it has mostly stayed off so I think it varies a lot- might be worth just swapping to another ssri?

doubleshotespresso Mon 19-Mar-12 16:58:18

Hmmmm - I think I definitely need to look at something else-this is getting ridiculous....

I've noticed a weight gain and I crave carbs aswell. I'm only on 10 mg I was on fluoxetine but it made me really tired.
I'm trying to make small changes to my diet cutting portion sizes and I've given up chocolate for lent.

Sparklingbrook Mon 19-Mar-12 17:02:45

I could quite happily eat a white sliced loaf with butter for every meal. sad

doubleshotespresso Mon 19-Mar-12 17:06:13

brightermornings -I like the name! Yes- I've been on fluxoteine too- didn't really do anything so after other options am now on citalopram.

Yeah-the carbs thing seems to be the killer- I've never felt like this before, I'm on 60mg at the moment, I just want my life back I guess. Just feel if I could get the old energylevels raised slightly, I might stand a chance.

And you know what's even more unfair? I hate chocolate so eat very little sugar! Aaaaggghhh!!

TheMightyLois Mon 19-Mar-12 17:13:55

Oh thank you so much for posting this! I'd never heard of a link before but it certainly helps explain why I'm now 2 stone heavier than when I had DS!

doubleshotespresso Mon 19-Mar-12 17:18:12

Well TheMightyLois i've spent months questioning myself and quite why jeans etc were becoming so tight.... I just decided to see if I was a feak of nature or not....

Turns out not....... am pleased at this, but not so pleased that others are also feeling so crappy! I'll be in touch if I come across any further pointers/alternatives...

Sparklingbrook Mon 19-Mar-12 17:19:21

I have stopped sweating all morning though, so that's a plus. But still getting the surreal film-like dreams. sad

doubleshotespresso Mon 19-Mar-12 17:27:52

Oooer- don't really ever remember any dreams I may or may not have.......

That must be weird huh?

Sparklingbrook Mon 19-Mar-12 17:28:58

The GP warned me about the dreams. I have had some corkers, about deceased relatives and all sorts. None of them scary, just very very real.

I have weird dreams aswell sometimes about people I work with I get quite embarrassed when they walk past my desk blush
And I snore doesn't matter if I'm on my front back side I snore

Pseudonymity Mon 19-Mar-12 17:34:41

I'm on 40mg and I've intentionally lost 8 pounds recently. I do feel lethargic and previous to this loss I had probably put on a few pounds due to general lethargy. I don't really understand the relationship between SSRI's and weight loss/gain. One of the SSRI's was used specifically as a weight-loss drug and was banned in the past few years wasn't it?

For me one of the things that Citalopram does is keep me more on an even keel - so, since I've instituted a more restricted way of eating (which was tough to begin with) I've not found it difficult to stick to at all. Obviously I don't know if that is down to the Citalopram or not.

I hope you can find a solution OP. I have found weight loss possible on Citalopram so if it is working for you in other ways then might it be worth hanging on to it? If your energy/activity levels are very low (as mine have been over the past couple of years) then it is surprising how little food you need to eat.

My GP advised me to give up alcohol in January to help with depression and because it might interfere with the Citalopram. I have done that so I guess that was an easy source of calories to cut out.

Sparklingbrook Mon 19-Mar-12 17:38:12

I feel cheered up by your post Pseudonymity. i think if I stopped stuffing the carbs and did the 3 mile walk I could make a difference

I had NEVER considered there could be a link between the two, but I am bigger than I have been for a long time. I was a size 10-12 before dd1, a 12-14 after dd2 and I'm a solid size 14 after dd3 and really unhappy. sad My confidence is low due to my appearance which raises my anxiety, which makes me rely on my citalopram even more! I am on 40mg a day but am thinking of going to the GP soon as I need a bit of a boost.

doubleshotespresso Tue 20-Mar-12 09:05:22

Pseudonymity thanks for all that info- I don't really drink alcohol, I may occasionally have a glass of wine witha meal, but I've never been a booze fan really.....

Howerver, you are probably right about the little amount of food I actually need, my main problem is occupying myself with other stuff really and am struggling on a daily basis to find ways of avoiding food tbh.

Seeing GP on Friday so am hopeful he might have some ray of light for me...

What is so good here is the fact that it's obviously not just me, I was absolutely convinced until yesterday that I was a complete freak.

Sparklingbrook Tue 20-Mar-12 10:36:23

Back from the Docs. Not my usual Doctor so didn't raise the weight question, but i will do on the next visit. You are definitely not alone doubleshot. smile

doubleshotespresso Tue 20-Mar-12 11:01:14

sparklingbrook no worries- and thank-you!
Well thanks everybody-am feeling a little less lost due to the kindness of everybody on this thread.

Am going to the docs this week and think I might just print this thread off so as to re-enforce my point and maybe encourage him to let me have something else?

OrmIrian Mon 26-Mar-12 17:04:07

Hey ho hmm Funnily enough weight gain was one of the main reasons I stopped my cit this time last year. Went back on them again after a major mood crash over christmas. And having lost half a stone without even trying it's going on again. Bugger! I hate being fat. Before I got ill 4 years ago I was at my slimmest and fittest and felt great. Now I feel, fat, tired, defeated and old. And yes the cit helps a bit - I no longer feel suicidal - I still feel like a dirty, ugly,flabby great blot on the lovely spring landscape. Sorry - had a baaaad day. Back to how I was over christmas. Everything has gone wrong today - hoping to be back on track tomorrow,

Hebiegebies Mon 26-Mar-12 18:32:35

OrmIrian, sorry you are having such a bad day. I feel like that at times when struggling to find clothes that fit

OrmIrian Mon 26-Mar-12 19:24:07

Thanks heebies. I have just been running. Couch to 5k week 4 - so I managed 16 mins. Which sounds alright except 2 yrs ago I was running 12 miles regularly. And I know I have to cut back on food too which always makes me miserable. Dh gave me a lovely cropped cardi for Valentine's day - it was really flattering and I cheered myself up by wearing over a sundress this morning, Then spilt bleach all over the front of both sad

My wardrobe is severly reduced these days - not one pair of jeans that fit properly and my legs have got a bit too flabby for all my above-the-knee skirts that were my staple last summer. Ah well... onwards and upwards.

I'm the same I'm dreading summer I can't afford to buy any new clothes. I'm considering coming off ad's I think summer is the best time to do it. I feel good but i feel a bit scared.

How long can you be on Citalopram? I have been on it for 3 years. I have also put on a lot of weight and have lost all motivation to do anything.

I went to the GP today as I'm feeling myself slipping away under the dark cloud again. She was sympathetic, but said she couldn't up my dose of citalopram any further (I'm on 40mg). I'm sure I used to have 60mg though...

Is anyone on a higher dose? If so, when did you start taking it?

buterflies Thu 29-Mar-12 15:36:29

I am on citalopram 40mg and have a DS 3 weeks old. Cupoftea The guidelines have been changed and 40mg daily is highest dose now.
This is a wee bit unrelated but just wanted to say my DS is fine despite me taking citalopram throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding.
I don't know if it affects my appetite as I have always loved my food but for me they work so well I would rather be heavier and happy than miserable and thin.
Been on citalopram on and off for years, dont think there is a time limit, if they are not working and you have no motivation, get back to docs and ask for another treatment. Dont suffer in silence!

ThatllDoPig Thu 29-Mar-12 15:53:05

I'm on sertraline and am losing weight as it is controlling the anxiety and depression that made me eat and eat previously, and I just don't feel like eating as much anyway. It sorts of numbs lots of feelings and that is comforting, but it does feel like its numbing my appitite too. (Apart from when premenstrual).

doubleshotespresso Wed 04-Apr-12 11:59:54

Thanks guys for all your contributions to this thread- am so relieve to know it is not just me.

Well I just got back from my GP who has told me that all anti-depressants are pretty much the same in terms of weight gain. TOLD him about this thread and the varied experiences on different drugs, asked if I could maybe give sertraline a go. He said no- because he didn't think it would be worth it?!?

At a total loss now- and zero energy still-feel like the preverbial hamster in its pesky wheel!!

cupoftea I amon 60 mg and have been for some months now..... They are allowed to give anybody under 60 a higher dose. Those over 60 are not due to the new guidelines due to heart/blood pressure complications. Had this confirmed this morning........ I started taking this higher dose before Christmas...

ThatllDoPig Wed 04-Apr-12 14:25:18

If you still feel the same in a couple of months go back and ask again. What does GP mean 'not worth it' for him or you?!
Only you know how you feel and you can find out a lot on line about the different AD's the GP is exactly that, a general practitioner, he can't possibly be the expert on absolutlely everything.
Hope you feel better soon.

doubleshotespresso Wed 04-Apr-12 15:01:38

Thanks so much Thatlldopig

Funny I asked that too- he said he didn't believe the chance of me seeing positive effects were strong enough to change the prescription

I've been feeling like this pretty much after a couple of months on them and itss now been ages...... am seriously considering just flushing all of them down the loo and doing without- things I don't imagine would get much worse than I feel now..... I don't know what to do for the best at the moment, binning them seems to be my only route out..... I'm too battered everyday to do anything and too wired awake at night to sleep.

It scares me how much these ADs effect me and how crap I end up feeling some days

<despairing sigh>

ThatllDoPig Wed 04-Apr-12 17:50:39

double don't chuck them down the loo. It really isn't fair on your brain to muck about with the hormone levels in a drastic way. You are likely to feel worse than you do now.
Did you explain to your gp how crap you are feeling now? It really sounds like the dose of what you are on isn't right, let alone changing ads.
Cold you go to a different gp and ask for more help?
Its your body, your brain and only you know how you are feeling.
It will pass, and there is the help out there, you need to get more support.

doubleshotespresso Thu 05-Apr-12 11:11:42

ThatllDoPig -yes I know you are right- I guess I was just so over it yesterday..... I don't know-will continue for now though yes.

Yes I was really honest at GP's and I told him exactly how low I was feeling (for a good while now) I don't know whether the dose is right tbh- I'm not entirely sure what I need to do, but something has got to change soon....

Thanks for your support x

buterflies Fri 06-Apr-12 18:05:18

You need to see a different GP. Whatever you do please do not suddenly come off the anti depressants. You will get withdrawal effects and coupled with the fact you are low already, you will feel bloody awful. Trust me been there done that and its not good!!!
Everybody reacts differently to different anti depressants even in the same type eg citalopram is a SSRI but I have taken different SSRI's and had bad reactions to them. It is definately worth trying sertraline, can't believe the doc wont try. I would push the issue.

doubleshotespresso Tue 10-Apr-12 09:34:21

butterflies thanks for that- no I've carried on throughout the weekend, something must give soon. I have asked to see a different GP this morning- but I am apparently "allocated" mine, I have requested a callback at the end of morning surgery.......

Want to ask for sertraline then I think- gotta keep trying?!

ThatllDoPig Thu 12-Apr-12 09:04:49

How's it going double ? Any luck at the docs? How are you feeling?

doubleshotespresso Thu 12-Apr-12 12:40:38

Thatlldopig- thanks for your concern- I really don't know what is going on with me at the moment- I have zero appetite and can't settle into any form of sleep at all.

Have been taking the meds as normal but every day is getting harder and harder to keep it together-I feel like I'm shaking inside sometimes and I don't know why..... this just is not me. Doiing all the right things to try and balance things out, you know, I went swimming yeterday and baked cakes for a friends child too- but I am utterly zombified.

Spoke to the GP over he phone yesterday and expalined all this and he said he would be happy to see me again, but still thinks I should stay on the citalopram. I'm now on 60mg. Wish I could stop with ADs alltogether tbh.

Anyway- how are you?

inhibernation Thu 12-Apr-12 13:05:28

I wondered if any of you have had your thyroid tested? Underactive thyroid can cause depression type symptoms and anxiety too. I have subclinical hypothryoidism and started thyroxine when ttc. The depressive symptoms went, I started exercising again and I lost weight. I also find that running or other types of cardio exercise is great for boosting mood - even though the getting there part is hard!

inhibernation Thu 12-Apr-12 13:06:15


ThatllDoPig Fri 13-Apr-12 23:39:14

Sorry to hear things are so tough. You must be exhausted.
Ok here, although had to see difficult family members today. Thank God for the tablets I say, otherwise I would be under the duvet howling rather than managing to pretend everything is ok.

buterflies Mon 16-Apr-12 14:30:22

Has anything changed now u hav spoken to doctor?

Tammylynn Tue 26-Mar-13 23:35:24

Hi everyone, I am a newbie and I am curious about Citalpram. I was just today prescribed it, 20mg and I am really concerned about gaining weight. I am already overweght and i am terrified of possibly gaining more. I read that there is some of you who actually lost weight and I was wondering what your MG dosage was. I thank you for taking the time to read my post and also thank you in advance for answering any of my questions.

noraa Wed 27-Mar-13 08:55:58

hi Tammylynn,
as you can see from the previous messages some people lost weight on citalopram.
so, you can give it a go and see what happens.
good luck.

Thexfactor2013 Fri 13-Sep-13 11:30:53

Hi I'd just like to say I went on citalapram after losing my dad and going through a messy divorce at the same time I'm on 30mg and they do help they help you a lot when your having a hard time, I have found a little weight gain through a bigger appetite but I actually pushed myself to do a jog round the block a couple of times a week and not a long jog but that did help my weight and trying to eat healthy snacks which isn't always easy but I try and honestly it makes a difference. Hope that helped

Sophiedotty Sat 14-Sep-13 15:59:26

I take Sertraline & just 2.5 mg of Olanzapine. I actually list weight when I first took Sertraline. I have been on & off it for 20 years & no weight gain. Olanzapine is notorious for weight gain but my dose is so low it doesn't affect me. I currently take 75mg of Sertraline but have been on up to 150mg. It is the best anti D for me with the least side effects.

Kendra78 Sun 15-Sep-13 19:57:52

Hi everyone
I know this thread is a year old but I was wanting to know, if their is people who are on citlapram who feel the same. I am on 40mg daily, feel so sleepy all the time, I have very bad cravings for bread etc. when I started the tablets I was a size 12, I am now a size 18-20. Has anyone got any suggestions apart from getting my jaw wired shut as I can't stop eating!! And even when I am really good I still don't loose weight. Has anyone had any luck with changing antidepressants

Funnyfishface Sun 15-Sep-13 23:46:58

Hi kendra

I am only on 10mg of citalopram for anxiety and panic. I have gained 10pounds. I am boiling hot all the time and I suffer with insomnia.
I went back to my gps this week who has changed my meds to sertraline 50mg.
He said that should sort out the weight gain issue.
I am starting a new job (after being sahm for 20 years) so can't take the risk of starting new meds now.
But I have read up and I think that anti dep effect everyone differently. Some people manage to lose weight on citalopram. I am like you tho and carb cravings are through the roof. I definitely am eating lots more. But I just can't seem to stop.

I hope you find a drug that works.

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