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Old 08-05-2011, 09:40 PM   #1
MissingMyBod
 
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When Will I Ever Lose This Paxil Weight Gain please help

Hi,

I recently gained 23 pounds in 4 months on 20 mg of Paxil. My doctor did not believe me that the Paxil was making me gain weight. I have never been this heavy and I feel miserable about this. I've already spent hundreds of dollars to buy new clothes, and if I dont ditch the weight soon, i'll need to lose hundreds more for fall/winter. I went off the drug 2 and a half months ago and my weight has not budged! Is there anyone in a similar position of only being on it about 4 months, who has gained that much? I am a 5'5" 44 year old woman and am just trying to get a sense of whether I have to hold on to this weight much longer. Also i heard of people going on Omega 3 to help the metabolism but no one has ever said how much or how often to take. I appreciate any wisdom you might have. Thank you.
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Old 08-05-2011, 11:31 PM   #2
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Re: When Will I Ever Lose This Paxil Weight Gain please help

Hi there

I feel for you! I'm nearly halfway through a very slow taper down from 80mgs of Paxil, and have struggled with this issue for years.
Since being on the drug I've gained 80-100 pounds. As the docs have put the dosage up and down over the years, it has been very noticeable to me that there's a rough rule of thumb at work here, at least for me personally. Every 10mgs of paxil=a change in my set point weight (the weight you naturally return to when not dieting, overeating or strenuously exercising) of around 10-12 pounds.
And I'm not the only one to have noticed this - I've read more than one account of the same thing recently. Unfortunately, when it comes to losing the weight after completely going off the drug (or reducing, as I've now lost 30 pounds without a noticeable change in habits over the time I've been tapering), it seems everyone's mileage may vary. Some people have taken a year or two, or even more to lose it, some have lost it without extra effort, some have simply noticed that it starts to come off naturally hand in hand with the desire to eat decreasing (particularly for carbs) and energy levels increasing. If you went off the drug quickly, keep in mind that you may also be having withdrawal effects that are still masking these two desirable effects often noticed when p-free, which may not be helping.
Peronsally, I'm finding a daily 2000mg dose of Omega 3 in conjunction with 200-800mg of Vit. E (you may need to start low and build this up as it can have GI effects in some people) very helpful, not just with the weight loss but with all the side effects of being on, and of decreasing, the drug. Recently I've added virgin coconut oil (see the info in my online journal recently for some of the purported benefits) at 1 tsp daily (some people take 1-4 tbsp daily but I'm starting slow and cautious), and I believe it's starting to make a difference - with energy, weightloss, metabolism and general sense of wellbeing.
And you already know this - but don't forget to drink water
I aim for 2 litres a day, plain water on top of any other liquids, not calculated as part of general intake.
I know it's not a lot of help as it is so individual, but even if it's a longer road than you anticipated, you can and will get there! As you've been on the drug a relatively short time, I'm really hopeful for you that the road will be nice and short and bump-free.
Good luck!
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Hold at 20 for winter...
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Old 08-06-2011, 06:07 AM   #3
LCrawford67
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Re: When Will I Ever Lose This Paxil Weight Gain please help

Quote:
Originally Posted by MissingMyBod View Post
Hi,

I recently gained 23 pounds in 4 months on 20 mg of Paxil. My doctor did not believe me that the Paxil was making me gain weight. I have never been this heavy and I feel miserable about this. I've already spent hundreds of dollars to buy new clothes, and if I dont ditch the weight soon, i'll need to lose hundreds more for fall/winter. I went off the drug 2 and a half months ago and my weight has not budged! Is there anyone in a similar position of only being on it about 4 months, who has gained that much? I am a 5'5" 44 year old woman and am just trying to get a sense of whether I have to hold on to this weight much longer. Also i heard of people going on Omega 3 to help the metabolism but no one has ever said how much or how often to take. I appreciate any wisdom you might have. Thank you.
I'm constantly amazed (even though I shouldn't be anymore) at how ignorant doctors still are when it comes to this drug. Many doctors, mine included, stopped prescribing Paxil for two reasons: Weight gain and withdrawal. These two things are very well documented and very well known. Your doctor is an idiot.

As for when it will come off; that's just up to your metabolism. You're 44, so the weight may not come off as quickly as you'd like. And, you've only been off a couple of months, so you're just going to have to be patient I'm afraid. Just do the things we all know work: eat right (Weight Watchers is awesome) and exercise. It'll come off when its ready, but it will come off
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Old 08-06-2011, 08:07 AM   #4
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Re: When Will I Ever Lose This Paxil Weight Gain please help

Thank you, Chiropteran, for your detailed and thoughtful reply. I'm going to try the Omega 3s and Vitamin E today, and thank you LCrawford 67 too. I guess that's part of what's tough is that it is different for everyone so I have no idea how long this will take. I'm trying to just realize that when my body eventually does come back (and thank you for letting me know it will) I'll just be getting a nice little present.
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Old 08-06-2011, 08:23 AM   #5
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Re: When Will I Ever Lose This Paxil Weight Gain please help

I'm not convinced that the drug causes us to gain weight. What we put in our mouths causes us to gain weight. Can the drug increase our appetite, sure but.. it's still in our control to monitor the amount of calories we consume each day.

I've gained 5lbs in the past week. I'd love to blame the drug but I've eatten terrible and eatten WAY TOO MUCH which equates to the weight gain.

On the other hand, I have a calorie counting app for my I-Pad. I used it for 10 days while exercising a month ago. In those 10 days, I lost 8lbs buy keeping my calories consumed under 2000 per day.
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Old 08-06-2011, 09:30 AM   #6
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Re: When Will I Ever Lose This Paxil Weight Gain please help

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I'm not convinced that the drug causes us to gain weight. What we put in our mouths causes us to gain weight. Can the drug increase our appetite, sure but.. it's still in our control to monitor the amount of calories we consume each day.

I've gained 5lbs in the past week. I'd love to blame the drug but I've eatten terrible and eatten WAY TOO MUCH which equates to the weight gain.

On the other hand, I have a calorie counting app for my I-Pad. I used it for 10 days while exercising a month ago. In those 10 days, I lost 8lbs buy keeping my calories consumed under 2000 per day.
Sorry dude, the drug is the underlying cause. Paxil is well known to increase food and alcohol cravings, added to the lethargy it also causes and the slowing down of the metabolism. It's easy to say its in our control, but face it - does anyone on these drugs really give a crap? As a 5'1, small boned woman who ballooned up to 179 pounds, I'll argue this one with you all day long.

I tried WW when I was on Paxil and lost about 10 of the 50 lbs I'd gained and that 10 took about six months to come off. Not normal at all.

Again, my present doctor, who helped me get off of Paxil, had stopped prescribing it for that very reason. Whether you're convinced or not, the overwhelming anecdotal and documented evidence is out there.
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Old 08-06-2011, 10:24 AM   #7
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Re: When Will I Ever Lose This Paxil Weight Gain please help

I know from personal experience that I was eating very healthy and exercising every day and my weight kept on increasing. I know that the weight gain was not in my control.
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Old 08-06-2011, 10:36 AM   #8
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Re: When Will I Ever Lose This Paxil Weight Gain please help

Quote:
Originally Posted by LCrawford67 View Post
Sorry dude, the drug is the underlying cause. Paxil is well known to increase food and alcohol cravings, added to the lethargy it also causes and the slowing down of the metabolism. It's easy to say its in our control, but face it - does anyone on these drugs really give a crap? As a 5'1, small boned woman who ballooned up to 179 pounds, I'll argue this one with you all day long.

I tried WW when I was on Paxil and lost about 10 of the 50 lbs I'd gained and that 10 took about six months to come off. Not normal at all.

Again, my present doctor, who helped me get off of Paxil, had stopped prescribing it for that very reason. Whether you're convinced or not, the overwhelming anecdotal and documented evidence is out there.
HOW DARE YOU DISAGREE WITH ME!!!

Ok, we can agree to disagree. Hell, it's the world wide web and we're all allowed our personal beliefs.. I know I've always been able to lose weight when I got control of my eatting discipline and exercise. We have to recognize that most of us on this drug are depressed or anixous and stressed. When we fill like crap, we don't really care what we eat or the volume of what we're eatting. This also plays into this too.
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Old 08-06-2011, 10:43 AM   #9
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Re: When Will I Ever Lose This Paxil Weight Gain please help

Gotta be with LC on this one. Ryan gained 87 pounds on paxil and post paxil, with NO change in diet, lost 75 pounds, but lost nothing until off paxil for a year. With additional dieting and increasing exercise(after that 75 pound weight loss) he's lost an additional 40 pounds.

Missing...patience and it will come off. But you can help with eating better and mild exercise. Weight watchers rocks!
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Old 08-06-2011, 11:04 AM   #10
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Re: When Will I Ever Lose This Paxil Weight Gain please help

Quote:
Originally Posted by warbird View Post
When we fill like crap, we don't really care what we eat or the volume of what we're eatting. This also plays into this too.
I have to say - when I'm anxious, I don't eat. That's the one positive I'll pull out of anxiety. Yes, I can pull a positive out of ANYTHING!

I did forget to mention, Missing, I lost all my Paxil weight plus five while I was tapering and after stopping. Of course now, because I'm also 44, I do have to exercise more and watch what I eat more but I've been able to keep all the weight off for almost four years
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Old 08-06-2011, 11:19 AM   #11
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Re: When Will I Ever Lose This Paxil Weight Gain please help

When I was gaining the weight, I felt like the Staypuff marshmallow guy; i just ballooned so quickly and I thought, "Am I suddenly changing my eating habits?" But I knew I hadn't. When people say they havent gained weight on Paxil so they dont believe that it's the drug, that just means their personal metabolism isn't affected by it. But for so many of us it is. I just went out and bought my Omega 3s and Vitamin E...I really appreciate your support here.
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Old 08-06-2011, 11:23 AM   #12
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Re: When Will I Ever Lose This Paxil Weight Gain please help

I lost about 30 of the pounds that I gained while on Paxil during the first year I was off of it .... I have lost the other 30 pounds since January with Weight Watchers. WW ROCKS !!!
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Old 08-06-2011, 11:39 AM   #13
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Re: When Will I Ever Lose This Paxil Weight Gain please help

Quote:
Originally Posted by MissingMyBod View Post
When I was gaining the weight, I felt like the Staypuff marshmallow guy; i just ballooned so quickly and I thought, "Am I suddenly changing my eating habits?" But I knew I hadn't. When people say they havent gained weight on Paxil so they dont believe that it's the drug, that just means their personal metabolism isn't affected by it. But for so many of us it is. I just went out and bought my Omega 3s and Vitamin E...I really appreciate your support here.
Everyone is different. I didn't start gaining weight til I was on Paxil almost a year. In fact, when I first started taking it, I lost weight.
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Old 08-06-2011, 11:26 PM   #14
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Re: When Will I Ever Lose This Paxil Weight Gain please help

the paxil weight is the worst...off paxil i usually weigh around 100 lbs..i gained 38 lbs this time on paxil..it took about a year before it came back on..now that i am tapering..its still there..but when i went off the last time..it started to come off at about 6 months off and i lost it all and then some! i am like LC when i have anxiety i do not eat at all!!
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Old 08-06-2011, 11:28 PM   #15
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Re: When Will I Ever Lose This Paxil Weight Gain please help

oh and the 38lbs i gained was not from eating carbs..it was from eating salad and chicken adn healthy food..so that just goes to show you..the first time on paxil..i gained only 20lbs..and i ate lots of carbs..i am older now though..but still.its insane!!
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Old 08-08-2011, 02:09 PM   #16
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Re: When Will I Ever Lose This Paxil Weight Gain please help

Good luck with this, Missing - I'm with the metabolism argument on this one, too. Mainly because I've been on different ADs for 25 years and paxil is the only one that caused rapid and unshakeable weight gain. If the 'we eat more cos we're depressed' held true for me, I should have gained in the same way on the others - if anything I was MORE depressed when taking the others in those early days. Like some others here, I tend to eat less when the depression is at its worst, so much so that I was hospitalised and tube-fed in my late teens.
Whatever causes it, it's very real, and I wish you all the best with your journey - I really hope the fish oil and vit e works for you - at the very least it seems to counteract some of the withdrawal affects, so it can only be positive
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ENOUGH!
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Feb-Jul11: 60-50, 5% 6wkly
Jul11-Mar12: 50-20, 10% 6wkly
Hold at 20 for winter...
Aug-Dec12: 18-9.5, 10% 4wkly
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Old 08-10-2011, 04:40 AM   #17
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Re: When Will I Ever Lose This Paxil Weight Gain please help

You have to exercise daily while on these meds - and by that, I mean heartrate UP, not a stroll. I gained about 25 pounds on lexapro and lost it all (and then some) through a strict Weight Watchers diet + exercise. It can be done.
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Old 08-10-2011, 07:35 PM   #18
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Re: When Will I Ever Lose This Paxil Weight Gain please help

Exercise is great...and I agree that it has to be heart-pumping steady, and as daily as you can make it happen, but THIS summer, when I've seriously amped it up in that department (I've been eating soo healthy for several years), I've gained weight. Such a kick in the teeth.

But we have to practice patience, I guess! I do have to say that I feel so much better in knowing that it's not just me.

Let's hang in there, OK??
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But for some post-taper bumps in the road, I currently (mid summer 2013) seem to be finding myself back to me.
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Old 08-19-2011, 09:51 AM   #19
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Re: When Will I Ever Lose This Paxil Weight Gain please help

i have put on 40 pounds since starting this drug and am now my heaviest ever. it is definitely the drug - it increases my appetite as i feel weak if i don't eat often. do others feel this way??? when i'm not on the drug i can go hours without eating and not notice. whereas a couple of hours not eating on paxil and i feel like i'm going to pass out. interesting to know if anyone else feels the same?

whenever i come off the drug the weight just falls off me. this is partly because i don't feel the need to eat as much, also i don't crave alcohol anymore. then eventually every time i've come off it i have a major anxiety flare up and phsyically cannot eat.

i am on 16mg now and am hoping to lose the weight but without the anxiety!
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Old 08-19-2011, 08:56 PM   #20
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Re: When Will I Ever Lose This Paxil Weight Gain please help

Don't forget to drink lots of water.
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Old 08-20-2011, 07:42 AM   #21
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Re: When Will I Ever Lose This Paxil Weight Gain please help

Hang in there!! Not even a week after my most recent doctor appointment, when I was sooo disappointed in the scale, my metabolism shifted and I am losing weight. Yes!

So do all of the right things....eat right, EXERCISE, and just be patient. Eventually your body will get the idea!
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But for some post-taper bumps in the road, I currently (mid summer 2013) seem to be finding myself back to me.
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Old 08-28-2011, 04:15 PM   #22
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Re: When Will I Ever Lose This Paxil Weight Gain please help

Has anyone successfully switched from Paxil to another drug b/c of the weight gain? I am on 20mg of Paxil and the pounds are coming on....... Any info on the subject would be awesome. P.S. Anyone in the Grand Rapids, MI area know of a good doctor on anxiety issues. Just moved here and really want to start to taper, but would like to talk to a doctor about it. Thanks!
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2008 tapering failed, went back to 10mg
May 2011 Paxil pooped out on me and increased to 20mg


Tapering
11-8-2011 20mg
11-28-2011 18mg
12-19-2011 16.2mg
1-9-2012 14.6mg
1-30-2012 13.1mg
*now trying every 2 weeks*
2-13-2012 11.8mg
2-27-2012 10.6mg
3-12-2012 9.6mg
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4-9-2012 7.7mg
kept at same reduction and took my last paxil on 12-31-2012


Paxil free......still anxious
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Old 08-28-2011, 07:03 PM   #23
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Re: When Will I Ever Lose This Paxil Weight Gain please help

Gracings, congratulations! Glad your metabolism is coming back!
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Old 08-29-2011, 09:17 PM   #24
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Re: When Will I Ever Lose This Paxil Weight Gain please help

Quote:
Originally Posted by warbird View Post
I'm not convinced that the drug causes us to gain weight. What we put in our mouths causes us to gain weight. Can the drug increase our appetite, sure but.. it's still in our control to monitor the amount of calories we consume each day.

I've gained 5lbs in the past week. I'd love to blame the drug but I've eatten terrible and eatten WAY TOO MUCH which equates to the weight gain.

On the other hand, I have a calorie counting app for my I-Pad. I used it for 10 days while exercising a month ago. In those 10 days, I lost 8lbs buy keeping my calories consumed under 2000 per day.
I totally disagree with you warbird. I blew up from a size 8 to a size 14 whilst been on this drug.. i am now the biggest I have ever been in my life. I have tried to lose the weight by eating well, cutting out all fat, sugar and lowering my carbs but my slow metabolism and lethargy not to exercise (caused by paxil) just made it difficult to lose any weight, ive actually put on from eating well because im still on paxil... and every month i get bigger and bigger oh dear!
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Old 09-05-2011, 12:24 PM   #25
Gracings
 
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Midwestern USA
Posts: 921
Re: When Will I Ever Lose This Paxil Weight Gain please help

Thank you, Missing My Bod.

Truly, Everyone, hang in there. Conduct your life as if you are already losing weight. Eat properly, exercise in workout mode, and even if the weight isn't yet coming off, it eventually will. At that point, you'll be so glad that you are already in good practice for losing that weight.

I'm still losing!
__________________
05/31/11 Last day 10 mg. Lexapro
06/01/11 9 mg
06/07/11 9ml of liquid Lexapro
06/08/11 8.8
Continued to slowly taper until: 09/21/12. 0.0!!

But for some post-taper bumps in the road, I currently (mid summer 2013) seem to be finding myself back to me.
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