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Zoloft and Weight Gain: Causes & Influential Factors

Zoloft (Sertraline) is an antidepressant medication that has been around since 1991. It functions as an SSRI (selective-serotonin reuptake inhibitor) to increase extracellular levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin. The drug is considered effective at treating a variety of conditions including major depression, social anxiety disorder, panic attacks and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Despite being around since the early 1990s, it is still a highly popular antidepressant medication in 2015. Although the drug tends to significantly help some individuals cope with their depression, may who take Zoloft experience weight gain. In the event that an individual gains a significant amount of weight while taking the drug, the weight gain may make the person feel as if they are trapped in a lose-lose situation: take Zoloft and feel less depressed but gain weight OR don’t take Zoloft and lose weight.

Zoloft and Weight Gain

Not every doctor informs patients of potential side effects that they may experience while taking Zoloft or the generic version, “Sertraline.” One very common side effect is that of weight gain. Some people may notice a gradual increase in weight over time while taking an SSRI, while others may notice a significant increase in body fat within the first couple months of treatment. Others may not notice any weight gain for a period of time and then realize that they’ve gotten pretty big.

How Zoloft causes weight gain: Hypotheses

There is no exact science behind the weight gain that a person experiences while taking Zoloft (Sertraline). However there are a variety of speculative possibilities including: increased carbohydrate cravings, metabolic adjustments, as well as standard medication side effects such as lethargy which make it tough to burn calories.

  • Appetite changes: Some individuals notice that when they take this medication, their appetite also changes. They may become hungrier than usual, making them eat more frequently. Those who had a poor appetite as a result of depression may now be eating more calories due to the fact that they actually enjoy eating. It is common to notice fluctuations in appetite while taking this drug.
  • Carbohydrate cravings: One theory is that Zoloft may increase a person’s carbohydrate cravings. Those that take it may notice that they’ve developed a sweet tooth. There is a clear relationship between serotonergic functioning and carbohydrate cravings. Therefore, some speculate that the serotonergic changes being made in the brain by Zoloft is a plausible cause of increased carb cravings. If you notice that you all of a sudden want to eat more pastas, breads, cereals, and sugary candies, it may be more than a coincidence.
  • Fat storage: Another theory is that certain SSRIs make the body store more fat than usual. The increased fat storage would account for some of the packed on pounds while taking Zoloft. Whether this is actually true is up for debate simply because it hasn’t been formally studied.
  • Food tastes better: Some people notice that when they are depressed, food doesn’t taste very good. When their neurochemistry gets adjusted by the Zoloft, they notice that food all of a sudden tastes much better than it had in the past. When food tastes better, it leads people to crave it and/or seek out more.
  • Hormone changes: Antidepressants like Zoloft tend to alter natural hormone production within the body. The exact changes that they make are unknown, but some believe that weight gain experienced while taking them may be due to alterations in hormone production from the drug. The only way to track this would be to get hormone levels checked prior to treatment and then compared them while undergoing treatment.
  • Interactions: Most people taking multiple medications don’t even consider the possibility that Zoloft and the other drug may be interacting to contribute to weight gain. If you are taking multiple psychotropic drugs, it can be difficult to pinpoint whether one is causing the weight gain, whether they each are to a certain extent, or whether the two are interacting to compound the effect of weight gained.
  • Less depressed: When you’re less depressed, you’re more likely to eat and take care of yourself. When you feel hungry, you’re probably going to eat. Someone who is depressed may skip meals, eat infrequently, and may become skinny as a result of their lack in motivation to eat.
  • Side effects: While weight gain can be arguably considered a direct side effect of the drug, other side effects such as grogginess, lethargy, and sleepiness may lead to weight gain. When you feel tired from this medication, it may be extremely difficult to get out of bed, exercise, and move your body. This leads to less overall calories being burned and inevitably an increase in weight.
  • Slower metabolism: While some argue that SSRIs don’t alter the body’s metabolism, many people believe that they do. One theory is that some people taking Zoloft may develop a slower metabolism. Some people have found via experimentation that even if they maintain the same strict diet and portions, they gain weight. This suggests that there is a metabolic component associated with the weight gain.
  • Social eating: People with various forms of depression and social anxiety may have been isolated and uninvolved in social activities. When the Zoloft starts working, they may make friends and become more involved with friends. This often leads to eating out, possibly at unhealthy restaurants.

Note: In most people, the specific changes made by Zoloft on functioning are difficult to track. It is thought that weight gain may be caused by a combined influence from many of the hypotheses listed above.

Factors that influence weight gain on Zoloft

It cannot be generalized that everyone will gain the same amount of weight while taking Zoloft (Sertraline). Some individuals will gain more weight, others will gain less, and others may not gain any at all or even lose weight. It all depends on your individual response to the drug.

1. Dosage

Perhaps the most important factor in the equation is dosage, how many milligrams of Zoloft do you take? Those that take a higher dosage will be at greater risk for gaining weight – it’s that simple. When you take a higher dose, you are essentially giving the Zoloft more control over your nervous system than natural homeostatic functioning. If weight gain is a side effect at a lower dose, doubling the dose may also double the weight gain. Therefore to minimize weight gain, it is recommended to always take the lowest effective dose.

2. Individual factors

There are an array of other individual factors that will influence the weight gain you experience while on Zoloft. Weight gain may be a result of genetic interactions to the drug, your physiology, your metabolism, hormones, lifestyle, stress level, dietary intake, exercise, and other health conditions. It is impossible to evaluate all of the possible factors that could be contributing to weight gain in your specific case. Just know that individual factors are often not discussed, but play a huge role in determining whether you’ll gain weight from this medication.

3. Time Span

The time span over which you’ve been taking Zoloft plays a role in determining how much weight you’ve gained. Those that have been taking Zoloft for a very short term may not notice anything in terms of weight changes. People that have been taking Zoloft over a long term often notice that the weight gain gets worse over time. This is often due to the fact that over time, people become tolerant to the effects of the drug and increase their dosages.

4. Other medications

As was already mentioned, if you take any other drugs, you cannot rule out the possibility of them interacting with the Zoloft. An interaction effect could lead to increased weight gain while on Zoloft. You may want to also evaluate whether you believe the weight gain is a result of the Zoloft, whether the other medication is the primary culprit, or whether they are both equally responsible.

How much weight will you gain from Zoloft?

The exact answer is that “it depends” on the person. Most experts agree that nearly 1/4 people will notice weight gain when taking an SSRI like Zoloft. The average amount of weight gain is approximately 10 lbs. from an SSRI. Keep in mind that this is an average statistic and is subject to variation based on other individual factors. Further research needs to be conducted to determine how dosing and duration of usage plays a role in influencing weight changes.  Other uncontrolled studies have suggested it is possible to gain an average of 15 lbs. after 6 to 12 months of treatment.

  • Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24898363
  • Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC181155/

Will everyone gain weight while taking Zoloft?

No. It is important to remember that all psychotropic drugs affect everyone differently. This is why there are tests like GeneSight being developed to help determine which drugs will best suit you based on your genetics. Some people actually remain weight neutral while taking Zoloft and others may lose weight depending on how the drug influences their functioning. Although a majority of people will gain some weight, it is important to determine whether that weight is significant enough to make you depressed or become a health issue.

Zoloft: Conducting a Cost-Benefit Analysis

If you have gained a significant amount of weight from taking Zoloft, you may want to conduct a cost-benefit analysis. Some people don’t care how much weight they gain as long as the medication is keeping their depression at bay. Others may actually get more depressed from the weight that their medication is causing them to gain.

In all cases, it is important to weigh the degree to which you benefit from the Zoloft and compare it to the weight gain (and other side effects). If the cost from taking the drug outweigh the benefits you’re getting, it may be time to switch medications and/or go through Zoloft withdrawal.

Did you experience weight gain from Zoloft?

Not everyone will experience major weight gain while taking Zoloft. Others may gain a few extra pounds, but it won’t be much of a big deal. Yet others will experience a major increase in their baseline bodyweight. If you have gained weight from Zoloft, feel free to share how much you gained, the dosage you took, and the time span over which you took the drug. Also feel free to discuss what you think caused the weight gain and if there were any other factors that may have also contributed.

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{ 99 comments… add one }
  • Miss Jeepster February 24, 2015, 12:12 am

    I gained 20 pounds over three years. I lost a lot of my sense of taste and smell and therefore craved strong flavors and salt. The salt craving was overwhelming at times! I craved potato chips, stir fry, red meat, Ramen. Recently I tapered off my 100mg daily dose – two weeks every other day, followed by a week gradual reduction until I noticed I felt better on the days after I missed a tablet, so I then just stopped.

    I now feel less hungry, a LOT less! I look forward to fitting back in my jeans. Some might feel this is too quick, and it may be for some, so please don’t take this as advice. I had done a lot of soul searching and therapy and knew what to expect. I felt ready to deal with underlying emotional pain I’d carried for a number of years and trusted what my body was telling me. Zoloft helped me survive during the time I took it. Good luck everyone.

    There is a future, it can be greater than anything you can imagine right now, trust me. I’d also recommend mindfulness and books by Pema Chodron – short chapters, earthy and humorous, wise and honest. Start with ‘wisdom of no escape’ or ‘start where you are’.

    • AP April 6, 2015, 7:58 pm

      Very helpful. Thank you!

    • Becky November 2, 2015, 8:54 pm

      How long did it take before you noticed any weight loss?

    • Tayler E May 3, 2016, 6:49 pm

      I don’t know if you’ll see this, as this is a pretty old comment, but how did things end up? Did you lose the weight and stay off Zoloft?

  • J March 29, 2015, 8:07 am

    I took 100mg of Zoloft and gained 15 lbs. over a course of 2 years. Zoloft is part of the blame for my weight gain and part of it is lack of physical activity and poor eating habits. I’m now tampering off now. I’m working on changing my eating habits and increasing my physical activity. The withdrawal symptoms are making it a bit difficult to exercise, but I’m hoping it’ll get easier soon. My doctor is slowly reducing my dosage to make it easier to come off the medication. I’m sleeping a lot right now, but I changed my diet… hoping once my mood stabilizes and I get back on a regular schedule the weight will come off.

  • Nicolle May 26, 2015, 4:06 am

    I have been on Zoloft for 3 years. It is the only antidepressant that has ever helped me. I have never been this heavy in my life, even 9 months pregnant! I am so disgusting!!! I have gained 50 lbs! I just read that it can make you crave sweets! I couldn’t believe it! Everyday I crave chocolate or sugar like I’m an addict! I’m out of control! I can’t buy anything or I’ll eat it all! So I’m going to try to go off! Say a prayer please, I don’t want any more depression.

    • AnneCamille June 12, 2015, 1:46 am

      Your story sounds identical to mine. Starting a taper and cannot wait to get this stuff out of my life- and get my ‘real’ body back by shedding these ridiculous forty pounds!

    • Stephanie Westwood November 29, 2015, 6:51 pm

      I have been on zoloft 200mg daily for 14 months and have gained 25 pounds… I’m miserable being this size. But on the other hand, I am not sure I can live normally without the Zoloft. How did the tapering off go? Any tips?

    • Shannon January 25, 2016, 7:17 pm

      I am 18 female and have been in 150mg for nearly 2 years. It was the only medication to actually work for me but I gained over 60lbs in only a few months. I noticed this because I bought my prom dress a few months early and I almost had to buy a new one. None of my clothes fit and I just feel gross all of the time. The cravings and appetite increase are crazy.

      I will admit before starting the medication I was probably under weight and barely eating. But at my heaviest I have never been more than 120lbs. Now I am at 180lbs and prayin it doesn’t keep building. I just recently went off if Zoloft and my appetite has decreases a lot but no weight changes. I am worried it is never going to come off. Also for other reasons I am considering going back in the Zoloft.

      However the weight is making me feel depressed again. I was wondering how you made out? And if you had any suggestions? Thanks!

      • Susan May 3, 2016, 9:37 pm

        I have been taking Zoloft since Sept and lost 24 lbs in the first 2 months. I started at 50 mg and had to keep increasing to 200 mg at Christmas. The weight loss stopped at about 100 mg but I never gained any back. I used to binge eat at night, but I could go almost 24 hours in the beginning and not even think about eating till I would get lightheaded.

        I could never lose weight no matter what I did but since Nov I have been at my lowest weight since 1995. My friends doctor said you only lose weight at the lower dose. I’ve tried to cut back but it only takes one day to start crying again.

    • Mazzy May 5, 2016, 1:37 am

      I gained roughly 25 kg (don’t know what that is in pounds) but it’s the best antidepressant I’ve had, so I’m stuck with it.

    • lacey September 15, 2016, 5:30 pm

      Omg! This is me through and through!!! I’ve been on 100mg a day over the course if almost threw years now and I have gained 30 lbs. I have two children and yet still have never weighed as much as I do right now. It’s very depressing. And I can not stop eating sugary things… I am even gluten sensitive, so that being said my daily caloric intake is lower then most before I get into chocolate. I told my husband I feel like an addict and I actually get headaches of I don’t get chocolate. Thanks for sharing… maybe it’s not “all in my head” after all!

  • Luann June 23, 2015, 2:48 pm

    My story is very similar to yours. I have gained 21 pounds since I have been on Zoloft. I have been on Zoloft for 9 months 100 MG. After the first 4 months I began to feel joint and muscle ache and had an increased appetite. Now I am not able to fit into any of my close and have moderate to severe pain in every joint in my body. My doctor told me I would not gain wait or have any side affects except for a headache until my body got used to the drug.

    Well the drug is supposed to help with depression and anxiety, which it has, but it has also added stress, anxiety and frustration since I feel disgustingly fat and bloated and can’t get out of bed and the back of my knees, ankles, wrists, fingers, elbows, and lower back give me constant pain. I have recently come off Zoloft about 2 weeks ago. My hunger cravings have improved slightly, but I have an unwanted additional 35 pounds on me and hoping to lose it so I do not have to buy a complete new wardrobe. I am not taking anything like this ever again.

  • Rae July 14, 2015, 9:47 pm

    I took Zoloft for 16+ years and recently decided (on my own) to wean myself off of this powerful drug. At first I didn’t think I could go through with it; however, I have off for 6 weeks! Sure, I had or should I say I am still having symptoms of withdrawal. I have everything from dizziness, nausea, brain zaps, you name it but I promised myself that I do not want to go on another antidepressant such as this! I pray a lot and know that God will bring me through this soon. I can say that my symptoms are lessening, so those of you who feel there is no hope in feeling better just hang in there, it does get better!

    • Nyki May 3, 2016, 8:56 pm

      I’ve been on Zoloft for 8 years and have grown from 55kg to 79kg. I’m also thinking of slowly weaning off but am afraid as the problems I have are existent. Weight gain is adding to the depression.

  • Marie July 16, 2015, 8:40 pm

    I take 100mg of Zoloft a day. Been on it for 3 or 4 yrs. and I have gained over 50 lbs. I am 5 ft. 1′, weigh 195 lbs, and I am 57 years old. I am so sick of looking in the mirror and seeing myself, and I use to be a size 14, now I am a size 16/18. I am thinking about getting off of this Med!!!

  • Dee July 18, 2015, 10:28 pm

    I was on Zoloft for six months. I realized after four months that my clothes no longer fit, but it seemed like all of a sudden my belly got fat! I was a size 0 for the last 5 years; I cannot stand to look at my midsection in a mirror. Now I am 35 pounds heavier and hope that this weight will come off. I have not ever gained weight in my midsection like this. Never ever again!

    • Tez July 23, 2015, 6:12 pm

      I agree, have been on it for 2 yrs 50 mgs. I have only put on about 4-5 lbs but the fat around my waist, midriff and stomach is very noticeable and has affected what I can comfortably wear. That in itself is depressing when I have been a UK size 10 and slim all my life. However last year I was diagnosed with dystonia and have to take clonazepam and propranolol for life to control this. Don’t know if the drug combination has made the changes in my body shape worse.

      I have now decided that I should come off the sertraline. 2 months ago My GP suggested cutting in half, this gave me withdrawal symptoms so I went back onto 50mgs. This time I’m going to reduce far more slowly so I’m taking 3/4 of a tablet for a month then 1/2 for a month then 1/4 etc. Hoping this will reduce the withdrawal effects. Hope I will lose the fat in the process! Good luck to everyone trying to get off antidepressants.

    • Questions April 21, 2016, 12:34 am

      Does it ever come off??

      • Morag Fraser September 10, 2016, 10:18 pm

        Eventually it comes off when you stop taking it. Took me 2 years to lose what I gained. While I was on it, nothing shifted the weight.

        • Emi September 17, 2016, 6:55 am

          Hi Morag, I took zoloft for about a year and gained 40 lbs. When I realized that the weight gain wasn’t going to stop I stopped taking the medication. My doctors told me before I started zoloft that there was a possibility that I would gain weight but that if (when) I stopped using it, the weight would definitely come off. They said it should happen within a year.

          I have been off zoloft for 9 months now and have only lost slightly more than half of the weight and my weight doesn’t seem to be budging anymore. I lost about 11 lbs within the first month, then 10 lbs over the span of 8 months after that, and very intermittently. I was the same weight for about 3.5 months and all of a sudden I lost 5 lbs within two weeks, but then after that nothing happened again for like 3 months.

          How was the weight loss journey for you? It’s hard to find people who talk about losing the weight and what their experiences were. I am worried that because the doctor said that I should lose the weight within a year, and it’s been 9 months and I have only just lost half, that I will be stuck at this weight forever…

          In any case I would love to hear from someone who has some experience with this. -Emi

    • Taz June 29, 2016, 12:05 am

      Hi I have had exactly the same experience – have now been off sertraline for about 3 weeks but am still gaining weight (mainly due to carb craving (never had this prior to being in sertraline). I wanted to fine out how you got on with the weight loss? Have you lost the belly and weight? Any tips or things you did to speed up the process as this has me very very depressed. Also how are you managing your ‘mental health’ without the sertraline crutch?

  • Rodski4903 July 25, 2015, 3:47 am

    I was on 100 mg a day of Zoloft for about 14 years. I’ve put on about 35 pounds over the last 4 years primarily due to a change in my job. I would work 12 hour days then go home and eat all night. Then repeat the next day. But recently memory problems convinced me to make a change. I have gone cold turkey on all meds about a weeks ago. No brain zaps, but dizziness, belching up stomach acid and did I mention the memory loss!

  • Lizzy July 27, 2015, 4:45 am

    I have always gained weight whenever I’ve gone on zoloft, which first started at age 14 at 25mg. Every time I go off, I lose the weight, without making any conscious changes. I have found that combining zoloft with wellbutrin helps to keep me from gaining any more weight. I went off of wellbutrin and on lexapro and gained about 25 pounds in about 4 months.

    Then I switched back to zoloft except at 100mg which is double what I had ever been on before, and my weight kept creeping up another 10 pounds in the next 4 months, then I added the wellbutrin back in and I stopped gaining, but cannot lose weight. I am considered obese now and I wonder what is more a threat to my health, panic disorder or obesity?

  • Grammy San July 27, 2015, 5:38 am

    Zoloft works so well for my depression and anxiety! I notice a difference after only a few days. I was on it many years ago too, after the death of my mother, and it was very helpful. This time, over been on it since May, and it’s late July. I have gained some weight, because I feel hungrier, and crave carbs and sugar. I’m also incredibly fatigued, to the point of getting sleepy enough to fall asleep in the afternoons.

    I work for a school and have summers off. The benefit of Zoloft for my depression so far outweighs the side effect of weight gain and fatigue, but I do hope to eventually switch to something like Wellbutrin, or wean off of Zoloft. I haven’t had any anxiety, crying spells, or irritability since taking it, and it took effect quickly, within the first week. What a relief! I don’t like the weight gain or fatigue, but I like not having the other symptoms more.

  • Pamela August 7, 2015, 3:13 pm

    I have been on Zoloft 8 months and it has worked great for my severe depression. However I gained 10 pounds and have belly fat!!! This is a non-negotiable for a slim athletic person such as myself. Now I loath myself since I have gained the weight. My doctor and I are weaning me off and I feel icky. I feel nauseous all the time and buzzy however I hope the weight cones off and we are looking into other strategies to help my depression and avoid weight gain. Ugh!

  • tidamac August 8, 2015, 2:48 am

    I have been on Zoloft (100 mg, once a day) for 15 months, and have gradually gained 10 pounds. I have noticed that I have an overwhelming craving for sweets and carbs, and very little discipline to stop myself from grabbing “one more piece of chocolate”, etc. I am very frustrated because I had lost 30 pounds 4 years ago, and was the thinnest I had been since college (I’m in my 50’s). Zoloft has definitely helped my depression and panic attacks, but after reading many of the comments here, I’m thinking of talking to my gp about other options.

  • Chelsea August 15, 2015, 9:07 pm

    Hello, I am 23 years old and live an extremely healthy lifestyle (masters degree in exercise physiology and nutrition, workout every day, eat very healthily, etc). Started taking sertaline and about 7 months later started significantly gaining weight. It is a year and a half since starting and I have gained around 20 lbs without a significant change in diet or exercise (if anything I have drank much less since graduating). Meeting with doctor next week to change or go off sertraline.

    • Denise November 12, 2015, 7:38 pm

      I have tracked my food, increased exercise, started meeting with a personal trainer, but have gained 15 pounds I the last 6 months. My doctor said I am probably eating too much or my metabolism is down because of my age. How dismissive and condescending. I feel worse than ever on this stupid medicine. I am weaning myself off.

  • Sha August 18, 2015, 12:48 am

    Hi all, I have been on Zoloft 50mg for 5 years and have successfully gained 40 lbs. All around the middle (I look thick) I work out 4 days a week and work at a physically laborious job and I don’t eat junk or drink excessively (never during the week) I only can only lose a few pounds if I abstain from food all together (not healthy) and it comes right back as soon as I start eating real meals again?

    But, I really like me emotionally on these things. I never get mad at people and have actually been accused of being a very happy go lucky person. Ha if they only knew! I have a nasty temper and mouth to go with it! But I am tired of struggling with my weight? Having weaned off of Effexor before this, I figured I would have a pretty easy time of it. But now I’m nervous.

    I know all the symptoms are just that, symptoms and with a little self assurance I can talk myself through them but I’m seriously not looking forward to them. I started splitting my dose in half for a week and then skipped to every other day and had my 1st brain zap this morning. I got through the day by ignoring them and not letting them rule me, but it’s not a good time. I am just praying the nasty me doesn’t make an appearance.

    I had to get off the Effexor with a prescribed valium and while that kept my uglies away I knew it wouldn’t be forever. I’m hoping with my exercise regimen that I can ward off the worst of this. Here’s hoping! Good luck to all of you, positive thoughts! -S

  • Steven August 25, 2015, 3:32 pm

    I have been taking Zoloft for 2 years. I went from 185 lbs. to 225 lbs. during that time. I have never been this heavy in my life. I always feel bloated and I crave carbs like crazy. I have been exercising 6 days a week–a combination of cardio, weights, yoga, walking and swimming (when possible)–with absolutely no effect on my weight. It took me this long to realize the Zoloft was the culprit. I attributed the weight gain to my quitting smoking 1 & 1/2 years ago. I have an appointment today to change my prescription. Perhaps Wellbutrin will help me get back to a healthier weight.

  • Katie September 2, 2015, 6:11 pm

    I was on Zoloft on and off since 2012. I was put on a few other medications in the time I was off of Zoloft. But I was on 300mg of Zoloft continuously for a year and a half and gained 57 pounds. I went from 98 pounds to 155. Being only 5’1″ my body expanded quickly. I gained over 30 of those pounds in 3 weeks time.

    My body seemed to just keep gaining even though I hadn’t changed what I ate or the amount I was eating. It was extremely hard because the medication didn’t even help me. I am now coming off and am experiencing extreme withdrawal. It was rough being on it and it’s rough coming off. I hope to get this weight off!

    • Cray March 1, 2016, 4:58 pm

      I am also petite height wise 5′ so every 5 lbs is a size. I went from size 6 to 12. Started Zoloft due to trauma of our son passing from cancer. When he was diagnosed I started lexapro and stopped eating went to 107 lbs looked like a ghost always exhausted and after 2 years took myself off it. Then it hit the fan again so tried Zoloft works great but gained 25 lbs feel very demotivated but also know I’m still depressed. Also, just started dexilant for GERD.

  • Kim Nugent September 9, 2015, 9:26 pm

    Started taking 50 mg Zoloft 5 months ago and gained 20 pounds! I lost weight in the beginning from upset stomach. Craved carbohydrates and found it hard to get out of bed. My mood was great, but I was very lethargic, causing me to be less active, eating more often from boredom and being in the house. Just switched to Wellbutrin; hope it helps me to be more active and rids me of eating more calories.

  • Kim September 10, 2015, 7:36 pm

    Was prescribed Zoloft 50 mg in April, 2015 for depression and anxiety. I gained 20 pounds in 5 months. I never liked the feelings from Zoloft; lethargic, hungry all the time, didn’t want to do anything or go anywhere. Just switched to Wellbutrin 150 mg; feeling mote energetic with slight upset stomach, but appetite is bridled.?! So looking forward to getting back into my wardrobe!!!!?

  • Susie September 15, 2015, 5:14 am

    You nice folks give me hope for the future! My daughter is severely underweight and has been on Prozac for depression and anxiety for a year now. While it helps with her depression, her anxiety has not been helped much. The Dr. is switching her to Zoloft in the hopes that it will work more effectively on her anxiety. I am hoping it will also help her gain weight. Your stories give me hope. Thank you for sharing.

  • Geraldine October 2, 2015, 7:14 pm

    Am so relieved to hear this. I have been on Zoloft for about a year and have gained 25 lbs. I look awful, and keep having to buy new clothes. I guess I’ll be seeing my doctor next week! Also, someone mentioned pain, and I have awful muscle and joint pain, mainly in my upper back and shoulders. Is this also a side-effect?

  • Nicole October 5, 2015, 4:26 am

    I have been on Zoloft 11 months. I’m taking it for anxiety/ panic attacks. I was good for about 6 months and then my weight started creeping up. I have gained 20lbs in probably 5 months. I take 150mg. I asked my doc if I could take less and he keeps telling me the Zoloft is not why I’m gaining. It’s infuriating. I always have been very active.

    I did 21 day fix and lost 2 damn pounds. I did weight watchers for a week and lost 1. I am a former triathlete, I eat healthy and workout. I’m considering switching docs. I want to take less or find a new med. also, like a few of you mentioned I gained in my belly. Which is weird cause I’ve always been more hourglass.

    • Mazzy May 5, 2016, 1:41 am

      I’m the same, it’s all on my belly.

      • Kelly October 25, 2016, 7:42 pm

        Me also. My waist is like a size 14-16 and my butt and legs are More like a size 10. I’ve always been active and watch what I eat most of the time. I have gained over 30 pounds and I know it had to be the Zoloft. I just stopped taking it.

    • lacey November 12, 2016, 1:29 pm

      This describes me so well too! I have been on 100mg for 3 years… gained 30lbs, was always craving carbs and sugar. Like a terrible ice cream addiction that all of a sudden I couldn’t get enough ice cream… I have always been a average/small size before this.

      Never one to over eat like this, aND was always cautious of my weight. I have been off of it for 2 weeks now and hoping to see improvements. Just a warning to people coming off… please ween first. The side effects of going right off of it are very very scary. I have quit other things in the past cold turkey such as smoking, a drinking problem, and some harder substances.

      I tried to go cold turkey off of zoloft and was never so sick in my life. However after the weaning I was able to stop it with very minimal effects. So please wean yourself. It is not worth the side effects to stop abruptly.

  • Marisa October 9, 2015, 2:35 am

    I have been on Zoloft for 11 months. It has been mostly helpful with my anxiety, but I am noticing that all of my clothes are a lot tighter than they used to be. I lost 35 pounds a few years ago and successfully kept it off until very recently. I actually feel like I am gaining weight by the second! After reading all these comments and several articles on the meds I am really thinking it it is the sertraline, because everything else about my lifestyle and diet have remained the same for a while. Hopefully my doc will have a better solution so I can keep the anxiety at bay.

  • Paula October 10, 2015, 1:56 am

    Reading all these stories actually make me feel a million times better. I thought I was going mad!! I’ve been on 150mg sertraline for 14mths and have gained about 30lbs. I crave carbs, salt and sugar like never before. It’s like I have no control and I need to satisfy the craving. I’m lethargic all the time and my joints ache too. Maybe I should see the gp, who I’ve actually been avoiding because she will see I got fat!!

  • Jodie Lyons October 15, 2015, 5:26 pm

    WOW!! I have been trying to figure out why I was gaining weight like crazy. I have been on Zoloft for about a year and a half and have gained 30#, with the most recent 20 being since my dose was increased this spring. I craved carbs like nobody’s business and would literally go into uncontrollable “feeding frenzies” as I called them. I was also oh so tired and though didn’t feel depressed (or feel anything much at all for that matter) I didn’t feel like my active, driven self. I was on 200mg/day. Over the last 3 weeks I have tapered off completely and almost instantly noticed my appetite going back to normal and my ability to maintain a healthy diet and exercise regimen. I look forward to feeling like my *crazy* self again whilst fitting into my jeans.

  • Angela Berry October 20, 2015, 1:17 pm

    The carb cravings may be Candida and I read recently that taking a rotation of high quality probiotics may help in keeping weight off with antipsychotics so maybe it’s the same with Zoloft? The health of our gut often helps our mental state so I would consider taking out gluten and dairy and taking two or three probiotics on a rotational basis and see if this doesn’t help. In health, ABK (nutritionist).

  • JW October 22, 2015, 4:56 pm

    I’ve been on 50 mg/day of Sertraline for about 1 year, 4 months for anxiety. It’s helped to some degree, but I gained over 35lbs in the first 10-12 months and have gained another 5+ lbs in the last 4 months. It’s ridiculous. I’m not sure the slight reduction in my anxiety is worth being the heaviest I’ve ever been in my entire life.

  • Thea Beck October 23, 2015, 12:22 am

    My son is currently being treated with Zoloft 200mg daily for severe OCD. Over the last 2 years, he has gained at least 50 or more pounds, and he carries the majority of the weight in the midsection. he is only 16, and a big kid to begin with, but very worried about his weight. He has gone from @15# in April, 2014 (when he had his severe OCD episode) to 270# now.

    He has a lot of stretch marks from this. His sugar cravings are off the charts. I want to taper him down. Hearing all of your experiences has helped me tremendously, because, he eats like a typical teen. In face, most of his friends have worse eating habits, yet he continues to pack on the weight. Seeing the psychiatrist early November.

  • Peggy November 6, 2015, 1:31 pm

    I cannot believe the number of comments here from people that have experienced the very same thing I am going through. My doctor added 100 mg of Sertraline to my daily Pristiq about a year ago. In the last several months I have noticed a significant weight gain, especially in my waist. I also have experienced the lethargy and joint pain. It has become frightening.

    I am turning 51 next week and I don’t think I should feel this bad. I have not changed my eating habits, if anything I am eating less and better b/c of the panic over the weight gain. I started eating more protein, especially at breakfast, on the recommendation of my OBGYN. I dread getting dressed for work in the morning b/c I feel so terrible about the way I look. My doctor did not warn me about the possible side effects of this medication.

    Also, it really annoys me that most doctors, at least in my experience, are hesitant to talk to patients about their weight. I have to bring up the conversation and ask for advice. I was shocked when at my last OBGYN appt Gastric Bypass surgery was suggested, but I had to probe for answers to questions about alternatives, such as weight watchers and Medi-Loss.

    Reading the comments here has made me realize (1) that I am not losing my mind and (2) that I may be able to take control over this situation.

    • Lisa August 11, 2016, 1:55 am

      Hi there, Reading your comment really spoke to me! Before I started Zoloft, I was really proud that I’d lost 40+ pounds. In November I started 100 mg and have gained 25-35 back. I hate to look in the mirror. I’m so disappointed. But all of that said, I feel emotionally really great with the medication. What did you decide to do for your situation? Any advice would be so appreciated! Thank you!

  • Meemie November 22, 2015, 7:39 am

    My doctor started me on Zoloft at the beginning of June and has gradually increased my dosage to 100mg. Starting out, when I was at 5omg, I was fine. My weight was normal, but I still felt pretty depressed. So my doctor upped the dosage to 100mg. This was around the time where I started swim team, an exercise regime of 2 hours of swimming per day, 6 days a week.

    It was brutal to say the least and, as I’ve seen in past years, I typically loose a lot of weight during this time because I’m exercising so much. This year, I gained ten pounds starting out in swim team and it did not budge all season no matter how hard I worked at practice. Swim season has ended and I’m up to 14 pounds above where I was a mere three months ago. No changes were made to my diet at all. I’m strongly considering dropping the Zoloft altogether and seeing how I do without meds.

  • emily December 3, 2015, 7:34 pm

    I gained 20 pounds in about 3 months. I have always been super tiny and thin, and ever since taking zoloft, that is changing. I take 100mg a day. I have been dieting and running every day, and I still can’t shake the weight off.

  • TS December 8, 2015, 3:11 am

    Same story, different person! Been on Zoloft for over 10 years at roughly 100mg and am now 40 to 45 lbs overweight! At first I thought it was part of the normal aging process but the carb cravings are through the roof! My midsection has never been this large in my entire life! My doctor told me that with the current dose I’m taking I will probably have to join a gym to get in better shape.

    But from the stories here joining a gym may not even work. I plan on having a discussion with my GP so hopefully we can explore other options. Zoloft was the first thing I tried with the least amount of unwanted side effects that actually worked. Hopefully there are other options.

  • Jen December 12, 2015, 12:52 am

    I’ve taken 50mg of Zoloft for 7 years. I work out an average of 3-5 days per week and eat very healthy! I’ve gained 40lbs over those years! Help!!!!!!

  • Hart January 1, 2016, 4:25 pm

    Prior to Zoloft, I took Effexor and gained 40 pounds over 5 years. I stopped Effexor and the weight started coming off. I’ve always been active… crossfit, running, tennis 4-5 days per week. Then, I started Zoloft and the weight is coming back on even though I’ve made no lifestyle changes. I also crave sugar all night which leads to me eating all night.

  • Sarina January 1, 2016, 10:15 pm

    I was on Zoloft for about two years now. I started at 50mg and went up to 150mg daily. I have gained about 30 pounds total.

  • jakubis January 6, 2016, 10:45 pm

    I was on Zoloft 50mg twice, and both times I experienced the same story. Significant improvement with my mood falling into some kind of hypomania at the beginning. After a few months of taking medication, I experienced very strong crave for chocolate, crisps, fast food and pretty much everything saturated with fat. As an aftermath, I gained weight significantly.

  • Anne Marie January 12, 2016, 11:47 pm

    I have been on Zoloft for about 5 years and 9 months. I went on it when my mother was going through cancer treatments and I was her primary caregiver and had 2 small children. I am 5’7 and always had a weight of between 118-123. My married weight was 125. I had 2 children within 2 years, and naturally lost the weight with each… 1 with the help of WW, not a long process.

    When my kids were 3 and 4 my mom became ill. I went back down to 118 from stress. Then a few years into her cancer, I was on Sertraline (only 25mg)… I know it’s low, but OMG, did it help me. However, here I am 5 years, 9 months later at 181 pounds. I was 174 just in Nov/Dec, and over the holidays, this is how fast I gain it. It’s been like this since I went on Zoloft. I maintain, gain/lose etc…then BOOM you gain 5, 6, 7 pounds like nothing.

    It’s so crazy. I crave carbs so much, that it is like an uncontrollable addiction. I don’t really exercise, although I never did. I am going to wein off starting tomorrow. I am hoping to see a change. I will also excersize now. Being almost 59, I figure it’s time I start adding in some exercise for health reasons anyway. Hopefully I will have some changes soon.

  • Mazza January 14, 2016, 1:01 pm

    I have been on Zoloft since Feb 2015 – almost a year. I have gained almost 1 stone in that time and it is really getting to me. I am out of control when it comes to chocolate – no restraint – I crave it to the point where it’s all I think about and I plan when and where I can get it. I will go into 10 different shops and buy bags of chocolate and eat ALL of it in private.

    I hate what I have turned into – I was on dose of 150 mg then I decided myself to reduce to 100 mg and today and have lowered to 50 mg. I am getting a lot of scary brain zaps _ I am afraid that my brain has been altered permanently – I no longer feel like me! I just hope that I can wean off completely over the coming weeks and regain my old weight. Good luck to all.

  • Erin January 18, 2016, 6:56 pm

    I have been on 50-75 mg of Sertraline for about 4 years. I have now gained 50 lbs. I went off about a year and a half ago and quickly lost 10 lbs but the anxiety and panic attacks returned, so I went back on the medicine. I also took the medicine between 2006 and 2007 and gained 30 lbs which came off after stopping the medicine. I know this medicine causes weight gain but also know it helps the anxiety. I know I am going to have to wean off and hope for the best as I am tired of gaining and gaining even with diet and exercise.

    • Emi September 17, 2016, 7:08 am

      Hi Erin, Sorry to hear about the weight gain, it’s so frustrating! I was wondering about your weight loss after you stopped the medication in 2006? Did it really all come off and how long did it take to come off?

      I stopped about 9 months ago and the weight seems to be sticking, but I don’t know if that’s because I am impatient or what.. I hope that weaning off goes well this time round :). Emi

  • Brooke January 23, 2016, 8:27 am

    I have actually never left a comment on one of these forums but reading all these comments is leaving me in quite a bit of a stupor as I never made the correlation in 15 years of being on Zoloft that any of the weight gain I had experienced was due to my taking this medication. I am 5″7, and when I started Zoloft @ 20, I was probably 120 pounds, if that.

    When I started to gain weight I didn’t notice as much because it actually looked better then my pre zoloft body, which was almost anorexic looking. I thought I was just growing into a woman so didn’t make much of my newfound hips and curves and basically brand new body that I was starting to develop. For almost my entire twenties and my early thirties I had what most would consider the perfect body, and then after I had my second baby two and a half years ago (@33) I was never able to lose the baby weight, and I noticed that my weight kept going up and up no matter how much I exercised or tried to eat healthy.

    I also started craving chocolate and sweets and binge eating in the middle of the night while half asleep. It got to the point where I started taking phentermine and adderall and different diet pills in hopes of losing weight because my appetite was so out of control. I would lose weight when on the diet pills but then because I was basically starving myself I would start feeling sick and lethargic, so it’s really like a lose lose situation.

    It wasn’t until very recently that I started realizing that the zoloft might actually the biggest factor in my weight gain, because not only does it leave me with an insatiable appetite if I’m not taking a diet pill, but it also has me lethargic and groggy and basically unmotivated about anything in life. It did control my anxiety slightly and more than it significantly controlled my temper, which is why I would quickly go back on it whenever I would stop.

    I weaned myself off of it and it’s only been a few days but I’m already starting to get the brains zaps and dizziness. I am trying to supplement with fish oils and Sam E, as well as other homeopathic products and hoping to get through the withdrawal process and somehow find some other ways to help my anxiety. I don’t feel that the zoloft ever truly helped my depression, probably actually made it worse. I definitely feel 1000 times more depressed when I start gaining so much weight I can’t even recognize myself.

    As one person on here said, I don’t think the small amount of relief that the zoloft provides me is worth hating what I see when I look in the mirror and not even wanting to go out with my friends or do anything in public because I’m so disgusted and embarrassed by how I look. Drs try to act like we simply vain for wanting to be in shape but they don’t understand how bad it affects a person’s overall well being to gain a massive amount of weight from simply trying to take a medication that is supposed to make them better.

    I am hoping and praying that I don’t ever have to take another antidepressant again, and once I wean myself off of the Zoloft my next feat will be to try to wean myself off of xanax, which at this point I have to take massive amounts of to even be able to sleep. My life has become ruled by medications and it is a nightmare and a prison which in hindsight has been of my own doing I suppose.

    I am ready to start living my life again and I’m tired of being an antisocial, reclusive, zombie with no creativity or flair for life. I also truly feel that the Zoloft sucked all the creativity out of me, because I used to be an avid writer and artist until I started taking Zoloft. Again I never put the correlation of my writer’s block starting around the time I started zoloft together until recently.

    Oh yeah, before I started taking adderall 6 weeks ago I was 185 which is the highest I have ever been in my life. In the last 6 weeks I have gotten down to 170 pounds, but basically because I am starving myself due to the appetite suppressant from the Adderall. I know this is definitely not a good thing but I cannot figure out any other way to make the weight start dropping rather then going up, as even when I was working out and eating good for months, my weight would not fluctuate 1 pound.

    I am hoping that by sharing my story I can prevent somebody from taking 15 years to figure out how horrible of a drug zoloft is.

  • M January 30, 2016, 1:57 pm

    I’ve experienced the same weight gain as many others on this forum. Despite increasing my physical activity and eating a healthy diet, I’ve gained weight and found it extremely difficult to lose any of it no matter how hard I work out and run or how clean I eat. A study titled “Weight gain and associated factors in patients using newer antidepressant drugs” came out in 2015 [(GEN HOSP PSYCHIATRY), Jan2015; 37(1): 46-48. (3p)].

    It associated sertraline, along with several other SSRIs, with weight gain. This comment form won’t let me include an image of the table showing which drugs caused how much weight gain, so here are a couple key points:

    (1) 34% of study participants on Zoloft experienced an increase in body weight. SSRIs with an even higher percentage of users who gained weight were Remeron (88% of users gained), Paxil (74%), Lexapro & Effexor (65% ), and Cymbalta (44%).
    (2) Out of all the SSRIs the study covered, the only one that a statistically significant portion of users didn’t gain weight on was Prozac (14% gained).

    So I guess the takeaway is that if you’re going to switch from Zoloft to something else because of the weight gain, most of the above might not be the best options. As for me, I’ll probably stick with Zoloft for now and just keep working out and running and hoping for the best. The worst that can happen is I’ll become even healthier whether I look it or not.

  • Tayler E. February 12, 2016, 10:46 pm

    Holy. Crap. I can’t tell you how relieved I am to read all of these comments. I could have written several of these myself. I’ve been researching what’s wrong with me for some time now. I’ve looked into vitamin D deficiency, probiotics, etc. I’ve been on Zoloft for years. I quit in my second trimester of pregnancy, and then started up again about 4 months post-baby, when I looked great.

    The baby weight fell off pretty easily with exercise. I was 150-165 pounds or so. I’m 5’7, but hold weight very well, so I’m thin looking at 150-160. My daughter is now 4 years old and I’ve ballooned up to 265 pounds. I have never, ever weighed this much in my entire life. My appetite is through the roof most of the time. I crave SALT constantly. Salt, red meat, simple carbs, and occasionally sugar.

    I can eat an entire package of cookies in one night. A family size bag of chips on the way home from work. It’s absolutely disgusting and I don’t recognize myself. I’m starting to fear for my health. On top of that, I feel like the Zoloft isn’t even doing its job anymore. I’m lethargic almost ALL of the time. I don’t even want to clean my house, let alone exercise.

    Even when I’m sleeping 8-9 hours a night, I feel so tired. I’ve had a stutter since I was 4, and it’s worse than ever. My brain is in a constant fog. I don’t remember things; it’s hard to learn things; I feel my intelligence slipping away from me. I’m not creative anymore. I’m not happy. I’m just… “existing.” Going through the motions of life. I keep thinking to myself, “At least I don’t want to kill myself anymore.”

    i’m going to slowly wean myself off of Zoloft (I’m at 100 mg daily BTW. I used to be at 200MG). I don’t have insurance, so no doctor (long story), so I’ll be doing this myself. If anybody wants to share stories, maybe we could start a Facebook group? Please feel free to e-mail me at t_trayne[@]yahoo.com.

    • lacey September 15, 2016, 5:51 pm

      I read this and wanted to cry! It has hit home so much. I feel like I’m finally not crazy… Dr won’t listen to me that I am gaining weight and have complete uncontrolled eating. Have had thyroid checked and Re checked and re Re checked because I’m just so sick and tired of being sick and tired and hungry.

      So tired that I can’t drive in the afternoon because (even after 8-9 hours of sleep a night) I find my eyes going extremely heavy and am terrified I will fall asleep. Thank you for sharing. It means a lot to know that there is a reason out there and that I’m not just fat and lazy.

  • Alexis February 25, 2016, 1:01 pm

    I actually gained 20lbs in 4 months on Zoloft. My bust also grew a full cup size. What it seemed like to me was some hormonal changed and lack concern about how much I was ingesting or how I felt/looked. Almost a numbness to most things. I am now 4 months off Zoloft and able to more consciously make decisions about food, etc. My busy size has come down to normal and I am down about 10lbs since coming off of it. I definitely think it changes the composition of the body and of course mental capacities.

  • Tara March 15, 2016, 2:55 am

    As everyone here I am very happy it is the Zoloft!!! I have been on it for almost a year only 25 mg but it really has helped me. But now since I know the weight gain is from this it is making me crazy because I really hate my body! I to will ask my doctor but I really am afraid to gain this weight and also have my panic attacks. I am so torn!

  • Tricia March 24, 2016, 3:54 am

    I’ve been on Zoloft for over a year and have gained 50 pounds!!! Yes I’m eating more and exercising less but I crave carbs and sugar like never before! I also lack motivation to be active. Zoloft took away my depression but now I am fat and don’t like to go out with family and friends and am embarrassed to even go to the gym. :( I’m going to start tapering my Zoloft.

  • Judy March 30, 2016, 2:56 pm

    I’ve been taking Zoloft/Sertraline for nearly 2 years. In that time I have gained 40 pounds and couldn’t understand why as before this, I had been the same weight since my early 20’s (I’m now in my 40’s) and had never gained weight previous to taking Sertraline. I have been thinking about coming off Setraline (had a few different tragic events one after the other but thankfully life is looking up again) and looked up withdrawal side effects etc and that’s when I found out about the weight gain!

    Family and friends couldn’t understand why I was gaining weight and neither could I and now I know why. I just hope that once I withdraw, I can get back to my comfortable weight. Needless to say, that I would not advise anyone to withdraw on their own – please seek the advice of your doctor – this is really important, you must get support when coming off this drug. Good luck to everyone.

  • C.C. April 9, 2016, 1:21 am

    Thank you everyone for sharing your insight! I’ve felt lost as I watch myself no longer fit into my clothes and gain weight in ways I never have before. I feel as though I have a full extra layer of fat around my entire body, but then it is even worse in my midsection and back. I’m weaning off sertraline and hope that I can get my body back and maintain happiness. I’m irritated that I didn’t somehow know all of this before I started. Argh. Hating what I see in the mirror isn’t helping life at all.

  • Shannon April 9, 2016, 6:36 am

    I took 50 mg of sertraline for 7 months and gained 10 lbs. I have always been thin and active and was never able to put on weight. My Dr. decided to slowly wean me off because she said some times the brain will produce the right levels of serotonin after using sertraline. It’s only been 2 weeks since I’ve stopped taking the drug and the only side effect is dizziness. I will give an update on how I feel and any loss of weight.

  • Tia April 12, 2016, 8:39 pm

    I’ve noticed that since starting Zoloft in January 2016, I have gained 12lbs! I’m already a BBW, I don’t need any extra pounds. I’m going to discuss it with my doctor to find out if I could take something different.

  • Lauren April 12, 2016, 11:13 pm

    I have been taking Zoloft for over a year and have gained 20+ pounds. I have now just realized after changing my exercise and eating habits completely, that the weight is still packing on. I am currently only on 50 mg. My doc told me this med was weight neutral….HA.

  • JLa April 16, 2016, 3:13 am

    One year… 75 mg… over 65 lbs. Took it for moderate anxiety. I’m 5’6″ and was a US size 10 when I started. Almost one year later I’m over 200 lbs and an 18. I weaned myself off of the drug and stopped completely about two weeks ago. The carb and sugar cravings stopped, and I’m eating considerably less. I think I’d rather use a non-chemical way to cope.

    • ALo June 3, 2016, 4:44 pm

      I’m 22 years old. I started Zoloft about a year ago and within the last 6-8 months I’ve gained close to 40-50 pounds. I’m only on 50mg but I take 20mg of adderall and birth control. Not sure if that counteracts it. I was around 160 now I’m around 200. This is the biggest I’ve ever been. I was a size 10 and now I’m a 14. It’s been in my face, arms, stomach/ waist area. I have cravings and feel the need to eat frequently even though I shouldn’t. I took it for anxiety and depression. Although I still have panic attacks. My health is becoming an issue and I’m going to try and get off of the meds.

  • Cathy April 20, 2016, 5:29 pm

    I started taking Zoloft a little less than one year ago and I’ve gained almost 25 pounds. I did not want to complain about weight gain to my doctor, and figured if I worked hard enough I could get the weight off. After continuous weight gain I finally decided (today) to call my doctor to see if she will switch my medication. Zoloft helps with depression, but gaining this much weight is definitely not healthy and adds so much more anxiety and frustration to my life.

    I would suggest anyone starting Zoloft to workout and eat healthy – if you keep gaining weight, call your doctor! I wish I had been proactive about this sooner. Nobody should have to feel like they aren’t in control of their own body! Hopefully I will find a medication that keeps my mind AND body happy and healthy. :)

  • David April 26, 2016, 6:25 pm

    I have gained 15 pounds (158 lbs. to 173 lbs.) during the 10 months I have been on Zoloft. I stopped taking it 2 weeks ago since I am dramatically improved and am now more concerned about the excess weight than the depression.

  • Susanne Eskridge April 28, 2016, 11:06 pm

    200 mg of Zoloft is the amount I’ve worked up to over the past 2 weeks. Originally, I was on 60 mg of Cymbalta but wanted to go back to Zoloft because it’s so much cheaper. Today the GP mentioned that all SSRI’s cause weight gain, which explains the 10 lb. increase since the last visit. Zoloft has helped me before – same dose, different city and state – without weight gain.

    This time the weight gain is of GREAT concern since I’m already maxed out at over 180 pounds. The doc said “Watch your weight.” As though that’s enough! It may be time to switch back to Cymbalta, cost be damned. But I simply cannot gain weight uncontrollably as I did 7 years ago. (Went from 115 pounds to 195 pounds, but did lose 20 after a TKR.)

    I feel OBESE! And have considered all sorts of options (including hypnosis) but I absolutely refuse to get caught in the weight gain cycle again! No one seems to care… my husband shrugs it off… doctors think I’m overly concerned… well, now that I know, I’ll have to switch to something else, or just be crazy. Better to be crazy than fat.

  • Aurora May 11, 2016, 3:38 pm

    I’ve been taking Zoloft for about 6 months and I exercise daily yet I seem to be gaining weight very fast. As I stated before it’s only been about 6 months but I’ve already gained about 5-8 lbs while exercising. I’m not really sure what I should do. I believe that I should quit taking it, but if that’s the case what are other anti-depressants I can talk to my doctor about?

  • kim May 16, 2016, 8:27 pm

    Hi, I’m so glad I read your comments! I have really severe depression, which means I’ve been on a lot of meds. But nothing like Zoloft. I started taking it in December 2015; it is now May 2016. I went from 105 lb to 118 lb in that short period of time, and I do not eat a lot. As a lot of you have said, it is all belly fat.

    And I am torn as well. the Zoloft has removed suicidal tendencies, but I cannot stand the weight gain! Next time I see my shrink, I’m going to ask for something different. of course, my next appointment is in 3 months. God knows how much weight I’ll have gained then! Good luck to each of you.

  • Emily May 19, 2016, 8:03 pm

    I’m an 18 year old female and have been on Zoloft for 2 years. In the past two years, I have gained nearly 50 pounds. I’m 5’5 and was a slim 125 pounds before I started Zoloft, but I weighed in at 172 pounds during my physical this morning. I take Zoloft for generalized anxiety, but the stress that I feel over my weight and not fitting into any of my clothes has really taken a toll on me.

    I will definitely be weaning myself off it and get back to my original weight because the excess weight is disgusting, and the costs are outweighing the benefits for me. Additionally, I was not told by anyone that Zoloft could cause such an enormous weight gain (or else I never would have started taking it). I used to do ballet and swim and feel comfortable in my clothing, but now I want to hide my body as much as possible and just feel terrible.

    Overall, it was initially fine to control my severe anxiety, but now that I’ve gained so much weight (and will continue to gain weight if I stay on it), I can’t get off of it fast enough.

  • Gigi May 20, 2016, 3:37 pm

    I was on Zoloft for 5 years and went off this year. In the first year, I gained 15 pounds and decided to go off it when I saw that creep up to 20 lbs. Most of the fat is in my abdomen, like many readers here. I decided that I would rather carry my emotional burden than all this blubber! There is no magic pill out there, believe me.

    They ALL have side effects and long-term costs that doctors tend to play down in their rush to feel like they have been able to do something for you. I really recommend therapy, sunshine, friends, and creativity instead of chemicals. Life is painful and difficult with or without depression. I think part of the problem is that we have come to expect to be exempted from suffering, but none of us are.

  • Lucy May 24, 2016, 3:27 am

    I’m on 150mg of Zoloft, I’ve been on it for almost a year now and have gained 30+ lbs… It’s miserable to see that! I worked out consistently and ate pretty well the whole time so I have no idea why or how I gained so much weight so fast. The junk food cravings are through the roof though. I tried to ignore them for a long time but since I realized no amount of working out or eating right will help me lose weight I stopped caring.

    I’m currently trying to decide if being big and happy is almost worth it? Or maybe a more natural serotonin booster medication that will allow me to have the best of both worlds. Either way this absolutely sucks.

  • Kelsey June 14, 2016, 3:05 pm

    I am frustrated yet relieved to hear I’m not alone. I have struggled with an eating disorder in the past so I refuse to weight myself or look at my weight when I am weighed at the doctor. Over the past 6-8 months I’ve noticed drastic weight gain to the point of clothes not fitting me. I decided to finally take a look at my Medical records and see my weight taken at each appointment and I am devastated to learn I have gained 25 lbs in a year since starting Zoloft.

    Here is my timeline:

    -May 2015: Started Zoloft 50 mg – Weight: 134 lbs

    -July 2015: Dose increased to 100 mg

    -August 2015: Weighed 145 lbs

    -Early Nov 2015: Weighed 148 lbs

    -Late Nov 2015 – Dose increased to 150 mg

    -Dec 2015 – Weighed 156 lbs

    -January 2016 – Weighed 160 lbs

    I am also on a stimulant for my ADD so I usually undereat due to lack of appetite. Shortly after my dose increase to 150 I began experiencing severe fatigue and lack of motivation/concentration. I would try and take double my ADD med dose and nothing worked. I never made the connection of my symptoms and the dose increase until now…

    I’m so frustrated and tired of having to take medication to feel happy but have to suffer the side effects. :(

  • Kerry June 25, 2016, 5:54 am

    I am stunned! I have been on Zoloft for 11 years and gained 30lbs in spite of eating and drinking alcohol much less as the years have passed. I figured it was aging and metabolism slowing, which I’m sure is part of it, but my stomach is carrying much of the fat and I look truly awful.

    Never have my doctors mentioned the possibility that this may be caused by the SSRI. It’s been torture watching my belly blow up like some monstrous pregnancy. I must go off the drug. Will be hard and don’t expect my doctor will be invested in helping me.

  • Kelli July 5, 2016, 3:33 am

    I have been taking 150 mg of this drug for two years and have gained almost 50lbs. I used to be a size 8 weighing 145lb. Now I’m a 12/14 weighing 185lbs. I hate it! I crave ice cream and cookies after meals and I just can’t have one good sized cookie. It’s like it’s not enough my body just wants carbs carbs carbs all the time but I don’t need them.

    I want to get off the drug I’ve considered asking my doctor if we can try maybe she’ll consider but my depression is pretty severe. No one seems to want to take any chances but I feel I can do it. I’m glad Im not the only one who has experienced excessive weight can and increased appetite.

  • Lova Mitchell July 7, 2016, 6:54 pm

    I had anxiety from 2007-2013 but it was undiagnosed. I was miserable and kept thinking I , or one of my kids was going to die of cancer. Every other day, I end up taking myself or the kids to the doctor, specialists and ERs. It was really really bad. I started to feel physical pain such as abdominal pain, nausea and even vomiting.

    I struggle to spend a day with my kids without worrying. I couldn’t breath. Im 5″ and weighed 125 lbs the time. I was finally diagnosed with anxiety 2013 and prescribed with Zoloft 50mg. The first month was very hard for me to fall asleep so the doctor added trazodone. Ugh. Trazodone helped me sleep better at night but I weaned off the trazodone because it made me sleepy all freaking day. So I haven’t taken trazodone since and sleeping better at night.

    Zoloft has changed my life In good ways, I’m not spending my day worrying if I have a lump on my or my kids bodies. Or spending the day googling the Internet for the symptoms… Zoloft has been truly a life saver to me. I now enjoy my kids more. I have ambition. I can sit still in a park and enjoy the beauty of nature and watch the birds fly over.

    However, I have gained 30 lbs since 2013 and most of the fat is in my belly. I look horrible! Sometimes I don’t even recognize my self anymore. Zoloft has increased my appetite. I’m constantly hungry and especially craving for noodles! It’s out of control. The worst part is that I get extremely hungry in late evening, which is a recipe for weigh gaining. I can’t fit in any of my old jeans or clothes.

    I’m always wearing my sweaty pants. I used to love clothes shopping and now can’t even look At a pair of pants. I just look at them and pass by with a big sigh. I used to be size 2 and now size 8. I’m thinking to cut down on my Zoloft to 50mg and see. If I can live like a normal human being- I’ll keep it at the low dose. If however, I start to feel anxious again- I’ll take the full dose without. I’ll take the 25 lbs anytime to being smaller but miserable.

    • JW August 4, 2016, 4:54 pm

      I agree with you too. I am going to try and get down to 100 mg, currently on 200 mg.

  • DadondivadiamondD July 11, 2016, 8:03 pm

    I have been taking Zoloft 25 mg qd for 3 months and have gained 14 pounds already I’ve always been small. I’m 5″7 normally about 132-134 pounds since stating the medicine I’ve maintained a weight of 146-148 pound I’m hoping that in another 3 months I’m not another 10-15 pounds bigger. 😩🙏🏾😓

  • Matthew July 14, 2016, 2:56 am

    I wish I could go back in time and never take Zoloft. I used Zoloft for about 6 months. Like most of you, I gained 35+ pounds, mostly in my belly region. My body hurts. I am more depressed an anxious now since I can barely look in the mirror.

    From 2012-2015, I ran four marathons. I weighed 185, and was fit. Now, I’m 240, and I don’t even want to leave the house because I’m so embarrassed. I just want to cry everyday now, and it’s all because of how I look. It’s like a nightmare every day I wake up.

    I grew up a fat kid. When I got fit, I was so proud of myself. Now, I am just disgusted and sad.

  • JW August 4, 2016, 4:52 pm

    I have been on zoloft for 14 months, started out on 50mg and at 200 mg now, I have gained 20+ pounds. It is very stressful worrying about my weight. I am not sure what to do as it helps great with my anxiety but also at the same time, feel like I am obsessed over the weight gain…

  • Anna August 27, 2016, 10:58 pm

    Hello. I was on Zoloft for one year and gained 40 pounds while on Zoloft. I was also extremely tired and would pass out sitting up every night at 7:30 pm while still in my work clothes but I woke up feeling wonderful. I couldn’t handle the weight gain so I had my doctor switch me to Lexapro and I didn’t not gain or lose weight at first. I went on a strict diet and lost 13 pounds.

    I needed up getting off the Lexapro 4 months ago and I am cannot handle the anxiety and depression and plan on trying Zoloft again. I am going to go food shopping for fruit and vegetables to help control any craving I may have and I plan to exercise (I hate exercising). I have to chose to live depressed and anxious all of the time or calm and fat. Wish me luck. I wish all of you luck, happiness, and peace.

  • KF August 28, 2016, 12:19 am

    My 11 year old daughter was put on 25 mg of Zoloft 9 months ago. Helped tremendously with her anxiety right away. Four months into it we increased the dosage to 1 1/2 pills=37.5 mg. She started putting on weight like crazy from that point and now it’s August and she’s gained 30 lbs!!!

    I am beside myself right now. I started cutting back her dosage today to just the one pill (25 mg) and hoping it’ll help. I was beginning to think she had a binge eating disorder until I found this site and reading how much it increases the appetite.

    In retrospect I wish we had never increased the dosage last March. She just keeps gaining and now her pediatrician says she’s overweight. She was always a petite, tiny girl. This is breaking my heart!

  • Morag Fraser September 10, 2016, 10:28 pm

    My story is the same – significant weight gain which would not shift until I came off it. I stopped looking like myself – my face went moon-like and this stayed even longer than the weight. This drug worries me and for that reason I just stopped it (not recommending anyone else does as it could be harmful, but for me it was the right thing to do). I got my body and face back eventually.

  • SG September 15, 2016, 2:12 pm

    I have been on Zoloft for about 8 months and my weight has really gone up. I gained all of the weight back plus some. Any suggestions for an alternative med?

  • Andrew October 21, 2016, 6:18 am

    Yes. I agree with everything said so far. As for me my story is a little different but I have been on Zoloft for 6 years and did gain alot of weight. In 2015, I managed to lose 80 pounds (223 to 143) but the cravings for carbs are so intense that you put on the weight back the moment you try to return normal eating lifestyle.

    I am already back to 154lbs and scared that Zoloft is to blame for the intense hunger and cravings I get for carbs. Wish I knew for sure if it is Zoloft or not before going off it. Any comments from people on Zoloft that lost weight than gained it back due to carb cravings and the lack of satiety? Thanks guys and hope we can get to a consensus on the whole debate

  • Dena November 14, 2016, 5:00 am

    I’ve been on Zoloft for about 9 months and have gained 30 pounds! I’m 47 years old. My cravings for carbs, in particular, sweets, has skyrocketed. I’ve woke up in the middle of the night just to eat a bowl of cereal. My anxiety and mood swings have improved, but getting depressed over weight gain. :(

  • Jill November 15, 2016, 3:32 pm

    Oh my god you guys!!! I thought I was crazy but all these similar stories make me feel SO MUCH BETTER – I had a very similar experience to all of you!!!! For body reference I was always thin, 5’9 around 140 lbs, which I carried in my butt/thighs. Been depressed literally all my life, since I can even remember as a kid, but after being even more so at 23-years-old went on 50 mg of sertraline.

    It helped my mood a lot! Looking back I guess I had hypomania as other people noticed I was much more talkative and elated. Like six months later I move to a bigger city and notice my size four pants no longer fit well and my stomach, which had always been flat and trim, is getting bigger… I seriously had the worst addiction to ice cream you guys, I would literally think about it all the time and eat two pints a day, which I couldn’t do without getting physically sick before, and this went on for like a year and a half.

    I am now just over 26-years-old weening off sertraline and stopping as soon as what I have is out, needless to say my body is very different from when I started, I think I weigh around 170 or 175 pounds (I actually don’t ever really weigh myself). I’ve been told by many doctors antidepressants work best short-term, though obviously there are people who need to be on them longer or their whole life. I’m SO LUCKY sertraline worked to improve my mood for me right away, but the positive effects of it kind of bell curved.

    I should have weened off it after a year instead of two, but hindsight is 20/20 and I just hope I can get back in shape.

  • S November 19, 2016, 12:09 am

    I didn’t realize this was such a common reaction! I went on Sertraline when I was 12, about 15 years ago. Obviously, I gained weight as I grew, but I became more and more overweight as my dose was increased. I tried going off of it a few years ago and switch to a different medication and it was a disaster.

    I had to take a semester off of school because my OCD was out of control. After that, my dose was increased to 400 mg and my weight gain has been insane since then. My weight is depressing me, but I’m scared to go off of it or switch because I had such a bad reaction in the past.

  • Sily de Veen November 20, 2016, 1:48 pm

    I have been taking sertraline since more than 10 years, first year 50 mg, since then 25 mg. I gained 30 kg, that I tried to shed in all kinds of ways, none of which had any result. I now have serious diabetes type 2 and my gp suggested a gastric bypass or a gastric band. Since I don’t eat much anymore and since these are major operations not without risk, I don’t intend to follow that suggestion. The anti diabetes drugs are increased and I hope for the best. Stopping taking anti-depressants is no option, I’ve tried that and regretted it. But I wonder if the cure is worse than the disease.

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