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Lexapro and Weight Gain: Causes & Contributing Factors

Lexapro (Escitalopram) is a drug classified as an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor). It functions by increasing extracellular levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin. The increase in serotonin is believed to be the mechanism by which this drug is capable of treating major depression and generalized anxiety disorder. It received FDA approval in 2002 for treating depression and 2003 for anxiety.

It is considered the successor to the drug Celexa in that it contains only the active S-stereoisomer. Some believe that Lexapro is superior in efficacy and tolerability due to the fact that it doesn’t contain the inactive stereoisomer. Others believe that both drugs are relatively equal in efficacy, but Lexapro makes more sense to prescribe simply because it is newer and a revised version of an older drug.

Lexapro and Weight Gain

Lexapro is a drug that may work extremely well to treat major depression and anxiety, but unfortunately it is not free of side effects. One common side effect that people dislike is that of weight gain. While not everyone will gain weight if they use the drug for a short period of time. Nearly everyone who uses the drug over a long-term is virtually guaranteed to gain some weight.

How Lexapro Causes Weight Gain: Possibilities to Consider

There are a variety of ways in which Lexapro may be causing you to gain weight. Many people buy-in to the theory that it slows your metabolism. However, others believe that it could be slowing metabolism and creating other hormonal changes as well as alter the way in which your body stores fat. Understand that while none of these possibilities have been scientifically proven, many are believed to be accurate.

  • Appetite changes: Many people experience appetite changes when they take a psychotropic drug. Those who had a poor appetite as a result of depression or anxiety may notice their appetite increases during treatment with Lexapro. It is common for someone who previously ate poorly to begin eating regularly after the drug starts working. Although not everyone will experience an increased appetite from the drug, some people definitely do.
  • Carb cravings: Have you noticed that you crave carbohydrates since you’ve been on Lexapro? The fact that this drug increases serotonin and carbohydrates are linked to serotonin, this could explain the increased cravings. Others may experience general food cravings for unhealthy things like refined sugars, artificial sweeteners, and pastas.
  • Drug interaction: If you are taking another medication in addition to Lexapro, it is possible that the two medications could be interacting. The interaction effect could make it more likely that you’ll gain weight compared to if you were taking just one of the drugs. Be sure to always consider that the drugs could be working synergistically to cause weight gain.
  • Fat storage: The mechanism by which your body stores fat may become altered when you take this medication. Some believe that after awhile on Lexapro, the way your body digests food and stores fat changes. This makes it more likely that fat will get stored in places you probably won’t like such as: stomach, chest, and hips.
  • Hormone levels: Some speculate that over an extended period of being medicated, your hormone levels change. The change in certain hormones could account for any weight that you gain. An example would be if the hormone cortisol increased throughout your treatment – this results in increased fat storage. Other hormones that help burn fat may decrease, resulting in the weight gain.
  • Laziness: After awhile of taking Lexapro, some people experience a drop in energy and motivation that leads to laziness. While it isn’t the person’s fault that the drug sapped their energy, it may explain why some people end up gaining weight after months of treatment. Not everyone will experience this energy drop, but it can be difficult to deal with for those that do.
  • Side effects: Some individuals may be plagued by side effects such as sleepiness and increased fatigue. The increase in fatigue may make it very difficult to get proper exercise and burn calories. Those who feel fatigued may end up lying around more than usual and sleeping more frequently – which will lead to weight gain.
  • Slow metabolism: One of the most common theories as to why people gain weight on Lexapro is that it causes metabolism to slow. The exact mechanism behind the slowed metabolism is unknown, but many people find out that if they keep their diet and exercise the same while taking the drug as they did prior to taking it, that they gain weight.
  • Social eating: It’s always possible that a person is simply going out to eat with friends more frequently than when they were depressed. Going out to eat often is an easy way to over-eat, eat unhealthy, and gain weight. If you have been going out to eat more since taking Lexapro, understand that this aspect could be contributing to weight gain.
  • Taste improves: Some people may notice that food starts to taste considerably better while taking Lexapro than it did prior to treatment. It is thought that the drug changes our neurochemistry, making certain foods taste better than they normally would.

Note: It is important to also consider that for each case of weight gain on Lexapro, it could result from an interplay between these factors. It is also likely subject to considerable variation in regards to whether someone experiences an appetite increase, engages in social eating, and/or experiences fatigue as a side effect.

Factors that influence weight gain on Lexapro

There are other factors that will influence the amount of weight you’ll gain from taking Lexapro. These include things like the dosage you’ve been taking, your lifestyle and habits, how long you’ve been medicated, and whether you’re taking other drugs.

1. Dosage

In most cases, people are prescribed a dose ranging from 10 mg to 20 mg. It has been found that for most people, doses over 20 mg fail to offer any additional therapeutic effect. Those that are taking doses near the higher end of the spectrum (i.e. 20 mg) are more likely to gain weight than those taking 10 mg or less.

As a rule of thumb, keep in mind that the lower the dose, the better in terms of weight gain. Those that take high doses of a medication essentially are giving the drug more control over their physiology than at lower doses. At high doses the drug tends to make further alterations to your homeostatic functioning and may slow your metabolism to a greater extent than lower doses.

Note: This is why it is recommended to take the “minimal effective dose” of any drug. By taking the minimal effective amount, you decrease the likelihood of experiencing significant weight gain.

2. Individual factors

In most cases, it’s easy to make Lexapro the scapegoat that you blamed for any weight gain while taking the drug. That said, it is important to take responsibility for aspects of your life that you control. If you are eating an unhealthy diet, not getting much exercise, and aren’t getting enough sleep at night – this is a recipe for weight gain in and of itself.

Those that gain more weight than average while taking this medication may not be taking good care of themselves. Understand that everyone is different and will have differing physiological and genetic reactions to the Lexapro. Some people may have a more stressful job, others may have different hormone levels, and others may have a naturally slower metabolism that gets markedly slower while on this drug.

Take responsibility for the aspects of your functioning that you can and try not to place full blame on the drug for your weight gain. You can also consider getting a genetic test called “GeneSight” which may help predict how you’ll react (in terms of side effects) to this drug.

3. Time span

The longer you’ve been medicated, the more likely it is that you’ll gain weight. Those that have taken Lexapro for between 6 and 12 months are at the greatest risk for packing on weight. If you’ve only taken the drug for less than 6 months, you may not experience any weight gain (or you may even end up losing weight).

The longer the period of time over which you’ve taken Lexapro, the more changes it will have made to your physiology. Your nervous system becomes tolerant to its effects and accommodates its presence, sometimes at the expense of homeostatic processes that regulate weight. It should also be mentioned that when people take a drug for a long period of time, they often increase the dosage – which was already mentioned to increase weight gain.

4. Other medications/drugs

If you take other medications or drugs of any kind, it is important to realize that there could be a potential interaction effect. The Lexapro may be interacting with the other medication to amplify the amount of weight you gain throughout treatment. In other cases, the two drugs may not have a synergistic effect upon weight, but may both be contributing to small, incremental increases in weight. Other times only one drug is causing the weight gain and you’ll probably be able to pinpoint it (unless you started both drugs at the same time).

How much weight will you gain from Lexapro?

There’s no telling exactly how much weight you’ll gain from Lexapro. As was mentioned above, there are a number of individual factors that will be highly influential over your weight. Most researchers speculate that on average, only 25% of people who take antidepressants gain weight. Additionally they have stated that most people only gain about 10 lbs. throughout their entire course of treatment.

However, evidence suggests that those on the drug for a long term and/or at higher doses will gain greater amounts of weight. The amount of weight people gain from these medications is often underreported and not typically studied; drug companies and doctors want their patients to believe that they won’t gain much weight.

Does everyone gain weight while taking Lexapro?

Certainly not everyone will gain weight while taking this drug. Some people may experience weight loss and others may not notice any change in weight. Those who lose weight may have been lethargic as a result of their depression and this drug gives them extra energy to exercise and/or engage in some sort of physical activity. It is estimated that 1 out of 4 people gain weight from taking this drug and other SSRIs. The number of people who gain weight likely increases significantly among those who have been on the drug for a longer term.

Lexapro: Cost-Benefit Analysis

When taking any drug, you should always conduct some sort of cost-benefit analysis. Compare the severity of the costs (i.e. weight gain) with the benefits that you’ve gotten from taking the medication. If the costs associated with taking the drug are minor (e.g. a little weight gain), it may not be a big deal as long as the drug is working well.

If the Lexapro isn’t working very well though, and you are experiencing weight gain, it may be time to reevaluate this treatment. In some cases you may want to switch medications and/or consider Lexapro withdrawal if the costs significantly outweigh the benefits.

Did you gain weight while taking Lexapro?

Those that gained weight from taking Lexapro can share their experience in the comments section below. Sharing your experience may help someone else who is currently dealing with the weight that they’ve gained as a result of treatment. Be sure to mention how much weight you gained, the dosage you took, as well as how long you were taking it. If you can think of any other possible contributing factors such as increased stress, lack of sleep, poor diet, etc. – feel free to discuss them.

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{ 79 comments… add one }
  • Mikayla January 20, 2015, 10:09 pm

    I have been taking Lexapro for about 18 months and didn’t notice any weight gain until I had been taking it for 6 months consistently. When I first noticed it I figured it was something else, but I started to get really worried when the weight gain just wouldn’t stop. I’ve gained 30 something pounds in the last year, and it isn’t showing signs of stopping.

    I’ve noticed that my appetite goes from nonexistent to so ravenous that I feel like I might pass out from hunger in like 10 minutes, and that I am hungry in between meals. I have also been struggling with fatigue (but since I have fibromyalgia there’s really no telling what’s causing that). I tried to change my eating and exercise habits over the past 4 months or so, but I’ve continued to gain weight.

    I have an appointment with my psychiatrist in a few days, so hopefully she can give me some answers about how to stop this. It’s interfering with my life and causing me some pretty significant self-esteem issues, not to mention making my chronic pain less manageable.

  • M. Graves May 5, 2015, 11:32 pm

    Taking 10 mg Lexapro for 17 months. My starting weight 110 lbs @ 5’6″… My weight now 134.5 lbs. Very tired all the time. My diet did not change at all, but my panic attacks are completely gone! Anxiety… none! I’m happy with the emotional effects. Not thrilled with the weight gain!

    • Vinny January 27, 2016, 4:41 pm

      Wow Just like me, I was 110lbs @ 5’6″ and now I am 136 after 6 months.

      • Kareen February 12, 2016, 12:54 am

        Like me!!! I am 5’6 weighed 110 and now I’m at 130! I even limited the calories I was eating and worked out everyday of the work week! Getting off now! Hoping weight comes off!

    • fwall April 6, 2016, 3:42 pm

      I am 5′-6″ and have been taking it for 2 years now. I went from 132 to 165. I feel better emotionally but getting bummed out about my appearance.

  • D. Cardenas May 19, 2015, 6:59 am

    I have been on Lexapro 10mg for a bit over a month now. Its really helped my depression and its helped me relax. What I’m worried about is the weight gain factor because I am an athlete and an aspiring male fitness model. At first I noticed I would be lethargic but it wore off after the initial week. My diet stayed the same but I did recognize points in time where I would find myself eating a little more junk as mentioned above. My workouts haven’t suffered though which has been good. So far I haven’t noticed any changes in fat yet, but its still early on and I don’t plan on taking this long term. I just wanted to see if there were any other extremely physically active people out there that are taking this medication.

    • Amrita May 25, 2016, 5:15 pm

      Hey D. Cardenas, I’ve just started Lexapro 10 mg. I’m dedicated to working out and in good shape for most of my life, I am also concerned about the weight gain. Keeping up with my macros and still gymming as per routine, I’m worried it won’t be enough considering looks like lexapro messes with your metabolism. Please keep me posted. Thank You.

  • Kristine May 28, 2015, 11:42 pm

    I’ve been taking Lexapro for about 11 months now and have noticed a bit of a weight gain – to the point that my pants no longer fit. it’s all gone to my hips and thighs. I’d say I’m even more active than I was before taking the medication and I eat a healthier diet. The medication has really helped but the weight gain is starting to cause self esteem issues.

    • Allison February 27, 2016, 4:43 am

      That is exactly what I am going through. I started at 124lbs and as of today I weigh 138.6 lbs and nothing has changed as in my diet or exercise routine from pre pill days. I have been on lexapro 10mg for about 5 months and I recently talked to my Dr about getting off it because of weight gain and making my self esteem crap. I have always been around the skinny side and this is the heaviest I have ever been. It did help my depression which was situational after a divorce but I think it’s time to stop this because the weight gain is making me feel bad mentally about myself.

  • Bill August 14, 2015, 4:32 pm

    Research this drug extensively before going on it. Question your doctor thoroughly if this really is the best treatment for you. I was put on it for several years only to find out my lack of focus and energy was due to a sleep disorder and NOT depression. I gained over 40 pounds while on this medicine, and many of the common side effects, and the withdrawal was terrible.

    The “brain zaps” are a very real thing, and persisted for over a month. It’s been roughly two years since I’ve been off of the stuff and the weight slowly but surely came off as well with moderate exercise and diet. Please do yourself a favor and be seen by a physician and check other factors that may contribute to your symptoms before agreeing to go on this stuff.

  • Jessica August 20, 2015, 5:29 am

    I’ve been taking lexapro for 2 years… I went from 125 pounds to now 175 pounds. This has got to stop, I’m thinking about tapering down on the drug, but I don’t know! It has help my anxiety tremendously! But the weight gain is too much for me and it’s causing me to feel depressed.

    • Krista March 20, 2016, 1:21 am

      Hi Jessica, I’m in your boat. I have been taking Lexapro for 8 years and I keep gaining weight even though, I am much more health conscious than ever before. Though my physical activity is about the same, I am eating better and have hit 200 lbs from 130lb. My energy levels are down and I feel unattractive even though I am told I am all the time. It’s the only antidepressant that has been consistent and helpful but the side effects suck.

      • Lanny July 15, 2016, 6:34 pm

        Same here, started at 145 lbs and now 185, 5’6″. Been on this for 10 years, think it is time to taper off to off completely.

      • Stacy August 1, 2016, 2:19 pm

        I have been on 20-30 mg. Lexapro for over 9 years. I was 130 lbs. For years. Literally one day I got the flu and that’s when I started gaining weight. I had gained 8 lbs. within 3 days. I just thought it was because I was going to start my period. I was so wrong… I gained 45lbs. within 3 months. My doctor ran all sorts of blood work looking for the answer but nothing came up.

        I went from a size 4/6 to a 14 . I went to 3 more doctors trying to figure out if they could figure it out. Nope! It has been over 2 yrs. now and no matter what I do I don’t lose even 1 lb. even when I’m sweating profusely. My weight has just recently increased by 6 lbs after plateauing for the past 15 months. I’ve never been heavy… never!

        I just wanted other people to realize that it is a major possibility that this could happen to them. My psychiatrist had mentioned something about the weight gain with long term use but said it isn’t as significant as mine so it probably isn’t the lexapro. Kept me on it.

        I’m going to taper off of it and see what happens after a few months being off of it. Thank you for all of you who have brought this to my attention!

        • Christine August 13, 2016, 4:57 am

          I’m in the same boat! I’m getting of Lexapro now! I started at 125 (5 foot 7) 5 years ago when I started Lexapro and now I am up to 180. I had peaked at 193 but dropped to 180 after a super ridged diet and running and went from 20 mg to 10 mg of Lexapro. But my doctor ran every test possible and can only conclude the weight gain is from Lexapro. I can’t handle it anymore, I’m on it for anxiety and hope I can deal with the anxiety in some other way!!

  • Sara August 29, 2015, 4:45 pm

    I was prescribed lexapro after my third baby was born. At the time, I was well below my pre-pregnancy weight. It was almost exactly 6 months before I started a slow and steady weight gain (I remember the timing because we took a vacation around that time and certain clothes fit great at that time). A year later, despite working out with a trainer 4 times a week, I was at my highest weight ever. I’d gained nearly 30 lbs from my first postpartum visit.

    At that point, I began to suspect lexapro was a big part of the problem. I was also experiencing insane obsessions with carbs and sugar. I almost felt like an addict. While I was generally very lazy–unable to get off the couch (which after doing some research, I’ve also attributed to lexapro)–a cookie craving would send me racing to the nearest starbucks or into the kitchen to bake a dozen. I couldn’t stop thinking about sugar/carbs until I would fill the craving. It was unbelievable.

    I’d tell my husband that I felt like I was trying to eat myself to death. I’ve now been off lexapro for a few weeks, and I’ve noticed my sugar/carb obsession is almost completely gone. While I might get the urge for a cookie now and then, it usually passes within a few minutes. It’s only without the lexapro that I can look back and realize that those intense cravings were not normal. That said, I’d used lexapro in the past with great success.

    This time around, it just didn’t work well for me. My moods were better, but I was apathetic and had no motivation. That’s tough when you’ve got 3 kids ;). Now here’s hoping the weight starts coming off!

    • Zelda April 13, 2016, 2:14 am

      Wow your situation sounds just like mine. After I had my daughter I was back weighing less than I did before and felt amazing, we went to Jamaica, I had my bikini body back, this was 10 months after giving birth. I got lots of anxiety and so my Doc put me on Lexapro, been on it 2 years now and gained 20 lbs.

      I follow a strict work out plan and meal prep and the weight will not budge. I’m very unhappy. So I lowered my dose to 10 mgs and hoping to wean totally off by end of the month. I’m not happy that I’m killing myself in the gym and absolutely no weight loss whatsoever, it’s very discouraging.

  • Ashley September 25, 2015, 6:54 pm

    I have been on 20 mg of Lex for about one year- I have gained about twenty lbs and I have even been working out and eating better than ever before, I swear! I even went to a weight loss clinic and they put me on stuff that was guaranteed to help me lose weight and 3 lbs came off and went right back on. I went from a 34C to a 34DD over this course. Not good for someone who runs a lot, I have to wear two sports bras now. Plus bras get REALLY ugly at DD.

    After I realized most of my clothes do not fit anymore due to the Lex, I decided to taper off and unfortunately forgot my pills on vacation. Due to this, I decided to just quit cold turkey since I had basically already started. It had been 5 days or so, and I hadn’t had any withdrawal symptoms, so I thought I was one of the lucky ones and in the clear. Not so much. Since then, I have had the sweats, flu-like symptoms, nausea, CRAZY dreams, and an almost drunk feeling a lot of the time.

    It is hard to explain, it’s like I look to the left or right, and it takes a minute for my brain to catch up with my eyes. I also have had mild brain zaps. They were way worse when I began Lex, so that is good. I also feel like when I speak, I don’t make sense. I am glad I stopped, because I didn’t realize how low my libido was until I stopped taking it- I am also wondering if I needed to take it at all.

    I just hope the w/ds don’t last too long… Also, I think I feel better when I have a smidge of sugar in my mouth, like candy or gum. I know I should have tapered off, but it is what it is, and I am not going back on. I am ready to start my life over drug-free.

    • Brooke December 21, 2015, 5:57 pm

      Hi Ashley, I am experiencing/ed the same problem with weight gain. How long after your stop date of lexapro, did you see your weight drop? I have been off 1 year and I am still putting on weight.

    • Linda May 19, 2016, 10:33 am

      Hi Ashley, I hope you are feeling much better by now. I too had very similar experience with Lexapro. Was on it for 7 months for major depression and anxiety. To be honest, emotionally I have never felt better in my life. I was calm, focused, no anxiety attacks- did not cry once the whole time ( and I am a crier!) Nothing got to me…NOTHING albeit it was an artificial bliss. The real world was still out there.

      Unfortunately, the weight gain started creeping up big time after 3 months. By 7 months I had packed on 15 lbs. Went from 120-ish to 135. And the weight gain was in areas I had never really gained weight in- stomach and hips and back. Gained 5 inches in my waist. OMG. So, when I hit 135 lbs that was it. I weaned of slowly over 1 week or so and then quit. Not a good idea.

      I want to thank you for explaining the withdrawal symptom so perfectly. I just could not put into words the sensation I was feeling and your comment about looking to the right or left and then taking a while for the brain to catch up was exactly what it is. I was worried I had a brain tumor. It felt like I was walking on uneven surfaces all the time. My balance was completely off.

      And I was sweating profusely to the point where people were asking me if I was ok or needed to sit down. Horrible. Was off meds for 3 weeks and finally agreed with my physician to go onto another medication that is more weight neutral- Wellbutrin. That looking to the right and left thing went away within 2 days of the new med thankfully as well as the sweating. Been on the new med for 3 days now.

      We will see how it goes. I do not want to live my life completely suicidal and anxious. I want to feel like a normal person BUT, being heavy will make me more depressed than ever. I am an have always been very weight conscious after having been quite chubby as a young child and teased relentlessly. I have lost 2 lbs since being off Lexapro.

      Hoping that by mid June, I will be able to get into a bathing suit again. Right now I am living in a black stretch maxi skirt as not one thing in my closet fits. Thank god they are still kind of in style. ;) Good luck to you!

  • Natalie chrystal October 4, 2015, 7:52 pm

    I have taken lexapro for 10 yrs 20mg and never put on weight, but over the past year I am taking 30mg and have put on 20kg but not sure if the lexapro is to blame.

  • Kevin October 5, 2015, 10:15 am

    I took 10mg daily for about a year. During that time, I gained 35 lbs. reaching the highest weight I’ve ever been. I think several factors of how Lexapro worked on me contributed to the weight gain.

    1. Although I no longer had anxiety or deep depression, over time I no longer cared much either positively or negatively about anything. Where as prior to starting Lexapro, if I noticed some weight gain, I’d take action. I noticed the weight gain but, although I didn’t like it, I didn’t care enough to do anything about it.
    2. After a few months on Lexapro, I didn’t seek out socialization (again didn’t care) and often was okay just sitting and watching TV with most of my time.
    3. My appetite increased and I found myself actually leaving my house late at night to go get food which I never would have done before Lexapro.
    4. It took a lot of food to make me feel satisfied and I never felt full. I didn’t realize this until I got off Lexapro.
    5. I believe there are other, chemical things going on that are not proven or understood but it’s not surprising that something that impacted me physically in so many other ways would also impact my weight. Even with decreased activity and more food, I don’t think I would have put on that much weight so quickly. It’s just not natural on my frame.

    Quitting Lexapro – I’ve been off of it cold turkey for about 4 weeks. I did get the intense brain zaps, dizziness especially when moving my eyes side to side, sleep screwed up, emotions all over the place, couldn’t concentrate BUT it’s all getting better and seems to be almost gone. If you’re thinking about quitting, you should consider weening yourself vs cold turkey.

    Positives about quitting are now that I care again I have started dieting and exercising, libido way up (other sexual negative side effect gone such as not being able to “finish”), engaging in a social life and getting things done that I’ve neglected. It took others, including my employer, pointing out that I don’t seem to be engaged or care much about things before I took action to quit Lexapro. For me, Lexapro worked well to get me over a bad, circumstantial period in my life. It obviously did not work for me over the long run. We’re all different so hard to say what works and what is right for one person over another. Hope this post helps others.

    • Angie Wallace April 7, 2016, 10:26 am

      Thanx for your comments Kevin. I had a brush with quitting a couple of years ago after running out whilst on holidays. The side effects sent me scrambling back to the chemist the minute we got home! However my weight gain is becoming a huge issue for me (LOL). Your experience has given me food for thought – thank you for sharing :)

    • Linda May 19, 2016, 10:44 am

      Agree on all fronts, especially about not really caring one way or the other about anything. So true. And, I could have cared less if I was engaged with other people or not. Very happy by myself, in my own little emotional “staycation”. And the same with the weight gain in the beginning. Kind of like – Ok yeah, I gained a few lbs… so, what’s for lunch?

      Perhaps the body and the mind do need a rest period from feeling everything so intensely and for me that was what Lexapro was. Time and a place for everything. Now that I am off, I too am dieting and beginning to exercise, and yes, OMG feeling something! Take care.

  • Tonya October 15, 2015, 11:28 pm

    My dosage increased from 10 to 20mg and I am gaining even more weight.

  • SJ November 7, 2015, 3:05 am

    I’ve been on 10 mg Lexapro for 12 years and I’ve gained 43 lbs. The last year I’ve reduced my dosage from 10 mg to 5 mg and haven’t lost any weight. The withdrawal has been terrible and that’s why such a lengthy tapering process. I was thin all my life and never worried about dieting until taking Lexapro…regret ever being prescribed this drug. Looking back I suspect there were better choices but my physician told me the weight gain on Lexapro would be minimal. Every time I asked about stopping it he was reluctant to agree and I failed to be persistent.

    • Lanny July 15, 2016, 6:40 pm

      Ditto for me everything you said.

  • hsmith November 27, 2015, 6:07 pm

    I have only been on Escitalopram for 2 months and I have gained 10 pounds, probably, in part, because of laziness but there is no way I should have gained that much that fast with a slight reduction in physical activity. I am still active and try to get up every .5 hour or 1 hour to do a walk around or knee bends. Another unpleasant side effect is gas. Really horrible gas. For these reasons I have decided to drop my dose down to the minimal that I can bear which is about 5 mg a day. I may have to just stop taking it. I will not go on any anti-depressant that causes weight gain and farting. My work has zero tolerance for farting.

  • KW December 7, 2015, 11:26 pm

    I have been on Lexapro for about 8 months now and I am 5’8″ and went from 145 to 165 over about 4 months and I haven’t really seen it plateau yet. I am currently take 10mg of lexapro and I am hypothyroid, two things working against me with weight gain! I have noticed that I become much more tired and not as motivate to workout. I run half marathons and enjoy working out and running, but a nice nap in the afternoon always seems like the better option.

    I also eat more carbs and sugary foods than I ever did before and I never used to wake up hungry and now I find myself going downstairs for cereal in the middle of the night. I will say however; that Lexapro has been wonderful for my anxiety and I am a much calmer person which is making me reluctant to go off the medicine. It also may be why I can justify a nap over the gym because I am more relaxed than I ever used to be.

    I spoke to my doctor about other options and she said their are other options out there that have less weight gain side effects. Although, they’re not without their own class of side effects too. As frustrating as the weight gain is, I don’t think I have really put any effort into eating better and running. I imagine if I do, it will help with the weight gain.

    I am hoping it is not working against me with my thyroid medicine and a healthier diet and more running will be my solution. Running also helps with anxiety for me, so maybe with that and better food I can reduce my meds a bit to help with the weight gain too. Lexapro has been a blessing for me and my panic attacks, so I am trying everything first before going off of it. Better fire up the coffee machine on this one!

  • Amanda December 11, 2015, 6:17 pm

    I started taking 10mg almost 1 year ago, then increased to 20mg about 4 months ago. The result has had me concerned. I’m 5’5″, and typically range from 110-120lbs at my highest. I am now painfully wearing jeans I’ve worn for the past 10 years that were never tight, just comfortable. I now have a tiny muffin top…haha. I’m extremely athletic, and have decreased the amount of food and changed to all veggies, fruit, and fish diet, and am not losing any of it. The medication works as far as slowing my thought process down and avoiding the vicious cycle.

  • Susan December 12, 2015, 7:11 pm

    I have been on Lexapro 10 mg for four years. My brain feels very good and swear I will never stop taking it. But, I have gained over 30 pounds! I hate that. I don’t know what to do.

  • mary sue jones January 18, 2016, 9:32 pm

    I been taking lexapro 10 since my husband passed in 2010. I got married again and he passed in 2015 so they upped it to 20 mg. I’ve gained 45 pounds in one year and am too tired to stand for long. My Dr says I need this that I just need to cut down in my eating and my glucose level is 118 so now she put me on metformin to lose weight… it’s not working. Help me please.

  • Trudi S February 6, 2016, 1:55 pm

    OH my gosh! I feel so validated by all of your comments! Thank you! I have been on lexapro for 1.5 years and have gained 25 pounds. My doc had said that she selected lexapro because it had no known weight gain side effects. Well she will behearing from me on this one! I’m 5’8″ and started at 130 lbs. I wanted to cry when I finally looked at the scale at a specialists office and it hit 155!

    I have been slim all of my life. My endocrinologist said it is that nasty menopause. (Post breast cancer) I am dumping this stuff, I agree with the previous comment stating that the weight gain anxiety is worse than the anxiety I had prior to taking this! Thank you for your info!

    • Zelda April 13, 2016, 2:22 am

      Me too 5’8″ used to be 130 to 135 and now 150, I have never weighed this much, always been so tiny and slim. I’m crazy into fitness and eating healthy and the weight will not budge. I’m tapering off them now. I hope the weight comes off.

      • Amrita May 25, 2016, 5:18 pm

        Hey Zelda thanks for sharing your info; I just started today and I’m scared. what was your dose when you gained weight? Mine is starting at 10 mg.

  • Amanda February 18, 2016, 1:16 pm

    I have been diagnosed with major depressive disorder, and have tried almost every antidepressant under the sun. Out of all of the ones I’ve tried, Lexapro worked absolute wonders for me. It had been so long since I felt that happy, or “normal”, it also helped with my anxiety and obsessive thoughts tremendously. I noticed a difference within a week and never wanted to get off of it!

    However, within a couple months my appetite had gotten completely out of control, I had these really strong cravings (mostly for junk food) and there was nothing I could do to stop them. I’ve always tried to be very mindful of what I eat, but with this medication it felt like I had literally no control over it. And sometimes, I didn’t care enough to even try and stop myself.

    In the 2-3 months I was on it, I gained 15 lbs. I have a thyroid disease, so keeping my weight down is very difficult as it is, and I have to always be watching what I eat very closely. So pigging out all the time was not an option for me. I’m so bummed about this outcome! Again, I thought this was a fantastic medication, and still think it’s worth giving it a shot if you’re having problems.

    But with my thyroid disease I couldn’t have anything else working against me as far as my weight goes. It really sucks. :(

  • Sue February 21, 2016, 10:28 am

    I have been on Lexapro for about 5-6 months now. Noticed it helped my anxiety very quickly. After 2 months I noticed I was so more lethargic than usual. Never having to nap before & suddenly needing long naps. After 3 months I couldn’t understand why I was so hungry all the time especially at the end of a day. It started slowly & I just thought it was a change in weather.

    About a month ago it occurred to me it might be my medication (why I didn’t think of it before I don’t know). This sought me to look it into further. I thought I was going crazy because although from time to time we have cravings & hunger pangs never was I like this on a daily basis. Now I realize I’m not going crazy.

    I am planning to go back to my Dr & look at reducing my dosage & see if this helps. If not I will be weaning under medical supervision. I think I’ve put in approximately 5 kgs & can feel it more in my upper body more than anywhere. This has caused my self esteem to go down. It’s taken most of my life to improve my self esteem so I have to weigh up what’s more important.

    I will discuss possible options with regards to other medication to see if that helps. One thing for sure….weight gain puts both your mentally & physical health at risk. Stay tuned & I’ll update with a progress report 😊.

  • Deborah March 1, 2016, 5:10 am

    I feel amazed that others share the same experience as myself! I have been taking 10mgs escitalopram for 5 months after experiencing a recurrence of breast cancer, finishing treatment and then having multiple family and friends die. Mine was situational depression. I recovered and started to cope within 2 weeks on the meds. Previous to that, been losing my chemo fat and started back at the gym. Within 3 months I so tired, I am now sleeping for 11 hours a night and can nap for 2 hours in the afternoon.

    I am bloated all the time with huge fat around my middle. I crave sugars from lunchtime onward, and jump out of bed to eat fruit buns or cereal at midnight. I’m always looking for more carbs! When I told my doctor My suspicion s about the drug, she put my dose up!! Like my anxiety must be worse!!! They do want to keep the drug company line. I will halve my dose to 5 mg and see what happens.

  • Linda March 10, 2016, 9:49 am

    I was on Lexapro for about 18 months. It was prescribed for anxiety. I felt great like a better version of myself while on it but I gained 15 pounds. None of my clothes fit and I became very angry. I was taking 10 mg so waned myself off over a period of two weeks. That was six months ago and I haven’t lost an ounce. I did Nutrisystem and on the fast five where I was supposed to lose 5 pounds I gained five more pounds.

    Now I go up and down a pound every day it never moves I get to thinking I’m losing it that it goes right back up. I’ve talked to a dietitian and she’s saying I maybe will never lose because of age I can’t believe this. But she doesn’t think it’s lasting effects from the medicine. I’m sorry but I do. Nothing I do works so I have all these clothes that I can’t wear and I am furious.

    I’m mad at my Doctor who made light of it. She said nobody is going to feel sorry for you you’re still within your BMI and I said I don’t want anybody to feel sorry for me I just want to be able to wear my clothes. I’m disgusted and discouraged and would tell everyone to never take this crap. If somebody is lost weight after going off of it please tell me I feel hopeless.

  • jobeth March 11, 2016, 9:54 pm

    I’m in the same situation as the other posters here. I have been on 10 mg for 3 months and also felt the same positive effects almost immediately. But in the three months, I have gained 7 or 8 pounds; the cravings for sweets are undeniable and it took me 2 months to realize it was from this med.

    I don’t know what to do – I am weighing the benefit – moods evened out, much happier, much more ‘myself’ – with the cost, which is obviously the weight gain. I am not experiencing lethargy at all. I think because my mood is so much better, I actually have more energy and more interest in socializing. The cost-benefit analysis really has me undecided!

  • Paula March 17, 2016, 11:48 pm

    I have been on escitalopram for just over two years and for the first time in my life I feel FAT. I have a small bone structure so have always looked a bit thin but it felt so much better than the weight I am now. I was about 110 pounds when I went on escitalopram and now I am 130 pounds! I hate the feeling of my clothes being tight and my body feeling uncomfortable when I try to do any exercise.

    I am now going to cut down from 20mgs to 10mgs a day to see what that does to my weight and my mood. Hope I can see some positive result from it. If I find it helps with the weight I will post more info about it. Good luck to everyone who is experiencing the same unwelcome side effect.

  • Tracy March 20, 2016, 10:57 pm

    Hello! I have to chime in as I can relate to many of the previous posters. I gained 60lbs when I was pregnant (that was the first time in my life that I had ever gained more than a few pounds at a time) and within 6-8 months I lost all of it and was down to my pre-pregnancy weight of 130lbs.

    After struggling with depression for years, I finally went on 10mg of Lexapro in September 2013. Mentally, I felt amazing and like how I should feel, and how I did feel the first 30+ years of my life. I felt at ease and happy and laid back and like my old self. Things were good and all was well.

    Well, 3 years later, I’m up 20 lbs and its really affecting my mood. My clothes don’t fit. I’ve gone up from a 34B-C bra size to a 34DDD/F…bras are expensive, as is a whole new wardrobe of clothes. My husband and I are eating healthy and are pretty active but the weight just keeps creeping up. I drink a ton of water and sleep well at night and am active and moving around all the time.

    The weight just sticks and the scale keeps moving up. Its all in my belly and I too look pregnant. I actually have cellulite on my arms and belly and legs now and that’s all new to me. It’s a downer. I’m starting to taper and am hoping the weight will come off and my depression can be kept at bay. Fingers crossed.

  • Shelli March 21, 2016, 2:56 am

    Can anyone say that they have actually lost the weight after stopping? I was on 10mg for about 4-5 months and realized I have gained 10lbs already. I’m at my heaviest ever and have watched my appetite and exercise more regularly. 2 weeks ago I decided to start weaning off. Now I’m at 5mg. The weight gain will stress me out more than the GAD I was originally put on it for. :(

    • Terry July 19, 2016, 8:42 pm

      I weaned myself off over a period of 1 year and am just starting to lose some of the 30 pounds I gained. The long period of weaning was because the withdrawal was bad. I had gastric bypass and was very happy with my weight and I still have the weight after 3 years.

    • Janine November 9, 2016, 1:24 pm

      I was on 10mg for about 2 years and went from 57kg to 62kg, even though I exercised and ate a low carb diet. I weaned myself off slowly over a period of 6 months because the side effects were awful trying to do it any faster. I started losing the weight and was back at 57kg in about 6 months while off the meds.

      I was doing fine for awhile but started feeling the anxiety slowly creeping up on me again until I felt like I couldn’t control it anymore. So I tried Valdoxan 25mg for 3 weeks which is supposed to not cause weight gain. This helped me sleep but didn’t do much for the anxiety.

      I decided to go back on Cipralex/Lexapro again at a low dose and see how it goes. Started at 2.5mg a week ago and feel awesome, anxiety completely gone! Hopefully I can stay on this dose which will keep the anxiety at bay but not cause me to gain too much weight. Fingers crossed!

  • Stephanie March 28, 2016, 2:10 pm

    Every side effect listed in this article has happened to me from Lexapro. I LOVE what it does for my anxiety but it has destroyed my body. I am a firm believer that it is to blame for my weight, my belly fat, my sugar addiction/carb cravings, lack of motivation, lack of “feelings” and lack of sex drive. I told my doctor recently that if my grandmother died tomorrow I wouldn’t cry- because I have NO emotions on it. I am currently trying some natural remedies but they are not working. I am meeting with my doctor today to discuss other options. I would no longer recommend this medication to anyone.

  • Angie Wallace April 7, 2016, 11:14 am

    Well all of the above is very familiar to me. I was diagnosed with Major Depressive disorder around 2001 (39 y/o) and tried a couple of medications until Lexapro was prescribed and worked wonderfully for me. I would guess I’ve been on Lexapro for more than 12 years and have gained around 25 kilograms (55 pounds).

    I was diagnosed with Sleep Apnea in 2009 (47 yo) and am now treated with a CPAP machine. Before Lexapro, I was a gorgeous, neurotic 30 something business woman (size 14-16) running a home for my teenage son’s and loving husband and our many friends, traveling the world and being a positive example to my boy’s and god-daughters. Now I’m a 50 something grandma (size 20-22) with a serious weight problem, non-alcoholic liver disease, GERD and I just can’t seem to get interested in anything.

    Don’t settle for OK people – push your doctor’s to offer OPTIONS – research for yourself – talk to others about their experiences – consider natural remedies.

  • Tandeka April 12, 2016, 4:06 am

    I’ve been taking 10mg for almost 7 months now. My breast has more than doubled in size, it’s horrible (although my spouse doesn’t seem to mind 😊). Even my large loosely fitting blouses are now tight in the chest area. It is most uncomfortable. I noticed gaining weight but it seems my breast and stomach grows daily.

    I’ve never had a stomach for most of my life so this is difficult. I couldn’t understand why I was feeling so lethargic all the time and started having headaches. Now I’m dizzy occasionally and having irregular heartbeats sometimes. It helped with my anxiety but the side effects just aren’t worth it. I have to wean off!

    • Lanny July 15, 2016, 6:45 pm

      Same here, breasts have grown so much and I hate it.

  • Tracy April 12, 2016, 6:44 pm

    I’ve been off for about a month and haven’t lost any weight yet. I can finally wear my engagement ring and wedding band though! It’s been years since they have fit on my finger. I definitely feel less bloated and thick. The withdrawal from the medication is no joke though. I had no idea what I was in for.

  • Paula April 17, 2016, 6:43 am

    I thought I’d do a bit of an update as I’ve now cut down from 20mg to 10mg of escitalopram. It’s been 4 weeks + a couple of days since I cut down. I weighed myself this morning and I am about 5lbs less without having to try to cut down on food or change what I eat. My mood is more or less the same which is always up and down even with full doses of any anti-depressant.

    I can’t say that overall I’ve noticed any particular change in my anxiety or sleeping which have always varied throughout my life whether I was taking medication or not. My appetite in general is definitely less than on escitalopram so whether or not that is now “normal” for me I’m not sure. My clothes are still tight especially jeans and I refuse to buy a size up as then I’d never get back to my old version of a “normal” weight!

    Will add further comments if and when there is something useful to post. Good luck as always to everyone out there who’s getting unwanted side effects from this mediation.

  • Katie May 12, 2016, 6:58 am

    Totally different for me. Started at 140lbs and now I’m 129. I have literally no appetite. Have to remind myself to eat which is foreign to me given I have always worked in restaurant public relations… I literally eat for a living. I’m not complaining but it does seem very strange. I haven’t worked out once since I started taking it.

    • Amrita May 25, 2016, 5:20 pm

      Hey Katie, that’s so great to hear. How long have you been on it to lose weight? I’m starting at 10 mg and 130 lbs… don’t want to gain weight.

  • Tracy May 15, 2016, 3:22 pm

    Its me again, giving another update. I’ve been completely off 10mg of Lexapro since March 2016 and the withdrawal symptoms are over thankfully. I have lost 1-3lbs maybe? But mainly I just don’t feel so thick and bloated. My face feels thinner and I don’t have the big, hard, 5 months pregnant looking belly anymore.

    I feel the depression and anxiety lurking under the surface. It’s uncomfortable for me to feel those feelings but I’m trying to stay off the meds and just roll with it. It’s been interesting to really see the medicine leveled me out and now what it feels like to be off.

    • Shelli May 18, 2016, 3:38 am

      Tracy, thank you for your updates. Was hoping cutting back to 5mg for me would help, but just at Drs and I gained 6 more in the last few months. Working out more than ever in my life, but gaining the weight is stressful. The 5mg seems to help my anxiety, but is still affecting my weight. Thankfully, I did not have the horrible withdrawal symptoms going from 10 to 5, probably going to wean myself completely soon.

      • Linda May 19, 2016, 10:59 am

        Be careful Shelly with the weaning. I did not have any symptoms going down from 10 to 5 but once off, it was not good. I weaned myself off without telling the doctor. She was not happy. I probably should have followed her for some advise on this which may have made the withdrawal easier. I had not expected the intensity of the side effects. Take care.

  • Carol May 23, 2016, 2:36 pm

    I am very concerned I was put on this for horrid menopause, my second time around yay me. I was 125 and am now a stick at 113 lbs! This is not good as I am active I am eating like a horse so back to Dr is it metabolism or? I am a 61 year old female anyone else have this effect? I have only been on it 1 & 1/2 months and am stopping it it has made my sweats worse and I am tense. I have had breast cancer so I cannot take estrogen thought I’d gone through this 11 years ago.

  • Maris May 31, 2016, 2:33 pm

    I started taking Lexapro roughly 17-18 months (almost 2 years) ago at 10 mg. When this failed to control my symptoms, I was bumped up to 20 mg daily.
    I have been taking 20 mg. daily since September 2015 and have seen significant weight gain with the 20 mg. I am 5’7″ and started at 146-147 lbs. I am now at 160 lbs.

    My diet has not changed and my exercise has fluctuated throughout college, but has never resulted in this significant amount of weight gain. When I began taking it, I had gained maybe 3-5 lbs. from college habits. I have recently increased exercise (within the last month cardio and strength training) and have failed to see notable changes..

    The bonus side of this medicine: no panic attacks, heart beat has normalized, no shortness of breath (asthma seems controlled), and I am happier. It has helped me balance my extremely busy college lifestyle. I notice all of the weight gain is in my stomach (I have ALWAYS had a flat stomach) and my hips.

    Currently debating whether to ween myself down to 5 or 10 mg for the time being. Most likely will cut back and see how symptoms and weight gain are impacted.

  • Michelle June 20, 2016, 1:33 pm

    I started Lexapro towards the end 2013 I first started on 5mg and eventually ended up taking 10mg. Prior to this I had debilitating anxiety, Lexapro has been helpful in relieving the anxiety but I have gained a lot of weight roughly 3 to 4 sizes in clothes which doesn’t help having always had a body image issue. I feel, I now struggle with the demons accepting myself being fuller figured and battle balancing feeling more emotionally balanced. I’ve always exercised and still do but not getting any results, I’m not strict on my eating but eat within moderation.

  • HelenaD July 14, 2016, 1:34 pm

    After being on Lexapro for 6 mos and gaining 28 lbs, my doctor put me on Wellbutrin to offset the crazy sugar insatiable sugar cravings. I mean pure processed sugar – fruits did not satisfy it at all. Anyway, the WB helped with the cravings but the needle on the scale hasn’t moved. All the weight I have gained is in the belly area and no improvements. I’ve been off the meds for 3 months now and I just want to know if this will ever go away.

  • Tracy July 18, 2016, 12:43 pm

    Hi all, I’m back to update. After 9 weeks off of Lexapro I caved and went back on. I was up all night with anxiety, heart pounding out of my chest, miserable, angry, snapping at everyone, and just flat out depressed. I felt like I was a shell of my former happy self.

    I lost about 5 lbs, my rings fit, my face thinned out, and overall I felt thinner and less bloated. But I couldn’t take the way I felt mentally. It’s been about 5 weeks since going back on and I’m back to my normal, happy, positive self. But I’m thick and bloated again. Argh!!

  • Haley July 24, 2016, 11:01 pm

    Oh my gosh, I am almost in tears having found this comment thread! I have felt so alone and confused by this weight gain, and was starting to think it might be the Lexapro and now I am certain that’s what is going on! My story: I have PCOS and take meteor in for insulin resistance. Before having my son in March 2014 I weighed 172 (comfortable size 10, but very strong and worked out a lot).

    Post pregnancy I weighed 184 lbs and started trying to lose weight and managed to get about 6 lbs off. In summer 2015 I started getting regular anxiety attacks and was hardly able to eat, with constant stomach issues. By October 2015, I was down to 167 and a very comfortable size 10 again, but an emotional wreck.

    I was put on 10mg Lexapro in November 2015 and it helped me be able to function normally in a matter of weeks. I gained about 3-4 lbs and figured it was just because I wasn’t sick all the time. Fast forward to July 2016 and I went from 172 to 182 in about a month. My weight (and water retention) has been yo-yoing and so I went to the doctor and she basically told me I just need to lose lots of weight and suggested weaning off the Lexapro since I don’t seem to need it.

    I weaned off over a week and now I am scared and unsure of what happens next. I am starting to exercise again, and have always eaten reasonably well (no snacking, smallish portions) but battled sugar/carb cravings. I want to have another baby, but the prospect of having this extra weight on my hips and thighs makes me want to vomit/cry. Has anyone had success getting the weight off after 7 months of Lexapro?

    • Shelli August 23, 2016, 7:51 am

      Well, I have finally weaned myself completely off Lexapro. I had been on since November 2015, but I could not take gaining another pound! Side effects were not as bad as I had thought they would be, but I went very slowly… from 10 to 5 to 2.5 and then 2.5 every other day for about a month. I think it’s worth the extra time not to have the horrible side effects.

      I do feel moody and edgy some days, but I’m try to offset it by exercising or just focusing on something else. As for the weight, no change yet but it’s only been a couple weeks. I’m really trying to eat even healthier. Hoping to notice a change soon. At this point 1lb off instead of on would be great! Anyone else having luck with losing lbs?

  • Marie August 31, 2016, 11:58 pm

    It seems like I have been on this the longest from the comments here. I’m in my 14th year of taking Lexapro. It has helped me immensely, mentally, socially, with friends and family relationships… but physically I’m a complete train wreck. I was always 103 lbs. Friends said I had the ‘skinny’ gene… my brothers are slim my parents are slim… then here I am after twelve years of the drug only 5 mg, 2x per day now 150 lbs and climbing!!!

    I went from a size 34 B to 36 G… it’s all middle body weight. I workout daily and have for years and eat 1200 calories approx a day… I am constantly hungry and can’t eat without gaining pound after pound… so I live on a diet and if I even cheat once… with a piece of cake at a party or ice cream after a sensible dinner… I gain no kidding a pound!!!

    I have to starve to get it off! My doctor says it’s the medication but we’ve tried it all and nothing else works. So folks don’t beat yourselves up for eating it’s not you at all it’s the drug!!! And I did go off after a long illness for 9 months with AWFUL side effects…but I lost 10 pounds effortlessly… and would have lost it all I am sure if I could have stayed off!!!

    Shortly after my son begged me to go back on because I was so short tempered and negative and angry not only did I drive my self crazy but my friends and family too. I had no choice but to go back on… and in two months with my Dr’s diet and exercise plan in place… I put the 10 lbs right back on… It’s really really a sad state to be in. I am totally convinced that if it were not for my exercise routine and diet I would be 100 lbs overweight instead of 45lbs!

  • Judy September 8, 2016, 11:51 pm

    Been on lexapro for about 2 years now and it seems like I looked in the mirror one day and gained 14 lbs. I’m 5’5″, weighed 118 lbs and work out with weights and cardio 5x/week! What the…?! I’m so depressed from the weight.

    I look 4 months pregnant, and it is giving me depression and I’m on the lexapro for anxiety. What a mess. I am so worried that I am considering stopping cold turkey. How long do side effects last? At age 50 I am praying the weight comes off.

    • shelli September 11, 2016, 3:01 am

      I know what you mean about looking pregnant. It’s terrible. But don’t go cold turkey. I went 10, 5, 2.5 to 2.5 every other day, over a couple months with no awful side effects. Some moodiness and extra anxiety but not every day. I did like how lexapro made me feel, but the weight gain is just not worth it. Doctors say this doesn’t make you gain weight. I don’t see how they can say that… It’s so obvious. :(

      • Cary September 12, 2016, 4:30 pm

        It is true! You gain lots of weight. My doctor tells me the same. Oh no this drug does not make you gain weight. But it does and big time.

  • Cary September 12, 2016, 4:27 pm

    My emotional status before taking Lexapro was horrible to the point that was affecting my whole family. After taking Lexapro I feel so great emotionally and panic attacks gone, anger gone and I get to see situations differently. But the weight gain has been horrible and has affected my self-esteem plus pains all over my body. I don’t want to feel like I used too because it was like living in hell but I don’t like this weight gain that does not stop. Any advice please?

  • Ssmith October 4, 2016, 2:17 am

    I have been taking lexapro for about 8 months. I have gained 25 pounds. I am devastated. My weight has been pretty steady the last 8-9 years so gaining is a big deal. My doctor added Wellbutrin to try and counteract the weight gain effect from lexapro but has not worked. Now, don’t get me wrong. Lexapro has been a lifesaver for my severe anxiety disorder. But I am seriously considering stopping lexapro and continuing Wellbutrin to maybe turn around my weight gain. Has anyone lost the weight that they gained when they stopped lexapro?

  • Wendy October 12, 2016, 3:33 am

    I was on 20mg of Lexapro for about 10 years and had gained weight but because of my age thought if was menopause. I exercised and virtually stopped eating and lost 8kilo. It wasn’t until my dosage was doubled and the lost kilos came back on quickly that I realised something was up. I then found out that it was the 40mg lexapro I was taking that was the cause of the weight gain and probably the high blood pressure I suddenly ended up with after never having problems with this. Talk about a rock and a hard place. Now going to look at alternative Chinese medicine and no amount of exercise and non eating is helping. Even given up the booze!!

  • Marie October 17, 2016, 12:37 am

    UPDATE: I’m finally off the Lexapro with the help of my Dr. It took 8 weeks of weaning and awful nervous attacks but with counseling/B vitamins/5htp
    I’m finally completely off after 14 years on this medication and a 45lb weight gain. I’ve lost 12lbs in the process and my cholesterol is now normal and so is my blood pressure.

    I started the Keto Diet hoping to lose more and I feel fantastic! I had read that this diet of very low carbs and NO sugar stops mood swings and balances hormones… Seems like this was my answer to this problem of anxiety and weight gain… My Doctor’s plan seems to have worked…

    Weaning, diet, vitamins, and counseling….next I’ll add some exercise and hope that helps even more.

  • Cassie October 20, 2016, 1:15 am

    I started off at 5mg of Lexapro in February 2015. I noticed some weight gain at first (no more than 10lbs.) but I had lost a lot of weight from anxiety/depression so that was definitely from getting my weight and appetite back to normal. I decided to go to college in fall and my Dr. increased my dosage to 7mg and I was fine. As the school year progressed my Dr. and I again decided an increase was needed.

    In October 2015 we went up to 10mg and by Thanksgiving time I was at 20mg. It was then that the weight started just appearing out of nowhere. No major changes to diet of exercise or anything really. My weight went up and up and it was a steady gain. From the time I started the 20mg to now (nearly a year later) I have gained over 30 pounds. I am 150lbs and climbing, my normal weight was always in the 120-130 range and I’m 5’4″.

    It’s hard enough dealing with the mental issues without adding in self confidence issues on top of it. I have stretch marks and my clothes no longer fit. I didn’t want to attribute the weight gain to the medicine, I thought it was just the freshman 15 but in all honesty, my diet has not changed and if anything I’m more conscious of what I’m eating because of this weight issue. The Lexapro has become ineffective for me anyway so I’m definitely due for a new alternative.

    I will say that the lower dosage worked fine for me for almost a year and everyone is different. I did feel happier and less anxious. That’s something I would be happy to gain a couple pounds for. But gaining over 30lbs with no more positive results mentally isn’t worth it. My advice: Just talk to your doctor to figure out what’s right for you.

    Along the way listen to your body and don’t be afraid to voice your concerns to your Dr. There are a lot of options out there, it’s just about finding what works for YOU.

  • Christine October 20, 2016, 7:04 pm

    I’m trying to wean off lexapro because of this stubborn weight gain. I have increased my exercise, tracking calories and STILL weight wont budge. Never had this situation in my life before – typically if I make an effort to lose weight, it works. Im working with a naturopath who is weaning me off and putting me on L-theanine and Sam-E. This combination is helping with the returning anxiety. So if you are weaning of lexapro – try to find a supplement alternative to help with the returning symptoms of anxiety and depression.

  • Leah October 24, 2016, 12:07 am

    This is making me feel like a human again. I have been on lexapro for ten years now. I was 126 pounds or less when I started (underweight as I am 5ft 8, and wasn’t eating) and now am 189 pounds. I went from being a pretty and slim girl who could wear whatever I want to now being disgusted at myself in the mirror. Last year I dieted for 8 months hardcore, chicken, meat, eggs, veg, no carbs. Working out 6 days a week and it look me 9 months to lose 26 pounds. (Serious hard work).

    This was for a holiday and was souls crushing as I had zero fun, enjoyment from food in the process. Food was function. I was happy with my results that took me so long and such hard work to achieve. My personal trainer was baffled and couldn’t for the life of her understand how it was taking so long for me to lose the weight given the measures we were taking, very disheartening.

    I kept the weight off while I was travelling for 2 months but as soon as I got home it was as if I was gaining 2 pounds a day. I got back from trip October 2015 and have gained 35 pounds. What I had lost and more. It is out of control, and making me miserable. It is hard for me to be so uncomfortable in my own body.

    I have been getting thyroid tests with doctor to try figure out what is happening. Thyroid was coming back underactive in 9 out of 10 tests. The last test was the one where it was allegedly fine so that was thrown out the window as the explanation. I am at my wits end with my weight and the doctor told me lexapro does not cause weight gain. Help

  • Isabella October 25, 2016, 3:26 am

    Hi, I have been reading through the comments regarding Lexapro/Cipralex in Canada, and weight gain. I have been dealing with the same issue, and the weight gain has affected how I feel about myself. I want to mention that I’m on Wellbutrin 300mg and Cipralex 5mg. Prior to taking Cipralex, I lost app. 50lbs. I like Wellbutrin and found that it helped me to lose the weight as it kept my appetite and cravings at bay however, I could tell that I needed something more.

    That’s where the Cipralex came in. My doctor said that it would not cause weight gain but from my own experience, and from my research, this is not true. I have been on Cipralex since the week of Christmas 2015. It has helped me but I have noticed that I am tired often, and have little motivation. I want to take something that will help me mentally but not affect my weight.

    I asked to switch to Pristiq but I’m nervous as I am very sensitive to meds. I went through hell when I started on both Wellbutrin and Cipralex even though I’m on a very low dosage. I was prescribed 25mg for the first week and then told to take 50mg thereafter however, I learned that Cipralex does not come in 25mg in Canada. I called my doctor’s office today and left a message but in the meantime, I’m trying to figure out what I want to do.

    Take a chance and try Pristiq at 50mg along with Wellbutrin, or take Prozac, which my doctor suggested but I’m not keen on taking. I hate this. I wish that I didn’t need AD’s but I do, at least for now. I’m trying to get myself to reading material on positive affirmations, and putting it into practice. A friend also introduced me to essential oils and I read that they are good for anxiety and depression but I don’t want to just stop taking AD’s as I’m trying to figure things out in my life.

    I would like to know what other meds people are switching over to? Everyone is sharing their story and experience with Cipralex but not many people are stating what med they are switching to, if any. It would be so helpful and it would be great to hear from the people who posted a year ago, and know how they are doing. Thanks.

  • LM November 15, 2016, 10:37 pm

    I was on 5 mg Lexapro for 11 months. I weighed 120 (5’5″) when I began and now weigh 130. Those 10 pounds came on during the last few months I was on the drug. I maintained the same eating habits and exercise routine. I weaned off slowly with very few side effects. However, I have now been completely Lexapro-free for 3.5 months and have not lost 1 pound despite tremendously upping my exercise routine and eating 1500 calories (sometimes fewer) each day.

    Nothing is working and my doctor isn’t concerned because my BMI is healthy. But I can’t fit comfortably in my old clothes! How much longer before the weight will come off? What else can I do? Or do some people just never lose the weight they put on?

  • Renee November 23, 2016, 12:36 pm

    I have been taking Lexapro for a year and 4 months. I have gained a total of about 17lbs. I was also taking ativan (0.5mg) along with it. I am on my 9th day of not taking my meds. I have only experienced SOME joint pain, but that is all. Since I have been on these meds, I have experienced a great deal of memory loss, therefore I would actually forget to take my meds for two days.

    On the morning of the third day I would be having an anxiety attack. As I stated, I am on my 9th day without any meds, and all the credit and glory goes to God. He still perform miracles! Throughout the time I was on the meds and dealing with the change in me and in my life, meaning that I resigned from my salary paying job to a hourly paying job, because I could no longer keep up with the workload and be successful on my job, I began speaking healing scriptures over my body and mind.

    I am still doing it now, and believing God for total healing and restoration. I have experienced both healing in my body before and in my life, so I have first hand experience of His supernatural power. I want to end saying what the Word of God says, “Cast all your cares upon me for I careth for you.” I believe through learning to trust God with our lives and all situations that may ever occur, this is the beginning of a new life of peace.

  • MaryBee November 23, 2016, 2:31 pm

    I have been on Lexapro (20mg) for over two years now. I stand 5’2″ and started out at 149 and was shocked when I did a weigh in last Thursday to find I was at 196.4. I really didn’t know a side effect of Lexapro was weight gain. I had been on other medications and the minute I saw a weight gain I would stop taking them. I have developed fibromyalgia over the last five years and all I keep hearing is you need to stay active.

    That is difficult to do when you don’t have the energy to even sit. I sleep about 5 hours a night and I stay on a constant diet. I have noticed in the last several months I have a hard time with remembering names of everyday things like measuring spoons. In reviewing some of the other posts now I think I may have a talk with my doctor.

    What I am doing now is not really living and I have been very concerned that I had had a stroke because of the memory problem, but the tests say NO. I have to get this weight off and I have tried just about everything except surgery. Pills that have caused some damage to my liver, restrictive diet plans, gym membership, home gym equipment.

    I wish I had come across your article before this. I had no idea that it could be the Lexapro… I am not sure I can get by without an SSRI but wish I could find one that wouldn’t kill me. This weight will defiantly decrease my lifespan.

  • Sandy November 27, 2016, 9:30 pm

    I have been on 10 mgs of Lexapro for 3 years. I am 5’1″ and weighed 128 when I went on. Now I’m 170. I’m going off now per my doctors plan for tapering. Hope the cravings stop. I stayed on because it worked so well turning my brain off at night. I slept so well while on it but it isn’t worth this weight.

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