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Celexa and Weight Gain: Causes & Factors To Consider

Celexa (Citalopram) is a drug that is commonly prescribed for the treatment of depression. It works as an SSRI (selective-serotonin reuptake inhibitor) which increases extracellular levels of serotonin. It is believed that by increasing serotonin, it is an effective treatment for major depression as well as various forms of anxiety and panic disorders. It has been around since 1998 and is still regarded as a very popular antidepressant treatment.

Despite the fact that many people get relief from depressive or anxious symptoms while taking this drug, many people experience unwanted side effects. Perhaps the most obvious and difficult side effect to deal with is that of weight gain. Packing on a few pounds isn’t generally considered a big deal, but some people end up packing on more than just a few as a result of the treatment.

Celexa and Weight Gain

There is research showing that anyone taking SSRIs like Celexa for a long term (e.g. 6 to 12 months) will likely gain some weight. Not everyone will gain a significant amount, but the fact is that certain individuals gain so much weight, that the weight gain itself becomes a source of depression and anxiety. This ends up becoming a Catch-22 – treat the original symptoms, but gain weight and feel depressed and anxious about it.

How Celexa Causes Weight Gain: List of Theories

There hasn’t been much scientific research conducted as to why antidepressants, particularly SSRIs like Celexa cause people to gain weight. In the past, most patients were told that Celexa won’t cause any weight gain. Now, we know that it probably will, but most professionals don’t really know why. Below are some possibilities of how this drug causes people to gain weight.

  • Appetite increase: A number of people may be so depressed prior to taking Celexa that they experience a poor appetite and/or don’t eat much. When the drug starts working, they may become hungrier and start eating more meals. The amount of appetite increase that a person experiences is subject to individual variation.
  • Body’s fat storage: It is possible the mechanism by which the body stores fat becomes altered when a person takes an SSRI. This leads to some people experiencing an increase of body-fat in places such as the stomach, chest, and/or hips. While not everyone accepts this theory, it is still a possibility.
  • Carbohydrate cravings: Many people start taking Celexa and notice that they crave carbohydrates. Since there is a clear link between the neurotransmitter serotonin and carbohydrates, some speculate that the drug-induced serotonergic alterations are responsible for making some people crave carbohydrates. If you start eating junk food, sugary food, or develop cravings after you start the drug, it’s probably a byproduct of the Celexa.
  • Drug interactions: If you are taking other medications (or drugs), the Celexa may be interacting with it to further increase weight gain. Those taking an antipsychotic along with an SSRI often notice this to be the case. Some drugs work synergistically to alter homeostatic functioning and can significantly slow metabolism.
  • Hormonal abnormalities: In some cases, it is believed that Celexa is capable of altering hormone levels. As a person continues long-term treatment with this medication, it is possible that the drug changes levels of certain hormones, which causes weight gain. When our bodies don’t produce adequate amounts of certain hormones and/or produce excess amounts of other hormones (e.g. cortisol), it’s easy to gain weight.
  • Improved taste: Many people notice that their tastebuds perk up when they take an antidepressant. This leads them to enjoy food more than prior to being medicated. The improved taste may lead to more frequent snacking and food consumption than in the past.
  • Motivation deficit: It’s possible to become less motivated when taking medications. Many people taking antidepressants have a tough time getting to the gym or even getting some basic exercise because the drug depletes their intrinsic motivation.
  • Side effects: Certain side effects from this drug may lead someone to become lazier than usual. If you feel lethargic, sleepy, sluggish, or drowsy after you take this drug, chances are that you’re not in any hurry to get out of bed, let alone get physical activity. The side effects alone can make a person so tired, that they have a difficult time staying active which leads to a slowed metabolism.
  • Slow metabolism: A well-accepted theory is that when a person takes an SSRI, it slows a person’s metabolism. This means that even if a person is eating the same diet they were prior to taking Celexa, they are going to experience some weight gain. If you are exercising and eating healthy, but are still packing on pounds, it’s likely due to a metabolic alteration.
  • Social eating: Those that find this drug helping their depression and/or anxiety may start doing things with friends and co-workers. One such activity that they may take up is that of social dining or going out to eat with others. While going out to eat isn’t bad if healthy foods are selected, most people order comfort foods when eating with others. Continuous social eating is often a fast-track method to gain weight.

Note: The above theories are all possibilities as to how Celexa may contribute to weight gain. Keep in mind that one specific change such as slowed metabolism may cause you to gain weight, but a combination of changes is the more likely cause.

Factors that influence weight gain on Celexa

There are a variety of factors that influence the amount of weight you’ll gain from taking Celexa. Keep in mind that these include individual factors like genetics, the dosage you’re taking, how long you’ve been on the drug, as well as interactions with other drugs.

1. Dosage

The drug comes in 10 mg, 20 mg, and 40 mg tablets. Those that are taking a relatively high dose like 40 mg are more likely to gain weight. The more you increase your dose of a drug, the more changes it elicits upon your physiological functions. Each time you increase your dosage, you also increase the potential (and possibly the amount) of weight gain. If you are taking a low dose such as 5 mg or 10 mg, you may not gain any noticeable weight.

2. Individual factors

There are a variety of individual factors that will influence how much weight someone could gain on this medication. These include things like: environmental stress, baseline metabolism, genetics, hormones, sleep patterns, dietary intake, exercise, and habits. Those who eat healthy foods and get plenty of exercise may be less likely to gain significant weight.

People who don’t get sufficient sleep, eat a lot of carbohydrates, and don’t exercise are thought to gain more weight. It is always important to consider the efforts you are making to keep your weight healthy. You may also want to consider checking out GeneSight, a test that analyzes your genetics to determine how well you’ll tolerate Celexa.

3. Time span

The duration over which you have been taking Celexa plays a role in determining whether you’ll gain weight. Those who take the drug for a short-term (e.g. a few months) may not gain any weight. Some studies show that most people gain weight after they’ve been taking this drug for 6 to 12 months.

This is likely due to the fact that the body has become increasingly reliant on the drug and certain homeostatic functions have been altered. Most people also notice that their antidepressant stops working as a result of tolerance when taken over the long term. This typically leads to an increase in dosage, which is known to further increase weight gain.

4. Other drugs/medications

Always think about the effect of other medications (besides Celexa) on your weight. If you are taking any other drugs, they may be interacting with Celexa to increase the amount of weight you gain. If multiple medications are slowing your metabolism, the cumulative weight gain resulting from combined treatments may be even more significant than just taking one or the other.

Individuals that suspect multiple medications are causing an increase in weight may want to talk to their doctor about alternative strategies. Figuring out which drug is having a greater impact on your weight is often tricky, but may be worthwhile if you can afford to stop one of the treatments.

How much weight will you gain from Celexa?

Many studies suggest that compared to other SSRIs, Celexa seems to be the least likely to cause weight gain. Those that take the drug for just a short-term (e.g. less than 6 months) may actually lose weight or remain weight neutral. In general though, those that take any SSRI medication for over 6 months are likely to experience some weight gain.

Experts suggest that the amount of weight gained is an average of 10 lbs. over the course of SSRI treatment. Another study found that people gained an average of 15.7 lbs. after just 2 months of treatment. There appears to be conflicting evidence in regards to how much weight you’ll gain (on average) from this drug.

Will everyone gain weight while taking Celexa?

Not everyone will gain weight while taking Celexa. Those that are taking adjunct treatments (e.g. stimulants) that increase activity in the central nervous system may gain no weight. Others that take particularly astute care of their dietary intake and exercise habits may not gain much weight from this drug. Some studies suggest that 1/4 individuals taking an SSRI will gain weight. However, if you’re on Celexa for a long-term, some weight gain is likely inevitable.

Celexa: Cost-Benefit Analysis

When taking any drug, it is important to evaluate the efficacy of the treatment and compare it to the drawbacks that you’re experiencing. In other words, analyze the benefits (degree of efficacy) and compare it with the costs (side effects). If Celexa has stopped working or isn’t working well, plus you are gaining weight, it may be worth considering another medication and/or pursuing Celexa withdrawal. If this drug is working well, and you only gained a little weight, the little bit of weight is likely a fair tradeoff for the significant improvement in mood.

Did you gain weight while taking Celexa?

Although not everyone will pack on excess weight while taking Celexa, it would be nice if the people who gained weight could share their experience. Feel free to discuss what you think caused you to gain weight, what dosage you took, how long you had been taking Celexa, etc. Sharing your story may help someone else relate who may have also experienced the inevitable, dreaded weight gain associated with SSRI medications.

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107 thoughts on “Celexa and Weight Gain: Causes & Factors To Consider”

  1. I posted on here a year ago. I started taking celexa at 40mg in October 2014 and stopped January 21 2016. I was always active and kept track of my macros since learning about fitness and nutrition nearly 14 years ago. I have only had this problem once before. That’s when I was on Prozac.

    It took a year after stopping for me to lose a pound. Here I am 2 years after stopping celexa and I have yet to lose weight. I am literally breaking down while writing this. I workout 6 times a week doing 45 minutes of cardio or HIIT, weight train for 45 minutes. I cook everything from scratch to eliminate hidden carbs and sugars.

    I track my macros and calories in MyFitnessPal religiously. I am averaging 1200-1400 calories per day. I still can’t lose weight. Not even a pound. I don’t know what else to do and my relationship is holding on by a thread. I am newly engaged and I can’t even enjoy it because of the weight gain.

    I don’t even want to try on a wedding dress. I am deeply afraid that this is permanent. Afraid I am stuck with this body forever. I am on the verge of tears. I can’t take this anymore. :(

    • Up your calorie intake by 200. Just 200. That’s a lot of working out for just 1200 to 1400 calories a day. You might not be eating enough.

    • Hi Dawn, I found that I gained a bit of weight and became extremely bloated once I stopped the medication as well.

  2. I am a 53 year old woman who has been on 20mg of Celexa for anxiety for 16 months. I have gain 15 pounds, approximately 1 pound a month since beginning Celexa. When I began Celexa I weighed 128 pounds, exercised a minimum of 3 days a week, and my diet was 1300 to 1600 calories a day.

    My diet or intake of food has not changed and no increased appetite, but I just keep gaining weight. I have decided to go off the medication in hopes that I will lose the weight. I have never had a problem with weight in my entire life.

  3. Hello, I wrote a post back in 2015 and I am so happy that others have found this article and have provided updates and know that you’re not alone! Another update. I have now been off of citalopram since August 4, 2015 and now finally I am seeing a big difference with the weight loss!!! Yay!!

    There is hope, don’t get rid of your clothes that aren’t fitting at the moment! I haven’t changed my exercise or eating habits too drastically, I think it is just my metabolism has taken this long to get back to normal, and believe it or not I am still getting the occasional brain zap! I hope there is not any permanent damage done.

    If you are still trying to loose the weight gained from the medication, once you are off know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, you just need to be patient. Trust me I did have my moments of frustration during this last year and a half that it would never come off, but it does!!! The doctors lie or are just not told about the weight gain in training or, I know this sounds a bit nuts but maybe the doctors “not knowing” is party of the multi-billion $ diet industry, maybe they are in cahoots!

    (Notice the ads on this website, a bit fishy is it not?) Who knows, it seems so bizarre to me that a physician would have no idea about the weight gain, the most obvious side effect! Anyways enough about my crazy ways. And when being on the medication, I could not help giving in to my food cravings, and the junkier the food the more satisfying but yes I could not get enough, I was told by doctors that maybe I was eating more/gaining weight because I was feeling better (not depressed), total bull! It is the medication. Keep at it people, there is hope!!

  4. I have been on Celexa for about a year to treat symptoms of hot flashes after a hysterectomy. I have always been 114 pounds and very active in Boot Camp including races. A year later, and I am now 131 pounds. I was taking one pill and a half which is 15 mg. Now I am taking 10 mg every other day to wean myself off of it. I do not intend to go back on Celexa. I will try black cohosh in order to deal with the hot flashes. This weight gain is more depressing because I have the exact same eating patterns and workout pattern as before except the wait won’t go down. I’ll keep you all posted.

  5. Originally I started citalopram in February 2015 for the treatment of cyclical depression (severe pre menstrual tension). At the same time as this my dad become very ill and was subsequently diagnosed with mesothelioma (asbestos related cancer) there followed a number of stressful months… and stress still continues. I have put on approx 30 pounds in just under 2 years.

    On occasion I’ve had to increase my dose from 10mg-2mg and it’s when I increase the drugs that I pile on the pounds. Right now I’m at my heaviest. Possibly the same weight I was when 7 months pregnant! I feel horrendous. The worst thing is just everyone has something to say about my weight…and how to lose it!

    I know how, it’s just committing to it. I find it hard on citalopram! I used to have a very slim waist but have deposited fat around my stomach. I feel happier yes, but totally fed up and ashamed of my weight gain! This new year doing something about it. Want to see if I can come off them and go down the counseling route!

    I think my weight gain has been due to tiredness, lethargy, a lack of get up and go, eating unhealthily, eating carbs and generally not giving so much of a damn! Liberating in some ways but not good.

    • Thank you for sharing. I started citalopram several years ago. I went up to the 40mg and I’ve gained 40 pounds. I stopped taking it, for the most part, three months ago and that’s when I gained the most weight. I never knew that this medicine is likely the culprit behind my weight gain.

      I’m 5’8″ and now 280. It’s hard to like myself looking like this. I, too, made the decision to loose this weight. Green tea, going to the gym and drinking a lot of water and watching my carb intake. I also talked to my doctor. Foods with Gluten are to be avoided.

      I’m not sure if there’s a relationship between the Gluten and citalopram causing weight gain. I’m responding to what you wrote so that you know I’m right there too. Best of luck, I’m rooting for your success. I hope I can lose about 100 lbs! ?

  6. I took citalopram from October 2014 until July 2016. In that time, I gained 30lbs. My eating remained the same and at times I attempted to diet and exercise more frequently to reduce the weight I had gained but the weight gain was unaffected by anything I tried. At first, I was on a 20mg dose. I gained around 20lbs on this dosage in the space of a year.

    Then my dosage was increased to 40mg and I gained another 10+lbs very quickly – within the space of 1-2 months. It was as if I woke up one day and had ballooned. I got stretch marks all over my legs and hips as my body was stretched so quickly by this weight gain. Prior to taking citalopram, my weight had remained the same for years, rarely fluctuating. I had never been overweight and had a fast metabolism.

    The weight gain worsened my depression. I tried to come to terms with my weight, accepting my body and working on appreciating it, despite the weight gain. But I found as soon as I had come to terms with gaining a little weight, I would suddenly gain even more. It got to the point where I was crying everyday because of how I looked, none of my clothes fit, and I felt like I had no control over my body anymore, as the weight gain happened whether I ate normally, dieted, or binged. It didn’t matter.

    I gradually stopped taking the citalopram over a period of 2 months, stopping completely in July 2016. I have dieted and exercised since and have managed to lose 10lbs, but it has been hard work and very gradual. Before citalopram, if I wanted to lose weight, it was very easy – little to no effort. Now I imagine it will take me around a year to lose the 30lbs I gained on the medication.

    As someone who has struggled with eating disorders all her adult life, I am upset that no Dr ever warned me about this side effect of citalopram. I saw so many Drs about the weight gain and none mentioned it could be due to the citalopram. I had to work that out on my own, through a process of elimination. As a result of the weight I gained from citalopram, I developed PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) too.

  7. Thank you for sharing your experiences, it’s made me not feel so alone about what I experienced. I was on Citalopram/Celexa for 4 years on 20mg and it helped my depression significantly. I however noticed weight gain whilst taking the medication and I was watching my weight and lifestyle during this time. I’m now off the medication and still 15lbs overweight and fighting to get the weight off (working out 3-4 times a week and sticking to 1,200 calories)…

    I’ve lost 2lbs in 3 months… I weaned myself off the medication over 2 months by cutting my pills in half and then a quarter. I then had EDMR therapy which helped tremendously with my anxiety and also took up Kundalini yoga. I now feel so much better and full of life. I now realize I was on Celexa too long and was using it as a crutch and too scared to come off it.

    Definitely take Celexa/Citalopram if you’re prescribed it by your Doctor and feel you need it. Don’t focus on weight gain etc for that moment until you feel better – your state of mind is far more important than vanity. I’d definitely recommend regular exercise and eating right for health reasons anyway, but I wouldn’t get preoccupied with it and let it drive you crazy.

    I’m remaining positive that if I carry on exercising, weight training and eating healthily, my body will re-adjust and go back to a normal weight. It’ll just take time and patience.

  8. I took Celexa for over a year. I gained about 35 pounds. I believe this is due to an increased appetite that I didn’t have while depressed.

  9. This is heart breaking. I take 20mg of Celexa every day for the past 3-4 years and have gained a whopping 30 lbs. I had a hysterectomy 8 years ago and thought the weight gain was from that, but realize that I only gained 10 up to the point I started the Celexa. In the past year I have also started on Levothyroxine.

    I am 4’10” and now weigh 129 lbs with leg and feet issues. Horrifying predicament is I literally need the celexa to function, but am struggling with the weight and subsequent health issues. Now that I am fairly certain it is from the Celexa… I am very conflicted :(

  10. About three 1/2 years ago I was so depressed that I OD’d. I’ve had severe depression, anxiety and have been diagnosed as bipolar. I take many meds including Wellbutrin, Celexa and mood elevating drugs. While I feel less depressed, the Celexa has caused me to pack on 65 pounds.

    If I lower my dosage from 40-20 I start to drop the weight immediately But my depression worsens along with my anxiety. It’s s catch 22. My doctor told me about a drug called Trintellix but I see it causes weight gain too. My depression is horrible over my physical appearance. Wellbutrin makes me lose weight but doesn’t work alone. I have zero energy and zero motivation to make a change and am terrified I’ll end up in the hospital again if I stop taking it.

    This sucks!

  11. I started taking 20 MG of Celexa QD about a year ago. Prior to that, I had maintained my weight for several years. (This all with no changes in my diet and exercise) Now, roughly one year in on Celexa, I have gained 42 pounds. Since I work in aeromedical and I have to meet weight, this really became a problem. (Not to mention the added unhappiness with myself and the fact that my clothes no longer fit) I started decreasing my dose over the course of 2 weeks, and I have now been without Celexa for about 2 weeks.

    The first 5-7 days without Celexa I noticed some anxiety and mood swings. Now, I feel dizzy and light headed at times throughout the day. However, I have already seen an improvement in my energy, mood (imagine that), and I’ve lost 7 pounds. I am glad to know that I am not alone, and I hope each of you guys find the help and results that you are looking for!

  12. In 5 years, on the lowest dosage of Celexa and a medium dosage of Risperdal, I have went from 190 lbs. to roughly 260 lbs. Mind you, that is with no significant change in diet or exercise. I’m actually in the middle of a class action lawsuit against Risperdal (it gave me man-tits too), and have been on Invega for two years, but even then I am completely incapable of losing any, any weight. These medicines DESTROYED my metabolism. Thus making my fat ass even MORE depressed that it was. I probably need to up my dosage, but then I’ll probably end up in the 290-300 range. God f-cking dammit.

  13. I have been taking Celexa for a little over 2 years. I was severely depressed when I started the medication and weighed in at 126lbs. As much as the depression would allow, I led a fairly active life as I am a mother working full time. I had never taken anti-depressants before nor had I ever been treated for depression prior. This is the only medication I have ever taken aside from birth control.

    Towards the end of the first year (about 10 months), I starting to gain slowly putting on about 8 pounds which was not bad for my size. Over the last 6 months of taking the med however, I found that I was ALWAYS craving food! Sweets especially. I put on another 14 pounds! This was alarming! I figured age and metabolism must have a bit to do with it and I have not been as active as I usually am, but 14 pounds is quite a bit.

    I spoke with my doctor about possibly getting off of Celexa as I was no longer in the space that I had been 2 years ago. We agreed to taper off as long as I agreed to check in on a regular basis and keep track of how I was feeling. This almost 2 months ago and I’ve already dropped 5 pounds. My cravings for sweets are pretty much back to the regular “oh that looks delish! Can I have a bite?” :)

  14. I’ve been trying to lose un-accounted-for weight for the past year. I quit drinking alcohol after a death in the family a year ago, and I got on Celexa, so I don’t have that variable. I went two months on a 1000-calorie diet. I thought my body may be in starvation mode since I lost zero pounds. So, I went three months on a 1200-calorie diet. No results. (Mind you, with my job I’m very active – never sitting at a desk).

    I show apartments, so I’m basically climbing stairs all day, six days a week). I increased my calorie intake to 2000/month. After not gaining or losing with that, I decided to go off Celexa because that was the only variable circumstance in my life, as I decided to stop it. I’ve been tested for thyroid problems, and I don’t have any. I’ll let you all know how it goes.

  15. On 20mg for 13 months now. Didn’t notice any weight gain until about 6 months in. I’m up 12 lbs, could take a nap every day if possible, and zero sex drive. Weaning off now. The warning says 1 in 1000 will experience weight gain. What a joke. Who knows what we’re in for long term?

  16. As much as citalopram helps me, it just isn’t worth all the weight gain. It has been the source of stress and depression. I’ve gained 20 lbs in the last 2 years and that’s it for me. I’m going off it.

  17. I was on celexa and trazodone at the same time. Both for 11 months in which I was made to take them and told that I needed them to be happy but I gained over 50 pounds in those 11 months. They do work remarkably well, but I do not recommend if you’re an average person who doesn’t have 8 hours to exercise everyday or to anybody who is struggling with their weight.

  18. I have been taking Celexa for just under two years (21 months), and have gained about 70 lbs. Once I realized my weight was no longer fluctuation, but a serious problem, I decided to work it off – eating less/no sugar and working out more. I couldn’t stick with working out more, and I continue to pack on the pounds – it has definitely become a source of shame, anxiety, and thus depression.

    I really appreciate this article – knowing I’m not the only one struggling gives me the courage to speak with my psychiatrist to consider Celexa as one of the factors in my significant weight gain. Thank you. Wishing everyone else struggling as I have great patience, compassion and strength.

  19. I have been on Citalopram for a short 2-3 inconsistent months. In that time I’ve gained 15 pounds. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with what I was doing because I even started going back to the gym hard core… the pounds were still packing on. I gave up for a short time until it hit me and I found this site.

    Thank you ALL for sharing your stories. You’ve all helped me find my way. I’m stopping this medication, because, as with most of you, the weight gain has caused more emotional turmoil than before the medication. Good luck to you all in your journey.

  20. I’ve been taking citalopram since January. Typically, the winter is the time I gain weight. I’ve had my ups and downs over the past 20 years, but not more than 20 pounds more than when I was in my 20’s. I’ve never looked overweight, even when carrying an extra 20 pounds. That being said, I have not gained any weight on this drug that wasn’t due to my eating habits.

    Yes, I was craving sugar more. I had to stop eating them or treat myself once a week. I read an earlier comment about “cutting down on my sodas”. Really, you shouldn’t be drinking any sodas. Whatever we put in our bodies is, in effect, a drug whether it is food or otherwise. Counting calories is a big mistake. 200 calories of sugar is going to do something entirely different to your body than 200 calories of protein.

    I found sugar contributed to the light-headedness and nausea associated with this drug as a side effect. My advice… eat as little processed food and drinks as possible. It means you have to cook your food yourself. By the way, bread and soda are “processed” as are margarine, potato chips, fruit juices and most other things that come pre-packaged.

  21. Hi, just wondering if anyone has any success stories of losing the weight after stopping the medication. I posted here in March 8, 2016 and I had been off the medication at that time for 7 months and had not lost anything although I was eating well and exercising. Now at this time I have been off the medication for 10 months and only have dropped about 5 lbs, still exercising and eating pretty healthy. I never in my life had a problem with my weight. It is coming off very very very slowly and it’s almost been a year, very frustrating. Any success stories with the weight loss with anyone?

    • Hey Sarah, I posted here 9 months ago. I still have not lost an ounce. At least yours is coming off. If I could lose even 10lbs, it would give me hope. I went from slim/fit to morbidly obese. Wishing you luck!!!

  22. I am a former psychiatry nurse who also took SSRIs, most if them at one time or another for 24 years. They all caused weight gain. I was told in the beginning Prozac would help me lose, but over time, I gained 50 pounds. About 35 has dropped slowly after getting off the drugs, though the withdrawal nearly was lethal.

    Weight gain should not be an acceptable side effect of weight, especially for some of the reasons cited above for going on the drug. My overall health was compromised, my arthritis worsened due to the strain of the weight on my joints. I now ask about weight gain on any drug a physician may suggest for any reason. Yet, they would be angry with me for gaining, they were not supportive of coming off the drugs.

    Do your own research before taking any drug, but as a nurse I saw weight gain pretty consistently on those who took just about any antidepressant. The neuroleptics that have become adjunctive therapy are even worse. I have seen 40 pound gains in panties in a month’s time. Yet still, nobody wants to believe me in what I have seen, what others say, and what research shows.

  23. I began taking 10mg of Citalopram about 3 years ago in order to help combat hot flashes and to enable me to sleep better. Over the first couple of years I gained at least 10 pounds with no change in eating habits or exercise. I then had knee replacement, and so for a whole year, both prior to surgery and following it, I slowly gained a few more pounds. I am reluctant to go off of it because as soon as I cut back my hot flashes flare back up. I hate being 10+ pounds heavier, but I like not having the hot flashes and sleeping better, so what’s a (65 year old) girl to do? Depressing, for sure.

  24. I started taking Celexa about 6 months ago. I notice some weight gain at first on the low dose. My dosage has been increased during this time. I started taking 40mg about a month ago. I have had substantial weight gain even though I eat healthy.

    I have actually gained a total of 20lbs with 10 in the last month. I continue to work out at the gym and am looking into to reverse this effect.

  25. I have been taking citalopram for about 7 months now, I started taking it due to not being able to sleep and suddenly started getting mild panic attacks! I’ve felt depressed for as long as I can remember, but I don’t think the tablets have changed that and I’m sleeping alright now. I’ve put on a whole stone within this time, even with a very active job and I have been eating less!

    I’ve been working out and watching what I eat but I’ve seen no results, which I usually would. I’ve never been this heavy and I’m really starting to hate myself. I’m currently on 20mg, as of today I will start taking 10mg and hopefully stop completely as soon as I can!

  26. I gained 15 pounds in 1 month of treatment with 20 mg doses, with no change to my lifestyle or eating habits. In fact I started going out more for walks etc. I stopped taking the medication. The side effects definitely outweigh the benefits. I will be looking into taking Wellbutrin.

    • I’ve been taking Citalopram 10 & 20mg on and off over the last 5 years & again this year for 6 months so far. My mood is better but I have been trying to lose weight the last 6 months and keep gaining instead, making me moody and disappointed in myself constantly. My cravings have increased, I have no motivation, no energy, fatigue, drowsy, no sex drive at all.

      After reading up about citalopram I can only assume my symptoms are due to this as a few years ago I lost weight and had great motivation while I was off the tablets due to trying to conceive. I am also looking into taking Wellbutrin instead and will be discussing with my doctor ASAP. Has anyone else tried this instead?

  27. I have always been small and struggled to put on weight. In the last 2 years of taking Citalopram I’ve gained 20lbs, couldn’t understand why but think this has given me the answer. Thank you.

  28. Back in 2002, I had a severe depressive episode with panic attacks, requiring hospitalization. Celexa and some great therapy literally saved my life. However I did gain 60 pounds within a couple of months.

    For the past ten years I’ve used Zoloft instead, but the weight has stayed on. My body seems unable to “burn” carbs like it should and I can only lose weight on low-carb diets. I am curious if this would have been the case for any SSRI’s – or just from my Celexa use?

  29. A couple of years ago I switched from Lexapro to Citalopram (for anxiety and severe insomnia). The weight gain was very slow, but I noticed it last summer when none of my summer wardrobe fit any longer. I thought it was just due to being lazy (side effect of the meds), and my quitting smoking, so I started walking, bought a stationary bike, and changed my diet.

    I’ve always been slim, and I’m not handling the muffin top and back fat very well. I’ll talk to my Dr. about what to do next. I hope it’s not a choice between the weight or my sanity.

  30. I had been on celexa for 1.5 years. I was on 40mg and was doing great. I kept active and exercised 6 times a week. However after the first few months the pounds seem to pack on. I have gained a total of about 50 pounds. I have tried extreme dieting (reducing my calories to 1200 and exercising 2 hours a day) but the scale wouldn’t budge.

    I stopped taking celexa almost 3 months ago and switched to wellbutrin. I read that wellbutrin is weight loss friendly. I have still not lost an ounce. I have contacted personal trainers, nutritionist, and doctors. All of which told me I wasn’t eating enough food. However, I know that my metabolism has slowed because it is wayyy to hard to lose weight now.

    I am literally barely eating and staying the same size. It is really frustrating. I am wondering how long do I have to wait for the effects of antidepressants to ware off and for me to begin losing weight again. I am getting depressed from being so overweight. I don’t even want to leave my house anymore.

    I am so discouraged because I have been trying to get this weight off for over a year. I have tried plexus slim, fat burners, reducing calories, exercising excessively, intermittent fasting, and just about everything with no results. Not even an ounce lost. Anyone out there having the same issues? Anyone overcome this metabolic alteration and begin losing weight again?

    • I’m in the exact same situation. I’ve been on citalopram for about 10 years (I’m 27 now) and have gained 70 pounds despite eating healthy and being active. The weight gain causes more depression and anxiety than I had before. I’ve tried EVERYTHING to lose weight. I just found the connection between citalopram and weight gain.

      My doc never told me the side effects were this bad! I’m tapering off starting today and my doc just added Wellbutrin yesterday. I too am taking plexus slim, and plexus accelerate. Id love to hear how you are doing now. Are you feeling better? Able to lose weight? I’m just terrified my weight gain is going to be permanent. I can’t live like this.

      • Katie, Unfortunately no. I haven’t lost any weight yet. I am continuing to workout 6 days a week for an hour. I am scared I will be stuck like this forever. If I lose any weight, you will be the first person I reply and notify. I wish you luck!

  31. I was prescribed Citalopram after suffering from some post traumatic stress. I lost 4kg in 4 weeks because of the PTS. I was prescribed Citalopram which helped with my recovery, but unfortunately I have not only gained all the weight I lost, but gained an additional kg or 2 as well. I’m still quite physically fit but I haven’t been able to shift any of the weight. But, I am thankful as it helped me through a hard season in life. Now I just need to attempt to lose the weight!


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