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Seroquel and Weight Gain: What Are The Causes?

Seroquel (Quetiapine) is a popular atypical antipsychotic medication that has been approved by the FDA to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and as an antidepressant augmentation strategy in cases of refractory depression. Due to the variety of conditions for which this drug is prescribed, it is considered highly profitable and has made AstraZeneca (the developers) billions of dollars since it hit the market.

In addition to being used for serious psychiatric disorders, some medical professionals prescribe it for the treatment of insomnia and various forms of anxiety disorders. Although the drug is not approved for these conditions, it is more effective than traditional medications for some individuals. Despite the variety of conditions that Seroquel is capable of treating, many people have a difficult time staying on the drug as a result of side effects, in particular, weight gain.

Seroquel and Weight Gain

When taking Seroquel, most people are faced with unavoidable weight gain. No matter how well the drug is working, a drawback that the majority of users face is that they gain weight. For certain people, a lot of weight will be gained, while for others, they may not gain enough to notice. Scientific studies have reported that the average weight gain throughout treatment with Seroquel is considered “moderate.”

How Seroquel Causes Weight Gain

Below is a list of ways by which Seroquel is capable of causing weight gain. Keep in mind that everyone will have a different experience on the drug as a result of individualized factors. That said, many people notice appetite increases, cravings for specific foods (i.e. carbs), and a slower than average metabolism.

  • Appetite surge: If you started taking Seroquel, one thing that you’ll likely notice is that your appetite increases – sometimes to an extreme. Those who had trouble eating food prior to taking the drug should no longer have any problem eating enough. For some individuals their appetite increases so much that they wake up in the middle of the night “starving” and raid the fridge for all the snacks they can find.
  • Cravings: Many atypical antipsychotics are associated with cravings of foods. A majority of people notice that they start to crave carbohydrates and/or other unhealthy foods like sugars and sweets. If you notice that you are eating more sugar-laden candies and having “treats” more frequently, it’s likely a reaction to the Seroquel. Some people have reported craving “fast food” and thus end up eating out more often.
  • Fat storage: It is believed that the mechanism by which the body processes food and stores fat becomes altered for those taking an atypical antipsychotic. Seroquel makes it easy for people to pack on weight because it has changed the way the body stores fat. You may notice that you’re packing on fat in specific places throughout your body that were previously skinny; this is a result of the drug.
  • Hormonal changes: The drug is believed to alter the production of hormone levels throughout the body. Altering hormone levels can significantly impact the amount of weight that you pack on as a result of the drug. It notably interferes with production of thyroid-stimulating hormone and lowers the levels of (T4) thyroxine and (T3) triiodothyronine throughout the bloodstream. It is also capable of altering glucose levels and manipulating enzymes in the liver and heart.
  • Interaction effects: Those that take Seroquel with other drugs should note that the drugs could be interacting to increase weight gain. In some cases, psychiatric drugs work synergistically in that they amplify weight gain together more than they would if you were to take the drugs separately.
  • Motivational deficits: For some people, Seroquel can decrease motivation and lead to sleepiness or grogginess. The swamped motivation may lead you to get less physical activity to keep your metabolism high. Anytime you’re lacking motivation as a result of this medication, the chance that you’ll gain weight increases.  Some attribute the motivational decline as a result of this drug’s effect on dopamine.
  • Side effects: You may feel fatigued and experience a variety of synonymous side effects such as: lethargy, drowsiness, etc. while taking the drug. Anyone experiencing increased tiredness as a result of the drug is less likely to get proper physical activity and exercise. Unfortunately these side effects can be too debilitating to overcome, and lead to inevitable weight gain.
  • Slows metabolism: Even if you maintained the same diet and exercise patterns pre-drug that you did while taking Seroquel, you’d probably still gain some weight. This is due to the fact that the drug slows your metabolism. The degree to which it slows is subject to individual variation, but explains why most people end up gaining weight.
  • Social eating: If you are taking this drug and your symptoms improve, you may be more likely to hang out with friends. This typically leads to “social eating” or more frequent dining out with friends. Dining out is a quick way for anyone (even non-medicated) to gain weight. Someone taking Seroquel will have no problem packing on pounds if they frequently eat out.
  • Taste improvement: For certain people, their taste seems to dramatically improve after taking the drug. Some people believe that the taste improvement is closely linked to the “cravings” they experience. In any regard, if food is tasting better than before, you’re probably going to eat more of it.

Note: Although you may be attempting to pinpoint one specific cause of your weight gain, it is important to realize that it may be a combination of factors. You may have a slower metabolism along with side effects that make you tired, and hormonal changes that lead to greater fat storage.

Factors that influence weight gain on Seroquel

There are several other factors that will influence the amount of weight you gain on Seroquel. Understand that these are individualized factors and cannot be generalized. They may explain why you gain significantly more weight than someone else (or vice versa).

1. Individual factors

The most important factor to consider is you as an individual. The way your genetics respond to the medication play a big role in determining how much weight you gain. Someone with drastically different genetics may experience more or less weight gain simply based on that factor. If you are interested in knowing how your genetics may be influencing your response to the drug, read about “GeneSight testing.”

Other individualized factors that need to be taken into account include: sleep quality, BMI, dietary intake, physical activity, and stress level. If you are getting poor sleep, are highly stressed, and make poor dietary choices, you’re probably going to gain more weight than someone who is getting quality sleep and making healthy dietary selections.

2. Time span

It would appear as though there is a relationship between duration taking Seroquel and weight gain. Although many people gain weight within the first 12-weeks of treatment, longer-duration administration can increase the amount of weight a person gains. In the case of most medications, including atypical antipsychotics, the weight gain tends to increase over time.

Despite the fact that Seroquel doesn’t produce a significant increase in weight after 12-weeks, most studies do show modest weight gain with additional time of treatment. Therefore the longer you’ve taken this medication, the more likely you are to gain additional weight. Fortunately for people taking it over a long-term, the amount of weight that is gained isn’t exponential and appears to increase at a slower rate once the body has adapted to treatment.

3. Other medications

If you are taking other medications, it is important to consider their role in potential weight gain. For example, some antidepressants are known to increase weight at similar rates to Seroquel. If you are taking both Seroquel and an antidepressant medication, you may need to understand that they both could be causing you to gain weight. They may also be having some interaction effect that leads to more weight gain than you’d experience if you were to take a different medication.

If you’re ever concerned about other medication(s) that you’re taking causing you to gain weight, be sure to get in touch with your doctor and ask. Most psychiatric drugs are known to increase weight to some degree. If the weight gain is a big deal, a doctor may be able to substitute other medications that may be less likely to increase your weight.

4. Dosage

According to studies, increasing the dosage of Seroquel is unlikely to facilitate additional weight gain. Some medications have a dose-weight relationship in that increasing the dose will also increase the amount of weight you’ll gain while taking it. Although medical professionals dismiss the likelihood that dosage plays a role, it is important to consider that it might for certain people.

When we increase the dosage of this drug, we are essentially giving it more control over the brain and nervous system. Thus in theory, it should amplify all of the changes that it has already made. If you are gaining weight at a lower dose, you should theoretically gain roughly double if you double the dose.

Just because there doesn’t appear to be further weight gain associated with increasing the dosage, doesn’t mean that this is true for all patients. However, many double-blind studies are consistent in their findings that increasing the dose will not contribute to additional weight gain. This fact may be highly encouraging for patients currently taking Seroquel.

How much weight will you gain from Seroquel?

There’s no exact estimate that can be given as each person’s weight gain is subject to individual variation. This is why it is important to avoid comparing your personal reaction to that of others. Over the short-term, most people gain an average of 4.5 lbs. (2.08 kgs) for the first 5-6 weeks of treatment. Over the long-term, it was reported that people gain an average of ~7 lbs. (3.19 kgs) after 52 weeks. Keep in mind that these are just averages, and relatively low averages when compared to other atypical antipsychotic medications.

Will everyone gain weight while taking Seroquel?

Although most people will gain some amount of weight while taking Seroquel, some people may deem the amount gained as being insignificant or not enough to worry about. It appears as though individuals with lower BMIs (body mass indexes) tend to gain the most weight, whereas people with average or high BMIs tend to experience less of a noticeable weight increase while taking Seroquel.

Seroquel: “Weighing” The Pros and Cons

If you are taking Seroquel, it is important to “weigh” the pros and cons of your treatment. Take the time to evaluate whether the drug has been effective in alleviating the symptoms of the condition that you needed to treat. Next consider the amount of weight gain and/or other side effects that you are experiencing as well as the degree to which they are bothersome.

If the efficacy of the drug outweighs the severity of unwanted side effects, then you should probably keep taking it. If on the other hand, the drug isn’t really helping treat your psychiatric condition and you have been packing on tons of weight, you may want to consider consulting your doctor about a medication change or Seroquel withdrawal.

Did you gain weight from taking Seroquel?

If you have experience taking Seroquel or are currently in the process of taking it, feel free to share your experience in the comments section below. Did you end up gaining weight throughout your first 6 weeks of treatment? Was the weight bothersome or too insignificant to notice? Feel free to also share whether you noticed weight increase as a result of increasing the dosage. Also discuss the time span over which you have been taking the drug and any other factors that may have contributed to your weight gain.

  • Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17474816
  • Source: http://psychrights.org/research/Digest/NLPs/Seroquel/090520UnsealedSeroquelExhibits/Misc/Nashrallah18.pdf

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103 thoughts on “Seroquel and Weight Gain: What Are The Causes?”

  1. I’ve been on antipsychotics for two and a half years. First two years I was on Olanzapine (Zyprexa) and gained 44 pounds / 20 kg. I tried everything to lose weight but it just didn’t come off. They call it the ‘fat pill’ and I experienced it…

    After that my doctor switched me to Quetiapine (Seroquel) – it worked wonders for me. First two months I was on 50-150 mg dose and I didn’t gain any weight (great!). Then I had to increase the dose to 300 mg and… immediately I gained extra 5 kg /11 pounds – in just ONE week!

    I ate quite a healthy diet and exercised 2-3 times a week – so I thought, and couldn’t understand whats happening. At that time I started watching documentaries and youtube videos about whole food plant based diet (like “Forks Over Knives” and Michael Greger’s NutritionFacts).

    I was already eating less animal food but I decided to try out this diet at 100 percent. It’s similar to vegan diet (no animal protein no eggs and no dairy) but it focuses on whole foods (whole grains, oatmeal, pulses, fruits and veggies) without processed foods (no sugar, no juices and… NO OIL).

    In just two weeks I’ve lost my extra 11 pounds! That was great! Then I plateaued for the next six weeks, but I didn’t gain any more weight! I’m still trying to lose weight, but at least I feel much better and I look better (esp. skin complexion).

    I’ll update what will happen after several months. Fingers crossed!

  2. I’ve been on Seroquel for about two years. I was on 300mg for about a year and gained 30 pounds. Right around the middle and none of my clothing fit. For the next year the dose was slowly decreased to 50mg, which I got to in early May.

    Until May I never even tried to lose the weight because of what I read others experienced. I decided then was the time to try to get the weight off. Since then I’ve been eating 1200 calories a day and going to the gym to do weights and cardio 5-6 days a week.

    I’ve lost the thirty pounds as of today. Three weeks ago I started experiencing panic attacks and recurring depression again so my Seroquel dose was moved back to 300mg. Much to my shock I still lost 5 pounds at the higher dose.

    So, all is not lost, you might be one of the lucky ones who can get the weight off too. Maintaining this weight will be interesting, hopefully I’ll be successful!

  3. Been on quetiapine for 6 weeks now, 300mg at night and twice 25mg during the day. I am now 10 stone after losing about 4lbs since I started but I have been very active and on a high carb, low fat diet as I read the horror stories!

    Gym 3 times a week and long daily dog walks. My mania has been seriously up and down over this time but gradually decreasing. I don’t eat or drink anything sugary normally (except fruit) and have had no cravings for sugar. I’m hoping this isn’t going to change.

  4. I have been taking 150mg of Seroquel once a day for the past 6 months and gained 30 pounds. The pounds were starting to pack up about 2 months ago. I only eat well and healthy and I go to the gym 3 to 4 times a week and also walk close to 6km a day with my dog. It keeps on piling up. I’m so sad.

    I don’t look anything like my pictures from 6 months ago. People don’t even recognize me and I also have been told by a guy I started dating that I was TOO fat him. I now weigh 187 pounds. I can’t fit into any of my clothes and every time I buy some new ones, 2 weeks later they are too thigh and small for me.

    I feel good in my head, Im bi-polar type 2. But I feel like shit on the outside. My Ex-boyfriend left me while I was hospitalized in March, because he could not understand the diagnosis and accept it. I’m trying to get out there and meet new guys, but I’m too fat. My self-esteem is crap.

    I gained most of the pounds around my belly and my face. I look like I’m 7 months pregnant all the time. I’m super scared it’s going to be worse and keep packing more pounds. I have a appointment with my doctor this week and will talk to her about it and see if she can do something for me. If not, I’m thinking of going off of it. Please tell me there is hope.

  5. Wow, I honestly don’t recall my Dr saying Seroquel could cause such weight gain but now I know. I’ve gained 26 lbs in 5.5 months and am switching meds for my anxiety and sleep issues. I am steady gaining weight each time I’m weighed and though I was skinny before starting this med, I cannot feel comfortable in my own skin now.

    I can’t believe how much weight I’ve packed on and hope it isn’t impossible to lose. Thanks for this post as it makes a lot of sense! I have weight gain in my midsection I’ve never experienced before and I cannot fit into 99% of my jeans.

    I went to buy new jeans and wore a size 0/XS for the last 4 yrs and I had to go all the way up to a size 10 in some brands. This is so uncomfortable.

  6. I’ve been on Seroquel for nearly a 4 years now for BPD and as lot of people know, BPD unfortunately doesn’t come alone. In my case I suffer from anxiety, depression and an eating disorder. Before taking Seroquel I was relatively skinny and my medical team watched what I ate so I could get to a healthy weight – as I was anemic too.

    Anyway in the last year I’ve dramatically put on weight in my waist and thighs. Was on 450mg but they put it down to 175mg and they won’t reduce it anymore. I absolutely hate it. Fair enough it’s helped with some things, but I can’t take it anymore.

    I hate myself, I cry a lot looking at the mirror, my clothes don’t fit. The little self esteem I had has gone down the drain. Decided to not take it anymore – don’t even care about the withdrawals at this point.

    Flushed them down the toilet and won’t be picking up anymore from the pharmacy obviously will let the pharmacy know. But am completely done with Seroquel. I hate that I have to choose between being mentally stable and my own weight. I just can’t take it anymore.

  7. I started to gain weight in the first 6 weeks, dropped my dose down and actually went into withdrawals. I was vomiting and nauseous and couldn’t sleep. Horrible! I’m now down to only 12.5 at night and if I stop taking it, I won’t sleep at all! Not crazy about this medicine, but it does help anxiety and sleeplessness.

  8. Absolutely not worth it! My experience with seroquel was absolutely horrifying! I gained 20 lbs within the first month and ended up with a permanent thyroid disorder that I have to be medicated for for the rest of my life! This pill ruined my life!

    I was prescribed it for insomnia and it was like muscle relaxer. As soon as I took it I couldn’t do anything but lay down. I couldn’t move. It added to my body image issues, killed my sex drive and worsened my self esteem. It also made me sleepy and tired all the time.

    It did not help me at all. It has also been several years and the weight has never gone away. I also still have the annoying thyroid problem which also makes it hard to lose weight.

  9. I have a bad heart. Am gaining weight on Seroquel. I am also diabetic. Tried dieting. Impossible to lose weight on this medication. Remember, as all react to it differently. Yet, some of us react the same. I’m quitting it – have done this before and have lost weight. I’d rather be thinner, feel better, and be a little nuts – than croak and be in a casket.

  10. I went from 155 to 231 on this drug over three years. Not fun. I’m finally off it and trying a more weight neutral drug but experiencing the inevitable seroquel withdrawal symptoms. Also no fun.

  11. I’ve been on Seroquel for 3 years and I started on a healthy ketogenic diet which keeps you from not just counting calories and sugars but also counting your carbohydrates and staying away from unhealthy processed foods like fast food. Also keep your diet high in protein and fiber which helps control your appetite very much which helped me lose 80 lbs in 14 months.

    So everybody should look up all of the information about the diet and use CLA and omega 3 fatty acids. Eat plenty of fish with will give you the omega 3 fatty acids that you need or use high quality fish oil. CLA is an omega 6 fatty acid that works better for burning fat during exercise and also works as an appetite suppressant like protein and fiber.

    Whey protein is the best thing to consume that helps with your diet including the energy that you need for motivation to stay active. It’s not just for bodybuilding like you would think, but it will burn fat and control your appetite like you want. So if you have a problem with weight gain, then start a healthy ketogenic diet because it will help you lose weight faster than anyone on a standard diet plan.

    It also helps control medical problems like epilepsy for people that have no luck with medication. It can also prevent different forms of cancer and other medical issues that you can look up online. So please follow the information that I’m giving to you and you shouldn’t have any bad luck on gaining or losing weight. Good luck everyone and have a nice life.

  12. I was actually able to lose 30 unwanted lbs on Seroquel. I’ve been on it for 5 years. My psychiatrist weighed me every appointment for the first few months. I had self medicated with food before starting it, and feeling better emotionally allowed me to lose the unwanted weight. I have bipolar mood disorder. My head is healthier so I’m not medicating with food.

  13. I have been on Seroquel for about 8 months now. I have gained almost 30 lbs. I have weight gain in places I never had. I am now down to 50mg and want to stop it all together. My sleeping and mood has gotten better for sure, although I do dream more.

    Unfortunately on the downside, the weight gain is way more depressing and lowered my self esteem. I’m definitely will be giving up on Seroquel. Unfortunate though…

  14. I’ve been taking seroquel for around 2 years and I’m 5’11” normally 180 lbs. I would literally save my dinner until after I took it just because I didn’t want to eat another meal after I got the seroquel munchies.

    I slowly went up to 240 lbs. where I peaked and felt completely horrible about myself. After like 5 months of working a hard new job and lowering from 100mg to 50mg I stabilized at 205-210 lbs. but am 30 lbs. overweight still. Never been overweight my entire life until I got on this medication.

  15. I’ve been on seroquel 800 mg now for two years. In the first year I gained almost 100 lbs. In the last year I’ve watched my carbs and returned to cycling in a big way and I’ve lost over 90. So it’s not inevitable that you will be fat if you take seroquel.

  16. I’ve been on and off Seroquel for years and continue to be on it for sleep at 300mg. I didn’t start gaining a lot of weight until 3 years ago when I gained 80lbs over a year and like everyone it settled around my waist and thighs.

    I am a major depressive and was diagnosed bipolar II. I am bothered by vivid dreams and rage issues and the Seroquel allows me to have a deep sleep which I cannot do without.

    I’ve developed diabetes, but until I can find an alternative that works as well, I will have to contend with the obesity. Good luck everybody.

  17. I’m a 25 year old female and so far I’ve gained weight while taking Seroquel. I take 600mg a night. I started taking this antipsychotic at the end of February 2018. I’ve gained over 20lbs. Since I was relatively very skinny before the drug, I don’t mind the weight gain. I feel healthier.

  18. When I reluctantly started on Seroquel, I noticed the benefits almost right away. I was calmer and more peaceful, but unfortunately I also started eating like a pig. Not only during mealtimes, when there is always room for a little more, but I also wake up two or three times at night, ravenous.

    I eat grapes, yogurt, cheese, oranges, whatever I can find. I have managed to gain almost 30 pounds in 3 months. It’s horrible. The weight seems to settle around my waist, which makes it very hard to fit into my pants. I am desperate to lose the weight and that incredible appetite. What worked for you? Thanks.

  19. Seroquel is a double edged sword. It works so good and I don’t have nearly as many panic attacks but I have gained almost 50lbs!!! Nothing helps with weight loss not even phentermine.

    I’ve got to do something. I don’t want to go out ever because I am so unhappy with how I look. I gave birth to triplets 15 years ago and didn’t weigh nearly what I weigh now. Gonna wean off with the doctors help.

  20. I’ve been on seroquel for ~5 or 6 weeks and have gained 12 pounds. Is it bothersome? Yes. I’m 5’1 and went from being about 117 to almost 130. I haven’t weighed this much in the past 7 years and have had constantly battle with anorexia for the past 4 years.

    So this has me freaking way out and will be contacting my doctor on Monday to be switched back to Lunesta which had only a side effect of a metallic taste in my mouth about 30 minutes after taking it.

    Now to begin the process of losing this weight I gained. And it always takes so long to lose it once you gain it. :/

    • Darian: I had my Seroquel dose doubled 3 weeks ago – from 75mg to 150mg. I have gained 10 pounds. I am also a recovering anorexic/bulimic for over 30 years. I am MISERABLE. I crave sweets more than ever, and my hunger seems to be out of control.

      I’m going to cut the dose in half effective now, and speak with my doctor about substitution. Anxiety/depression are the reason I’m on it, but now I feel worse. Misery loves company. I’m just glad I’m not alone. ?

  21. I was put on seroquel for post traumatic stress and sleep, and when I first started taking it I gained 20lbs within 10days, then the weight gain seemed to stabilize. Then, I blacked out on the anniversary of the trauma and it was increased and I gained another 20lbs within a few weeks. I have a background as a professional personal trainer nutritionist and fitness professional so I know very well how this stuff works.

    I would still be lean if not for the medication. I can eat next to nothing and be extremely active and still not lose an ounce. It also can be over sedating and I do believe there is a huge change and difference with impairing motivation. It has added depression, anxiety, & to the trauma to loose something so closely tied into my normal identity and lifestyle, and it’s pretty obvious people perceive and treat me differently just because my physical appearance and that is hard.

    The problem is though, the medication works. I don’t think I would ever sleep without it, and it has worked wonders for my overall mental health due to the magnitude of my trauma history. I used to have flashbacks so severe it could leave me in a fetal position for days and this was a somewhat regular and frequent occurrence.

    It’s allowed me to learn how to live again while controlling the PTSD or the extent I can interact in normal society. Basically, it has helped me actually recover. So it’s a tough spot to be in. I have been going with the motto I would rather be fat and happy, and it was a sacrifice I felt worth it, to be the healthiest and best me for my son.

    But it has been really hard. Weight gain, over sedation, and impact on motivation are the downsides. I can literally starve and not eat anything, and still not loose weight. I’ve wanted to start to wean off, and my doc was on board, but its a delicate balance. The medication works, but the side effects are horrid. You basically have to decide for yourself with your Dr if it’s worth it.

  22. I have been on seroquel for 3 years now and it definitely helps me with sleep and mood stability. However, I started this medication weighing 180 lbs. I am now 255lbs. Being so heavy makes me very depressed and antisocial. I don’t want to be seen this huge.

    I’d rather occasionally hear voices than be stuck in this place where, nothing bad happens, but nothing exciting happens anymore either. I am no longer who I was before starting this. I don’t paint, don’t volunteer at the shelter.

    I don’t know what makes me happy anymore. If there’s no happiness then what’s the point in taking it. I was happier being crazy.

  23. I gained 27 lbs in 3 months. I didn’t even notice because I was on the thin side until I could no longer fit my clothes. Another horrible side-effect is having hot flashes and excessive sweating. After numerous episodes of sweating through my clothes, I had to buy a fan for my desk at work. I’m over it and am weaning myself off Quetiapine now.

  24. I have been on 100 mg. of QUETIAPINE (for insomnia) for a couple years now. I take it in addition to 3 mg. of Lunesta. Lunesta worked great all by itself for a couple years until I built up a tolerance to it. I’ve gained 30 lbs. since I started taking QUETIAPINE and most of it is around my stomach.

    I look like I’m 9 months pregnant! I went on Nutrisystem for several months and my weight didn’t budge. I just become ravenous after I take the QUETIAPINE and find myself “sleep eating”. This is so ridiculous that I’m thinking of getting a tummy tuck. I took REMERON in the past and gained 40 lbs. on it.

    After I went off it and started taking Lunesta I was able to lose 50 lbs. Well I’m packing it back on with the QUETIAPINE. I call both REMERON and QUETIAPINE “fat pills” cuz they made me crave sugar so bad I ate it with a spoon right out of the brown sugar bag. Disgusting!

    Most sleep meds. do not work for me. My new psychiatrist doesn’t know her meds well enough to determine what has, hasn’t, will or won’t work for me, Might ask about generic Xanax. Any thoughts? Need someone to play Santa Claus at your house this year? I’m available…

    • I’m in Canada. Have you ever taken Zopiclone? It was the only medication that would put me to sleep whet fractured my spine. The other bonus is it is not habit forming. Good luck. No weight gain with it.

  25. Like others have stated, I too gained weight, approx 10lbs. I will go on low carb diet but from the sounds of things, I’m not expecting much success. This is the last thing I needed for my depression, to gain weight. Awesome.

  26. I have been on quetiapine for three months now. The first two months I put on 6 lbs, so decided after Christmas I would have to do something about my weight before it got worse. I started a low carb healthy fat diet on the 1st of Jan and have thus far lost 12 lbs. I have always been aware of my diet after loosing 50kg some years back. It’s hard going but I feel worth it in the long run. Good luck to all who are trying to lose weight – it is possible.

  27. I just googled this article to find out why I have gained so much weight. In the past 6 months I have rapidly gained over 30 lbs. I went from 189 lbs to 222 lbs. At first it was slow and then it became rapid.

    I am a hard gainer and have hovered in between 189-198 for years. Now it seems like if I so much as blow on food I gain weight. Respectfully I am also taking lithium and they may be working together. Although it looks great on me I feel lethargic and move clumsily slow.

    In the morning I feel numb sadly I just don’t want to get out of bed. It’s takes everything for me to get going and I just can’t take this any more. I want my body back so tomorrow I am going to tell my therapist to get me off of this.

  28. Started taking quetiapine 2 years ago. The first 3-4 months I gained 28lbs. Over the next 18 months my weight spiraled, and I gained a total of 70lbs. This was quite a shock, having previously played international level sports and being very lean and healthy.

    The meds have made me tired all the time, and constantly hungry. I also crave foods I previously didn’t even like! Cake, chocolate, and take aways. I also drank heavily, as a means of self medicating, and to drown my sorrows of becoming fat.

    I am currently trying to lose the weight, by healthy eating and exercise. It’s probably going to be an uphill struggle, but so be it. Putting on 5 stone in 2 years is unacceptable. I’ll let you know how it goes.

  29. I was on Seroquel for anxiety and “looping thoughts” These are thoughts that would play over and over in my head like a needle stuck on a record. I was up to 500mg daily and I must say the looping stopped rather suddenly. A nice surprise indeed. BUT, the weight I gained from the drug was horrible.

    I’m 5’8″ and before I started Seroquel I weighed 140lbs. In three months I was up to 180lbs!!! No matter how much I went to the gym, and juiced instead of eating the weight kept increasing. This result made me very depressed and suicidal. I gradually got off Seroquel with the help from my doctor. I cannot stress enough that if you decide to stop the drug to do so with the aid of your prescribing physician.

    It was three years ago this past August that I stopped the drug. The looping has decreased by 90%. And when I feel it start up again I can control it with some mindfulness meditation and the help of 2mg of Xanax. Sadly, my depression is back. And suicidal thoughts. I had to quit my job because of my anxiety. I’m going to my doctor tomorrow to talk about what antidepressants to try next.

    After 20 years of experimenting with various ones I’m hoping for one that I can be on for a short term, little to no weight gain and one that will get me back into my office. All of this trial and error has taken it’s toll on me, my family, and my marriage. Hoping for some relief in the new year and beyond!

  30. I have been on 400mg of seroquel for anxiety relating to a cancer diagnosis 3 years ago. In that time I have gone from 60-70kg and would be much heavier but for the fact that I only allow myself limited calorie intake. And, for the first time, my cholesterol has begun to elevate. If I had been aware of these side effects, I would never have touched this medication.l would rather be anxious than fat and unhealthy. I intend to wean off it!

  31. After too many stressful and traumatic events close together I was diagnosed w/ Bipolar Disorder. My world was crashing around me. I thought it wasn’t possibly me, it was everyone else. The Dr. said 100mg 3x lamictal and 100mg 3x wellbutrin would help. I was so embarrassed to have a “mental issue”. The meds really did help.

    But something was missing. I was given an antipsychotic, an ANTIPSYCHOTIC! That was a huge blow to my self esteem. I was given 100mg @ bed of Seroquel and all was perfect… almost. I got FAT on this crap!! I was 164lbs @ 5’2″ when I went to Italy in April. It is December and I’m 210lbs! Yep, close to 6lbs a month and it WON’T stop.

    I’m miserable. I read you could gain a little weight. But I thought “Not me, I’ll be fine.” Bullsh*t plain and simple. DON’T take it X 10! I am going off of this slowly. I sleep great! But I too was “sleep snacking.” I just hope everyone around me lives while I quickly go off an antipsychotic.

  32. I was diagnosed for mood inconsistency disorder, which I has been suffering from since my teens and college. I was bright and having a pleasing personality, however had a dark side of picking up quarrels for no valid reason. I knew where this came from, part from the family which I was in, part from the nutrition deficiencies I was supposed to – my family all were vegetarian, and so was I having a predominantly vegan diet – I never ate Chicken or Beef, but just had eggs.

    I entered my first job, and followed a weight loss regime where I lost more weight and nutrients than I was supposed to, soon after the mood disorder showed up visibly with explosive rage symptoms! My weight had touched a dangerous 57-58 kg from my normal 63-64 kgs. After treatment with Quetiapine 100 mg and Lithium 400 my weight started increasing dramatically to 78 kg. Once it went to 72, I was happy that I had a decent weight, but at 78 I had a pot belly and enlarged chest. I entered another job which I could not survive long because of the drug’s effect on sleep.

    Now I have 50 mg, close to 3 years of quetiapine, still weight problems, and knowing that it tends to affect metabolism, prone to diabetes and even affect heart and liver enzymes. I say thank you quetiapine for bringing back life in me although screwed up a potential career, which I could rework on anytime. By the way, I enjoy non veg diet and other supplements nowadays, so that my nutrient problems are solved. Now I am confident of managing my mood, and looking forward to consult my doctor to put me off it.

  33. I’ve been taking seroquel for one year. I was aware it could cause weight gain, but this did not occur during the first few months. I’m very concerned about weight gain because I had gastric bypass in 2011 and worked hard to lose 80 lbs. In the past ten months, however, despite ramping up my exercise, I have gained 23 lbs. On my 5’2″ frame. I take only 50 mg. prescribed for chronic insomnia, but I have to seek an alternative.

  34. I started seroquel about 2 weeks ago and have gained 4 pounds!! I am not able to fit in some clothes and called the doctor on how to get off of it. It has absolutely made me ravenous and it reportedly slows your metabolism. This drug is not for me. If you are considering taking it I would second guess it and have your doctor prescribe something else. This drug was prescribed for bipolar II disorder.


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