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Zyprexa and Weight Gain: How It Causes You To Get Fat

Zyprexa (Olanzapine) is an atypical antipsychotic medication that is approved by the FDA for the treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. In relatively rare cases, it is used as an augmentation strategy for the treatment of depression. The drug is manufactured by the company Eli Lilly, and has generated billions of dollars in revenue.

Despite the drug is considered effective, many people struggle tolerating its side effects. In some trials, more than 50% of patients end up quitting the drug before 6-weeks due to tolerability issues. Although it is better tolerated than older medications like Haldol and tends to improve negative symptoms well, older drugs tend to work better on positive symptoms (e.g. hallucinations).

Zyprexa and Weight Gain

Even though this medication may cause less cognitive impairment and extrapyramidal effects than other, typical antipsychotics, there’s no denying that it causes significant weight gain. Many people end up taking this drug and feel as if they are morphing into a blob of cellulite. This is due to the fact that the drug significantly increases appetite, slows metabolism, and alters all kinds of homeostatic physiological functions.

How does Zyprexa cause weight gain?

There are a variety of reasons that taking Zyprexa causes weight gain. For most people, it’s due to a combination of factors including: increased appetite, slowing of metabolism, and lethargy associated with treatment. Understand that there is a significant amount of scientific research supporting the fact that Zyprexa is among the most problematic psychiatric drugs in terms of weight gain.

  • Appetite increase: Most people will notice that their appetite increases when they take Zyprexa. Sometimes this increase becomes so extreme, that a person will feel hungry around the clock. There have been cases of people waking up in the middle of the night starving and ready to raid their fridge. If you don’t notice an increase of appetite while on this drug, you are in the minority.
  • Blood sugars: Zyprexa is known for elevating levels of blood-glucose and has been suggested as a potential cause of diabetes. If the drug is altering levels of blood glucose, this can affect metabolism and increase likelihood of weight gain. If your blood sugars become difficult to control on this medication, this could be contributing to your weight gain.
  • Fat build-up: The way that your body stores fat on this medication is influenced by a number of factors including hormones, blood sugars, etc. It is known that taking this antipsychotic can lead the body to store a large amount of fat in areas that it typically would not (e.g. breasts in men).
  • Food cravings: While some people notice that they experience food cravings as a result of their increased hunger, many notice more specific cravings for unhealthy options. If you start to crave refined carbohydrates, sugars, and foods with a lot of artificial sweeteners, it may be a result of the drug. Don’t be surprised if you start to develop cravings for foods that you never craved before.
  • Gut bacteria: Your gut microbiome likely becomes severely disrupted when you take Zyprexa.  Results have shown that among animals, the disruption of essential gut bacteria contributes to metabolic dysfunction.
  • Hormones: Fluctuations in hormone levels is common while taking antipsychotics. However, many of these hormones lead us to gain weight. For example, the drugs significantly elevate levels of prolactin, which also decreases levels of testosterone. By altering just these two hormones, weight gain is likely to occur.
  • Increased thirst: Many people notice that they become extremely thirsty while on this medication. Although water will suffice to quench thirst, most people generally prefer something with flavor. If you find yourself drinking large quantities of sodas, juices, etc. to quench your thirst from the medication, understand that this can cause weight gain.
  • Metabolism: It’s not difficult to figure out that this drug likely slows the metabolism. Even if you are able to fight the urge to eat foods that you crave or keep your portions the same as you ate before taking the drug, if your metabolism slows, you will gain weight. This is an important contributing element of weight gain from Zyprexa.
  • Side effects: There are some obvious side effects such as fatigue, drowsiness, and sleepiness that can cause some people to become less physically active. If you suddenly become a couch potato while on this medication, it’s likely going to contribute to weight gain – you’ll be burning less calories and your metabolism will decrease.
  • Social eating: In the event that Zyprexa is working well to help treat your psychiatric condition, you may be more inclined to socialize with friends or work-colleagues. Increased socialization often leads to “going out” for food. Eating out is generally associated with large portions and unhealthier choices. If you go out to eat more while taking Zyprexa, realize that this could also be contributing to your weight gain.
  • Taste improvement: You may not only end up with a boosted appetite, and food cravings, but your taste may also improve. When nearly all foods taste incredible, you may eat more than usual and keep going back for more. Many people notice that their taste improves when their negative symptoms are properly managed.

Individual factors that dictate weight gain on Zyprexa

It is important to keep in mind that there are additional factors that will influence weight gain on an individual basis. These factors include things like: dosage, your individual lifestyle and habits, how long you’ve been medicated, as well as whether you take any other medications.

1. Dosage

Most people that take Zyprexa will be on a dose between 5 mg and 10 mg when they start out, and stabilize at a dose between 10 mg and 15 mg. The maximum recommended dose is 20 mg. Although you probably are familiar with the dosing, you may not be aware of the fact that dosage often dictates the amount of weight that you gain. At higher doses, you’ll gain more weight than you would at a lower dose.

Therefore, in order to minimize the amount of weight gained on this drug, you’ll want to stay on the “minimal effective dose.” The lower the dose you can take to successfully manage your symptoms, the less weight you’ll stand to gain. Also keep in mind that each time you increase your dose, you also increase the chance that you’ll gain weight.

  • Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9265916

2. Personal: Habits, Genetics, Lifestyle

It is also important to consider your lifestyle on an individual basis. Although Zyprexa is going to cause some weight gain, some people exacerbate the weight gain by making unhealthy lifestyle choices. For example, if you aren’t getting enough sleep, eating a poor diet, pounding sodas, and don’t make any effort to exercise – you are probably contributing to additional weight gain.

Some people claim that despite packing on a significant amount of initial weight with this drug, they ended up minimizing it by making healthy lifestyle changes. There is evidence that your genetics will also determine the degree of weight gain you experience. You may be able to test this with “GeneSight” which assesses various individual biomarkers to predict how you’ll react to Zyprexa.

3. Treatment duration

The length of time that you’ve been treated with Zyprexa will ultimately influence how much weight you gain. When you take this medication for an extended period of time, it is likely that you’ll have developed a bit of a tolerance. This may lead to an increase in dosage – which is already known to increase the likelihood of weight gain.

Even if you don’t develop tolerance to this medication, you may continuously gain weight while taking it. Although the rate at which you gain weight may slow once your body becomes used to the drug, you’re probably still going to pack on more weight the longer you take it. Long-term users of Zyprexa generally gain a significant amount of weight.

4. Other medications

Some medications may help minimize weight gain from Zyprexa, while others may amplify it. If you are taking a stimulatory medication as part of your treatment regimen, it should help decrease appetite and speed up your metabolism. The degree to which this offsets the weight gain from Zyprexa will be subject to individual variation.

On the other hand, if you are taking antidepressants like SSRIs, you may experience an increase in weight gain. Most SSRIs are known to cause weight gain of at least 5 lbs. throughout treatment. The antidepressant Remeron is often a cause of weight gain, and when taken with Zyprexa has been shown to cause 30 lbs. weight gain in a 6 month case study.

How much weight will you gain on Zyprexa?

Since everyone has a unique genetic profile, medication regimen, and lifestyle, it’s impossible to predict exactly how much weight you’ll gain from this drug. For some people that are diligent about keeping their weight low with a healthy diet, controlled portions, and exercise – weight gain may not be as big of an issue as others.

A review of evidence revealed that the average amount of weight gained over the course of 2 years on Zyprexa typically ranges between 6 lbs. and 13 lbs. Understand that this is an “average” and whether you gain more or less weight is largely based on individual factors.

  • Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21348048

Will everyone gain weight while taking Zyprexa?

Although not “everyone” is guaranteed to gain weight on this drug, nearly everyone does.  Whether you consider the amount of weight you gain as significant or not is completely subjective.  The bottom line is that of all antipsychotics (and psychiatric drugs), this is the most likely to cause significant weight gain. If weight is a major concern, you may be better off pursuing other options and only using this drug as a last resort.

Zyprexa: “Weighing” the Benefits vs. Drawbacks

If you are using Zyprexa, it is important to weigh the pros and cons associated with your treatment. In other words, first determine how well the drug is working to treat your condition, and then determine the severity of the side effects. If the drug is working well, you may be willing to put up with a little bit of weight gain throughout your treatment.

On the other hand, if you are blowing up like a hot air balloon, and feel functionally disabled as a result of the side effects, it may be time to consider other options and/or pursue Zyprexa withdrawal. Obviously you should discuss your feelings about treatment with your doctor before making a decision. Despite the fact that weight gain is a clear drawback associated with Zyprexa, the drug is among the most effective for treating severe psychiatric conditions.

Did you gain weight while taking Zyprexa?

Fortunately, most people that gain a lot of weight while medicated are able to lose it when the switch medications and/or discontinue. If you gained weight while taking Zyprexa, feel free to share your experience. Discuss when you first noticed some weight gain, how long you had been taking the drug, as well as your dosage. For those that gained weight, how much weight did you gain? Also be sure to mention any other possible factors that you believe may have increased the amount of weight that you gained on this drug.

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{ 58 comments… add one }
  • Cheyenne James March 11, 2018, 1:41 am

    I’ve been taking this since October 2017 and I’ve gained 15 lbs! Your article really helped me understand why and it’s all true!

  • dette March 1, 2018, 11:53 pm

    This drug has made me really fat, I have horrible stretch marks on my arms and none of my clothes fit me. I’ve been off the drug for a few months now and the weight is not coming off. I’m living on salmon and couscous. My parents gave me so much grief about the weight even though they knew it was the drugs, it’s horrid.

  • Stephanie Soon February 7, 2018, 10:36 pm

    When I had to start taking Olanzapine again I put on at least 15 kg. Since August last year, through strict diet, I have managed to lose over 8 kg. I am still on 10 mg a day and I know I just have to really watch what I eat.

  • Nicole January 11, 2018, 7:19 am

    I was given zyprexa as an add on to my SSRI a long time ago. I’m naturally underweight and for the first time in my life I was a normal weight. Meds never did anything for me but I loved that stuff and continued taking it for its side effect.

    Unfortunately I seemed to require 12 hrs of sleep every night and I read some things about it that concerned me so I am no longer on it. I dropped the weight almost overnight and I’m still trying to gain some of it back. Opposite prob compared to most but I’m feeling anorexic looking lately.

  • J December 22, 2017, 6:10 pm

    Zyprexa ruined my life. It made me so fat I wanted to kill myself. 60lb in 3 months and I didn’t eat any more than I normally would have because I was inpatient in hospital, no visitors, no outside food. It caused stretch marks and I looked disgusting.

    I showered with my bra on and rarely changed my clothes. I was a fat stinking sweating mess and now that it’s been 10 years, I have lost all the weight and more. I am now underweight and near-anorexic with a trench coat of loose skin. This drug should be illegal to prescribe to pretty girls.

  • ajhogg December 13, 2017, 9:30 pm

    I have been on Zyprexa for about a week and have already gained 3lbs. The weight don’t bother me yet because the medicine has made me feel more normal n more at myself. I have had suicide thoughts, racing thoughts and major depression with anixety. Which the medicine has helped me I just hope I don’t gain too much weight.

  • Mark March 10, 2017, 6:04 am

    Glad to see I’m not the only one with this insatiable hunger due to taking Olanzapine (Zyprexa). I’m sleeping a lot too. Thankfully I’m underweight so I needed this particular side effect.

  • Chelsea January 2, 2017, 11:36 am

    I was started on 5mg of olanzapine and 40mg of citalopram 3 or4 years ago. I had weight problems prior to going on the medication so when it happened again when I went on Zyprexa, I assumed I was the problem. Before going on it, I had lost 30 kg from my last weight gain. Then I started zyprexa and very quickly gained 15, 20 kgs.

    Slowly, my weight has been going up and up. I’ve now gained 40kgs (90 pounds) from this medication. You just don’t feel full or satisfied. Ever. I could feel absolutely starving even after eating seconds. My tummy could be full to bursting but I’ll still be craving food. I also think this drug is the cause of my hypersomnia.

    I would be awake for 2 hours. 2 hours! And be so tired I had to go back to sleep. I could sleep for 18 hours and still feel tired. Feeling depressed and anxious most days, I stopped doing anything basically. I got no exercise and when I wasn’t asleep, I was eating. So that obviously didn’t help my weight gain.

    In the last 12 months I have completely changed my lifestyle. I got a job, I do between 6-10k steps a day and I make healthier choices with food. But the cravings are still there. I have managed to lose 7kgs but it has taken 12 months.

    I have been afraid to come off zyprexa as I have heard horror stories but I think I just have to take a leap of faith. I can’t stay on this medication any longer! I am 40kgs overweight and so unhappy.

  • Liz Australia November 25, 2016, 10:53 am

    Don’t know what happened to my earlier post… Anyway, I’ll start by saying how much I loathe the company for making such terrible drugs which either a. Make you fat or b. Are hard to get off. Basically we turn into legalized druggies and the company is laughing all the way to the bank. It’s just morally wrong.

    My story goes like this: I was put on 2.5 mg, then fell pregnant, gained a whopping 25kg, developed gestational diabetes (considering my first pregnancy, when i was unmedicated and no diabetes, I only gained a normal 10 to 12 kg, go figure). And the constant craving for food… what can I say? The “I’m full” switch in your brain ceases to function. The more I learn about it, the more I absolutely despise it and the company. This stuff is cruel.

  • B November 23, 2016, 8:16 pm

    I’m taking 5mg of this drug and gained 2 and half stone over 7months! I gained 1 stone 4 lb inside 6 weeks alone! The doctor says it’s because of increased appetite, but honestly my diet is similar to before I started the drug, noting to warrant so much weight gain. It’s an awful side effect. I’m hoping I lose the weight once treatment ceases…

  • Narelle November 10, 2016, 6:34 am

    I was on this drug for over 4 years and gained 30kg. I have lost 10kg while off it but have had to go back on it. Have been back on it for 4 weeks and the hunger is incredible. I want to continue losing weight. Are there any tips I can use to curb the hunger?

    • Maria November 15, 2016, 6:07 pm

      Interesting!! Do you think the pill itself makes you gain weight or is it the appetite that is higher than usual? Like I find myself eating more than before, like I am so hungry all the time that is crazy…

      • Narelle November 17, 2016, 8:25 am

        I think it is the pill that makes you so hungry it’s hard to ignore. When I wasn’t on the tablet, I wasn’t hungry at all only at meal times. Very frustrating!!

  • ManOfAdventure November 8, 2016, 2:28 am

    Hi all, I have been on Zyprexa for a year and a half on 10 mg for Bipolar disorder. I have gained over 60 lbs, and am very self conscious because the community I live in are all beautiful fit people. I got off the drug 2 weeks ago and have not noticed any changes to my eating habits. I have not lost any weight.

    My question is how long does it take for Zyprexa to leave the system for you to experience the possibility of weight loss? A company that I purchase supplements from such as amino acids and others for depression and bipolar said that it takes 90 days because it is stuck in your fat cells. Anyone can provide info on this it would be of great help!

  • Raven October 28, 2016, 7:36 pm

    I was on this pill for two months and I gained 14 pounds in 3 1/2 weeks and my clothes weren’t fitting and I was depressed because of it. I was using it for sleep and it put me to sleep early I was waking up early like I wanted to and it really works for sleep but I gained almost 15 pounds in a month and I had to take myself off of it cold turkey. I also take some Cymbalta, Rumor has it this pill makes you gain weight as well. We can not win! :(

  • Toby October 25, 2016, 6:57 am

    I was on Zyprexa… I went from about 75kg all the way up to 100kgs. I come off it and didn’t lose any weight because of the Seroquel I take but I want to know if Zyprexa causes permanent metabolism problems. Can anyone answer that for me?

    • Emero January 11, 2018, 8:35 am

      I too would like to know if its possible to reverse the slowing down of metabolism caused by zyprexa. I’m off zyprexa 6 months and still haven’t lost the extra fat I gained as a result of this drug, despite eating significantly less and exercising significantly more. But I was on 17.5 mg – other people on lower doses may not b affected as severely.

      I draw hope from the fact that, 5 months after stopping this drug, my nail biting habit reemerged (I’d bitten my nails for 25 yrs and that stopped automatically after my zyprexa dose was hiked to 17.5mg). I’ve read that nail biting is associated with dopamine activity so for me, the urge to bite my nails again is a hopeful sign that the dopamine activity/ dopamine receptors are gradually being restored/unblocked??

      Who knows…nobody can tell me, but maybe its possible that my metabolism can eventually be restored too. I live in hope like so many other victims commenting here. This is a nasty drug that did me no good, personally. In my view the psychiatric profession play around with people’s bodies and minds with ‘treatments’ that they little understand for ‘illnesses’ that they little understand.

      I believe that years from now society will look back on zyprexa ‘treatment’ in the same way as we regard lobotomies and other inhumane ‘treatments’ of the ‘mentally ill’. It will take more people like prof Joanna Moncrief and journalist Sean Fleming to make this happen.

  • Mayukh October 24, 2016, 4:16 pm

    I have been on olanzapine for 12 years and have gained 25kgs. Not sure how to get rid of this medicine without getting back the symptoms of bipolar disorder.

  • julie October 24, 2016, 8:59 am

    I too have gained weight with this medication. I can no longer squeeze into my clothes and have had to buy some bigger sized, but cannot afford a complete new wardrobe. I cannot continue to take this drug. There must be an alternative that works.

  • Anita Tate October 1, 2016, 2:11 am

    I have been on Zyprexa 5 mg. and Depakote 500 mg. for approximately 15 years. My P. Dr. put me on Depakote first for bipolar. I gained 15 pounds a month until I was 200 lbs. Then, he had to put me on Zyprexa. I continued to gain weight and overeat (binge eating) until I weighed 250 lbs. I am 5’5″ tall. I also now have Type II Diabetes.

    The two drugs are good mood stabilizers and antidepressants. They did make me stable, but oh what a price! I have to take insulin now which also has a side effect of weight gain. 1st two months on insulin I gained 30 lbs. I gained 20 more & I weigh 305.

    I am thinking about weaning off both drugs. I want my health back!!! I ate salads at night and lost 10 lbs. in one week. So you can lose weight while on them. I am going to have to be more diligent and watch my carbs. They need to come up with a drug that works with no side effects!!!

  • Federico September 27, 2016, 10:19 pm

    The periods I took 5 to 10 mg/day of Olanzapine (Zyprexa) I gained a lot of weight. I’m not even schizophrenic. I have OCD. Now I take 2,5 mg/day along with 20 mg/day of Fluoxetine. I still have a few pounds to lose, but by swimming 3 hours per week and trying to eat as healthy as possible (I became vegetarian a year ago) I have managed to lose a lot of it.

    I will never, ever take a higher dose of this crap again. It’s suicidal. If I ever become bad again, I will ask for something else.

  • Jamie September 23, 2016, 10:12 pm

    What an absolute joke!! Why do they prescribe this stuff? The doctor increased my dose to 15mg, I gained half a stone in 5 days. Currently been been taking this for 14 years. Impossible to stop taking due sleep problems. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

  • John September 18, 2016, 6:14 pm

    The more carbs I eat the more carbs I eat. I switched over to the NHE diet (no carbs for a week then veggies for breakfast lunch dinner with larger portions of fat from almonds and protein from shakes, carb cycle starchy carbs only as last meal of day Sunday – Wednesday) and I have a lot more self control. Walmart has portions called protein punch in the veggie aisle for 2 dollars.

    The hunger cravings go away by drinking more water and filling up on fiber. On the other hand hunger is normal everywhere but the USA it seems… if you are hungry on zyprexa that is actually a good thing: it is the uncontrollable face stuffing and cravings detracting from free will that is the problem. Fix the diet and fix the problem – and no it is not as simple as calories in and calories out.

  • Eduardo August 22, 2016, 9:02 pm

    I started on olanzapine 1 month ago. I started using it for my mental health, but ended up loving it for the weight gain effect. I gained 9 kilos. I simply cannot stop eating. Everything tastes delicious and I am always hungry, even when my stomach is full. The food craving is out of control, I am in love with the kitchen, fridge and pantry.

    People who see me are making comments and I love it because my entire life I have always been so skinny and still am (even with +9kg). When younger, I once I made a diet with a professional nutritionist in order to gain weight and it didn’t work. Guess what, olanzapine works!

  • Aleesa August 3, 2016, 11:54 pm

    I started 10mg of Zyprexa with 20 mg of Prozac about 4 weeks ago. I’ve gained 10 pounds and crave sweet foods like crazy before I hardly had any food cravings except for salty. I weighed about 100 pounds and now I’m up to 112, but my stomach is much larger than the rest of me. Other than having a high appetite, my moods are good. I have bipolar and schizoaffective disorder. I don’t know how much more weight I can handle, but my brain feels better.

  • Brian B. August 2, 2016, 5:40 am

    I was prescribed 2.5 mg/night for insomnia. The sleep is amazing but I immediately started gaining weight. I went from 190 lbs to 210 lbs in less than 6 months. Because of the weight gain I’ve tried to stop taking this cold turkey several times but had bad withdrawal symptoms. I almost can’t fit in my clothes anymore so I will be attempting to taper off this time, hopefully in a few weeks.

  • Melanie July 17, 2016, 7:47 pm

    Maybe I am thinking about a different medication(?) but I don’t think so. I’m very confused but I just googled it and found out it’s been out since 1996. I thought it was a new drug. Still, pretty sure that was it. I’m going to talk to doc on Tues and will ask him because I need to change meds. Lord knows, I feel like I have run the gamut of any and all psychotropic meds out there.

  • Melanie July 17, 2016, 7:43 pm

    Wow, I am really discouraged to read all this. When I went on Zyprexa a couple of years ago, I did not have a weight problem and I really loved how much better it made me feel. I had to stop, however, because at the time it was not in generic form and it was like $200 a Rx w/ insurance!!! Now that it is generic (like $10), I want to go back on it, but because of recent depression and life changes I gained almost 20 lbs in the last 7 months and that only adds to my depression and I am determined to get it off.

    I was going to ask my Dr. to put me back on it but I’ve changed my mind after reading all this. Still, again, I had no issues with hunger or weight gain when I was on it but perhaps it was because I was only on it for a few months due to the cost.

  • ivy July 9, 2016, 4:54 pm

    I went to rehab a month ago for meth addiction. I was 95 lbs then and was given lithium and olanzapine as meds. I was horrified to see that I gained 25 lbs in a month of taking the meds. I stopped taking it despite doctor’s orders after knowing from my other psychiatrist that one of the side effects of those meds was to gain weight.

    I am fine without taking these drugs but I’m just afraid that I may be confined back for non-compliance of the drugs. My question is, why am I prescribed of such drugs when I am not bipolar nor psychotic? My mood is perfectly normal and I am not delusional. Please help me understand. Thank you.

  • julie brady June 7, 2016, 8:02 pm

    Went onto this medication in February along with Wellbutrin and sertraline. I soon developed cravings for sugary carbs similar to the craving sensations I had when pregnant. I am constantly hungry and never feel full. It is difficult to stop eating when the cravings are so strong. I have put on at least 10 lbs and know that this has a negative impact on my mood.

  • Tara June 5, 2016, 9:46 am

    I have gained over 80 pounds on Zyprexa within 2 years. I started on 15mg per day and now down to 2.5mg. My weight plateaued when I started taking metformin. When my doctor reduced the Zyprexa to 2.5mg and I tried cutting out sugar I lost about 15lbs but it didn’t stay off. I am still on 300mg Lithium as well so I am not sure how much that contributes.

    If I got off Zyprexa completely but stayed on Lithium do you think that would help me lose weight? Even though it’s already such a low dose? I went from 135lbs to 220lbs. I hate it, I don’t feel like myself and something needs to change.

  • Izzy June 4, 2016, 4:36 pm

    I’ve been taking zyprexa for over a year and a half now due an eating disorder. I’ve maintained my weight for a year now, to the nearest 100g, so it is safe to say I haven’t put on any while I’ve been taking it. I’m shocked to read that this is extremely rare and am now very worried that rapid weight gain will start.

    Perhaps I haven’t experienced any due to me being at a low weight when I started taking zyprexa and having to put on 25kg regardless. It could be that zyprexa helped during that time and I was unaware – I had no idea of its affect on weight until reading this article and the comments! I’m now extremely anxious that I will start gaining weight as I’m still on 10mg zyprexa.

    Could that still happen to me at this point? In people’s experiences did the weight gain occur soon after you started taking zyprexa or was it more unpredictable?

    • Stephanie July 28, 2016, 11:31 am

      Izzy, you would have noticed the weight gain right away if it was going to affect you that way. I gained 50 pounds in the first year alone, starting from day one. It’s true that a minority of people aren’t affected weight-wise by Zyprexa…consider yourself lucky and stay on it so you don’t relapse with your eating disorder.

  • Liz May 11, 2016, 2:49 pm

    I gained 15 pounds immediately on this medicine – my diet didn’t change at all. I didn’t eat anything more than I usually do. I had to basically starve myself not to gain any more weight, but I couldn’t lose the 15 no matter what I did – I would just look at a side salad with fat free dressing and I would gain 3 pounds.

    It was horrible and my doctor blamed me for the weight gain – he said I wasn’t trying hard enough. I’ve been off this medicine for about 4 months and the weight literally fell off – I didn’t even have to try. I’m smaller now than when I went on the medicine. I can eat anything I want and I just keep losing weight.

    I had a burger and fries last night as a test (I haven’t had fries, chips, or pasta in over 2 years) and I weighed myself this morning and I actually lost a pound. I’m praying that I never have to go on this medicine again – the other side effect for me, besides weight gain, was that I had no thoughts at all and I couldn’t talk – it was horrible.

  • Sandy May 6, 2016, 10:41 pm

    Oh man, the hunger on Zyprexa is relentless. Just relentless. All my former tricks to cope with hunger no longer work. I spoke with a family doctor about Metformin and it was a no based on normal blood sugars… which is a positive. Yet the relentless hunger gnaws on. Water, vegetables, fatty meals, like McDonalds (which normally should stop hunger for hours for me) only last 30-60 minutes before the gnawing begins again. Well, off to walk an hour. No other answer…except also just learning to be hungry all the time without eating to solve it.

    • Sandy May 6, 2016, 10:47 pm

      Am going to learn more about diabetic hunger and see if their tips and methods will help. If Metformin helps, then maybe the appetite increase is highly related to the endocrine system.

  • Jaylen April 27, 2016, 5:51 pm

    I’ve been taking it (in shot form) once a month for a little over a year and I have gained more than 50 lbs… How much more than 50 I’m not sure but it is significant and I do think I’ve had increased appetite since taking it. I’ve been doing crossfit for 6-7 months and no results. I’m going to talk to my doctor as soon as I get the chance.

  • Lauryn April 15, 2016, 7:57 am

    I started taking Zyprexa about a month ago. I have gained a significant amount of weight already and have been getting really depressed about it. After reading this, I threw my remaining pills away!

  • Julia April 10, 2016, 3:08 am

    I have put on one hundred pounds over the 4 years I have been on it. Now I know why… I am on 30mg a day. It is the only thing that touched my psychosis.

  • Carina Jones March 27, 2016, 4:18 am

    I have been on Zyprexa off and on for a couple of years now and have recently been put back onto a 5mg daily dose and didn’t seem to be gaining weight until the past three weeks, I’ve been gaining 1 kilo each week and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down. I am going to have to talk to my doctor about this because I eat a strict vegetarian diet and train 6 days a week and still I’m gaining weight… fast!

  • Rose March 14, 2016, 11:01 am

    I have been on Zyprexa for almost a year, starting on 30 mg and coming down to 5 mg over the past couple of months. I have put around two stone (28 lbs) in weight and, although the dose has been reduced and although I have reduced the amount of food I am eating, there are no signs of the weight coming off.

  • deirdre March 7, 2016, 10:42 pm

    I have gained about ten pounds in 2 months, and steadily climbing, which is a lot for me. My doctor is tapering down on the Zyprexa now, so I hope this enables me to be able to lose at least some of it.

  • Harry March 3, 2016, 12:45 am

    I started taking Zyprexa in January 2015 and by June I had gained 100 pounds. One hundred. Fortunately it leveled off and I have since stopped taking it. My weight is (slowly) starting to fall off. Whew!

  • Laurie February 26, 2016, 7:20 pm

    Oh yes I have gained weight on Zyprexa! Went from a size 8 to a size 16 in about 2 or 3 months. While I really hate the weight gain, this drug saved my life VERY quickly – like within a couple of weeks. I battle suicidal tendencies and attempted suicide on January 8, 2015.

    I was put on Zyprexa in the hospital and within a matter of days I could tell a difference in the way I felt. Within two weeks I was discharged from the hospital. I felt SO much better and was definitely ready to go home and get back to life. This is a miracle drug, just with bad side effects.

  • AVI January 24, 2016, 8:13 am

    I have been on this medication for about a year now. 2 months ago my doctor increased my dosage from 2.5 mg to 5 mg per day. I gained around 4 kg almost immediately although I was not eating much and was doing yoga 4 hours a day (I was on a training course). I have since decreased my dose to the initial 2.5 mg, but despite my efforts, I have failed to lose the weight which is so frustrating. Now I am thinking about discussing this issue with my doctor and discontinue the medication or replace it.

  • Julie October 8, 2015, 2:52 am

    This medicine is almost a miracle drug for me. I am doing very well so I plan to monitor my food portions and begin exercising. It’s hard for me to know if my 20 lb weight gain in 6 weeks is due to the meds or not…because at the same time I started getting careless with my eating (not necessarily because of the zyprexa) I had depression before zyprexa and for me that is the major cause of my weight gain because when I feel horrible about life and myself I start to eat a lot.

  • Lynne September 7, 2015, 9:35 pm

    I am meticulous about my dietary and exercise habits. I had been taking 2.5 mg of Zyprexa twice per week and my weight was stable (BMI 23). I had a period of decompensation and the dose was increased to 5 mg daily. I gained 12 pounds in 2 months!! I’ll be calling my doctor tomorrow to see about reducing my dose…

  • marni September 1, 2015, 12:41 am

    I have started zyprexa and it’s great. I wake up at the same time each morning and I sleep well. I have gained 3 kilos in one month whilst attending the gym regularly and eating a healthy diet. I have diabetes in my family.

  • Dawn July 20, 2015, 11:35 pm

    I have been on Zyprexa for 11 years. I put on 90 pounds immediately. I was allergic to or couldn’t tolerate anything else that would help me so I just had to hang in there. By sheer will power and with the help of a lot of cardio, weight training and Weight Watchers, I lost 68 of those pounds. But the battle continued and I grew very weary from the constant work of keeping those pounds off. Long story short, I’m back at 90 pounds overweight. Now I have hope though. We have finally found a combination of meds that, in low doses, do not cause weight gain and that are solving my issues. Now to wean myself off the last little bit of Zyprexa and begin the weight loss all over again.

    • Valerie December 6, 2015, 9:52 am

      Would you mind please sharing the combination of meds that you are on now with less side effects? Thank you.

  • lisa July 18, 2015, 12:15 am

    This medication is evil. I call it the fat pill. I think I gained 50 pounds. I lost it all when I went off. My stomach felt like it had a hole in it. I was always hungry and craving bad food. I got very hungry at night right after taking the evil pill. It made me binge eat… hated it – I forget what dose I was on, but I was only on it two years. It was a high dose. I am on a different medication that has no weight gain or any other evil side effects.

    • Mariet August 4, 2015, 4:19 pm

      Do you mind my asking what medication you’re on now and if it’s effective? My use for Zyprexa is for treating manic bipolar episodes and extreme anxiety/panic attacks as well as potentially helping my OCD. Any feedback/advice would be useful. I’ve tried it once before and gained 14 lbs in 2-3 weeks so I stopped, but in that short time I felt the closest to normal than I have in years so I may try again.

      • Shey March 30, 2016, 5:09 pm

        I gained 120 lbs in four months of taking this God awful drug after being forced to do so. The 20mg caused so many more issues, both physical and psychological, than being off them ever did. Thankfully I live in a state with legal marijuana and have now been able to keep my anxieties down, my mood swings are nowhere near where they were on the medication, my OCD is in better control, and my schizophrenic moments aren’t a bother. This pill isn’t just evil, it’s the devil.

    • Jaylen April 27, 2016, 5:42 pm

      What is the other medication you are using? I’ve gained 50+ lbs also and I’m tired of it!!!

  • Shaun July 17, 2015, 1:43 am

    I reduced the amount of dose from 10 to 5 mg because I gained almost 20 lbs in 2 months. I like to know how long I should take this medication. Please someone answer me. I feel great but I do not want to gain weight. What are the other options?

  • Giles July 8, 2015, 11:46 am

    I’ve been on the drug for a while now and have put on a lot of weight (about 3 stone). This coupled with the fact that I was unable to run due to injury made my weight blow out of control. I am constantly hungry and crave sweet foods. That said, over the past few weeks I’ve been getting back to running on a treadmill and have worked really hard to eat sensibly. I am now starting to feel a bit slimmer so there is hope.

  • Michelle July 7, 2015, 2:42 am

    Oh my gosh, I gain about 30 lbs a month every time I have to go on this drug. This June 10 I went on 5 then 10 mg and it’s July 6, I’m 25 lbs heavier. So frustrated cause I had been losing weight slowly but surely before I had to go back on the zyprexa. Now I’m in the plus section again and feel miserable. I’m glad to be stable and not manic but what a high price. We shouldn’t have to put up with this. It’s too much. I gained 100 lbs on zyprexa after years of treatment. I slowly lost. But it’s always right around the corner cause I can’t stay stable and sometimes have to go back on zyprexa.

    • John July 21, 2016, 11:21 pm

      Zyprexa is very effective at giving a very troubled person some semblance of sanity but the weight gain is unreal. I have gained 20 lbs on 10mg in 3 weeks.

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