I will be starting the medication next week and am terrifed of gaining weight. I'm on the hearvier side which has a lot to do with my depression, anxiety, negative self-image, mood swings etc. If I eat healthy and exercise, what are the chances that I will gain weight? In other words, does it make you eat more or does it contain some sort of chemical that adds pounds beyond my control? Any advise would be extremely helpful.
19 May 2014
When my dose was increased I also started gaining weight. No matter how hard I try, I cannot stop eating carbs. I crave them all day and want to eat constantly. Prior to this my diet had a lot of fruits and vegetables in it because I ate a mostly vegan diet. It is easy to say 'just watch what you eat and you'll be fine'. Some of us are not able to control all of our impulses and/or have a background of eating disorders. I knew it might cause weight gain and I thought that would be fine, but it is a much bigger struggle than I thought it would be.
14 days ago
I am a 57 yoa male, I have been on Depakote for a 4 years at 2000 mg a day. I was already big, but had lost almost 50 pounds; doing great and then Depakote, I gained the 50 back plus 15-20 more. I found myself eating whole boxes of little snack cakes and chips and gorging on other junk. I read that others had lost weight on Wellbutrin. I asked the Doctor to put me on Wellbutrin and then asked to increase it until now I am on 300 mgs. It reduced my depression and gave me more energy to get out and walk. I have lost 17 pounds and can finally start controlling myself.
Depakote works well as a mood stabilizer but sucks as far as weight is concerned.
9 May 2014
I've been on depakote for atleast 4 years and have gained around 10lbs per year I figured it was aging I started taking it when I was 19 i was 120 and worked out a lot. I didn't even consider the depakote for my weight problems. it just kept going up even with diet and exercise so I gave up on losing weight after the first 30lbs now that I've stopped it I've lost 10lbs in less than a week with no change in diet or exercise. The other side effects of depakote should be what makes you decide to use it or not though. Weight gain is a minor side effect.
3 Jul 2012
Several side effects are possible with Depakote, and weight gain does appear to be one of them. This data comes from clinical trials that extensively studied Depakote and documented its side effects.
Up to 9% of people taking Depakote reported weight gain. This was most common in people taking the drug for migraine prevention (8%) or for complex partial seizures (9%).
Depakote has a tendency of people who take it may gain weight, some suggestions include: Eating a heart-healthy diet. This diet should include: Lots of fruits, vegetables, grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products; lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts; limited amounts of saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, sodium (salt), and added sugars. Participating in regular physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day on most days of the week. Limiting your intake of alcohol.
If the weight gain continues, the doc may recommend other lifestyle changes or possibly switching to a different migraine, bipolar disorder, or epilepsy medicine.
Take care, best wishes!
19 May 2014
I also have watched the weight go up, I had just begun to get a few pounds off when I was put onto this med and the few that I'd got off went straight back on, I need to watch my weight gain as I have prolapsed discs in my lower spine and it increases the pain when my weight increases.
I cannot manage to get the weight reduced at all, even though I do not eat large meals, I have noticed that I hunger pangs have woken me up, or have had them before trying to get of to sleep, something which has never before happened to me, until going on this med, I dont like it for this reason, but must say it is good at what it was made for, mood stabilizing.
Would prefer something that didnt increase the poundage, but also dont want to fix whats not broken either.
3 Jul 2012
Depakote made me gain weight. I found that I craved sweets more, ate more and eventaully packed on the pounds. When I stopped the depakote I quickly lost 10 lbs. If you control what you eat, don't give into the cravings and exercise, you should be able to ward off any major weight gain.
20 Nov 2014
I was prescribed Depakote 500mg today as a mood stabilizer. Reading here it seems it's the higher doses and/or giving into cravings that cause the weight gain. Is that the general consensus? I have dropped 40 lbs since Jan '14. I'm older, and have a desk job. I don't need any added obstacles to a healthy weight.
25 Apr 2015
If you are taking Depakote for seizures and are upset about substantial weight gain, the reverse effect has been noted in Topamax, which is also good for folks who have significant epilepsy or other seizure related conditions. Just saying. My best friend, and many of her acquaintances, have a hard time keeping weight on... I know it's because Topomax makes her a little foggy but so does Depakote at higher doses, which of course, calms down seizure tendency. Just a thought. Too thin is also really hard to live with btw. She gets lot of flak about it.
6 Nov 2015
I'm only just starting it... Depakote is my hail mary at this point, so I'm "at peace" with the thought of 20-30 lbs gain in exchange for zero (... or just less) migraines. Unfortunately, another medication I'm starting today is Lyrica for my fibromyalgia. I've taken this in the past, and it made me gain 30 lbs in 4-5 months before plateauing. I have no idea if the combination of these two will make it twice as bad or what, but I want to be as proactive as I can.
I've seen responses saying to take it at night and cutting sugar, but what else can I do? Are high/low carb or protein diets fool's game in this regard?
There's a good chance I'll be on it for at least a few months, so whatever experience I have... I'll let others know.
6 Nov 2015
I can say this I had a lot of customers on Depakote and most did not change much in weight by doing what we should be doing anyway eating right, some exercise and just being aware.What a lot of people don't understand they don't update a lot of the information on medications and the studies are done on a small amount of people compared to when it is released to the public.So just because it says weight gain does not mean at all that you well have it.The side effects are very rare. AND THE BENEFITS ARE WELL WORTH IT. But we all metabolise things differently and that is what makes the medication do differently for any medication. Best of luck Chuck1957
6 Nov 2015
My experience is Depakote just adds pounds without even eating more.
I got off it 8 mos. ago after a hypomanic outbreak followed by hypodepression.
Got a manual labor job, dropped the weight and have been doing OK since, thank God.
Years ago I heard a wisdom,
"Man with mental trouble should go and chop a hundred logs."
8 Jan 2014
I have been on Depakote for about 10 years now.(between 1500mg and 2000mg dosages) Upon first starting the medication, I gained 40 lbs in 3 months. I have been told that this amount of gain in a short time is rare... lucky me. I stay on the med as it is the only one to control my seizures. But it did make me fat.
13 Jul 2012
Honestly, my findings here. It is the only drug I have consumed non-stop for the past eight years. When combined with ZYPREXA, yes, absolutely it seems to be a given that big weight gain will occur. But I had zero weight gain when I combined it with Abilify. Now I take a relatively large dose of it alone (1,250mgs)... have been on the large dose since January, and my weight has remained constant at 118lbs. So although Rajive says that statistically 10% report weight gain, I say what about the other 90% who don't find this! Now of course I am fanatical about monitoring my weight... step on the scales daily, watch my diet like a hawk, and walk a good old 5 miles daily; probably just as any person who is trying to be weight conscious would do. So it would be my bet that if you can adhere to these lifestyle habits, there is no good reason why the pounds should stack on.
And in fact, you might have an "edge" on your pals who hare NOT worrying about weight gain; because this gives you an added motivation to be extra fussy with yourself! So try it, watch the scales, and work hard at weight control. And soon you might just put us all to shame with the "new you"!!! Kathleen
- Depakote Information for Consumers
- Depakote Information for Healthcare Professionals (includes dosage details)
- Side Effects of Depakote (detailed)
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