Can Prescription Drugs Lead to Weight Gain?
Is It A Myth That Medications Can Cause Weight Gain?
In addition, weight gain from medications can lead to - or worsen - medical conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol or arthritis.
How Do Medications Cause Weight Gain?
Weight gain can be a slow process, whether it be from drugs, food, or lack of exercise. Exactly what causes the weight gain due to a medication is not always known. Some medications can increase hunger or lead to fluid and water retention. Some medications may slow you down and lead to a less active lifestyle, resulting in added pounds.
Drugs that trigger an increase in appetite may work in the brain and change the satiety (feeling full) center. It is often difficult to tell the difference between weight gain from a drug and weight gain from other reasons.
What Are The Risks Associated With Medication-Related Weight Gain?
Some drugs will need to be stopped slowly; stopping them quickly may lead to serious side effects. Patients should not stop taking any medication without first talking to their doctor.
What Can Be Done About Weight Gain With Medications?
Medications can affect each patient differently, too - not every patient will gain weight, even if it is listed as a side effect of the drug. However, in some cases, patients will need to increase their level of exercise and adjust their diet.
Can Antidepressant Drugs Lead To Weight Gain?
Antidepressants are not always the direct cause of weight gain - lack of exercise, older age, and unhealthy food choices may result in added weight, too.
Which Antidepressants Are Known To Cause Weight Gain?
Bupropion (Wellbutrin) is an antidepressant that may actually be linked with weight loss as a side effect.
I Have Allergies - Can Antihistamines Lead To Weight Gain?
Studies have shown that some H1 antihistamines may increase weight, body mass index, waist circumference, and insulin levels. For many patients, the allergy benefit with antihistamines outweighs any slight weight gain risk.
Do Antipsychotics Cause Weight Gain?
The atypical antipsychotics olanzapine (Zyprexa), risperidone (Risperdal), and clozapine (Clozaril) have all been linked to significant weight gain. These drugs may block histamine activity and serotonin, as well, which may contribute to the mechanism of weight gain.
Do Other Side Effects Of Antipsychotics Affect Weight-Related Risks?
Ziprasidone (Geodon) and aripiprazole (Abilify) are more weight neutral antipsychotics, but may still increase blood sugar.
Can Blood Pressure Medications Cause Weight Gain?
Many of the older beta-blocker drugs may slow down activity in general, which may be responsible for some of the weight gain. Patients may be tired, have lack of energy, and feel fatigued, which may affect the number of calories burned each day.
Oral Corticosteroids For Pain and Inflammation Can Increase Appetite
Local injectable corticosteroids (for example, used for knee pain) and inhaled corticosteroids used for asthma are not associated with weight gain.
Catch 22: Certain Diabetes Drugs Result in Added Pounds.
Other drugs used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes, such as pioglitazone (Actos) and rosiglitazone (Avandia), may lead to weight gain and fluid (water) retention.
Which Diabetes Drugs Lead to Less Weight Gain?
Exenatide (Byetta) and liraglutide (Victoza) are glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists that slow digestion in the stomach, but can lead to nausea and vomiting. These drugs have been shown to lead to weight loss, even in patients without diabetes, but they are not FDA-approved for that use.
Seizure Drugs and Mood Stabilizers Can Add Pounds
These are important medications for serious conditions; patients should discuss weight gain with their doctor before stopping or changing any medications.
What Should I Do If I Think My Medication Is Causing Weight Gain?
If a change in your medication is needed, there may be another drug your doctor can prescribe that will work just as well, but not add on pounds. Be sure to discuss options with your doctor before stopping or changing any drug treatment.
Finished: Can Prescription Drugs Lead to Weight Gain?
- Weight Control Information Network (NIDDK) - Overweight and Obesity Statistics. 11/2012. Accessed 7/31/2016. http://win.niddk.nih.gov/statistics/index.htm#b
- Prescription Meds Can Put on Unwanted Pounds. 3/2/2012. Accessed 7/31/2016. https://www.drugs.com/news/meds-can-put-unwanted-pounds-36772.html
- Cheskin L, et al. Prescription medications: a modifiable contributor to obesity. South Med J. 1999;92:898-904. Accessed 7/31/2106 at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10498166
- Can Prescription Drugs Cause Weight Gain? Drugs.com. Accessed 7/31/2016. https://www.drugs.com/article/weight-gain.html