Content of article
1. Make conscious choices about sodium
Avoiding too much sodium in your diet is smart for anyone looking to eat healthier. But patients on steroids or antidepressants might want to consider paying extra close attention.
That means avoiding processed foods, canned foods, and fast foods, since they’re often packed with sodium.
“Eight percent of our sodium intake comes from these foods,” says Cabrero. “The general population in the U.S. has 3,300 to 3,500 mg of sodium per day, when it should fall more around 2,300 mg. Reduce these foods that have naturally a ton of sodium.”
Cabrero recommends you learn how to read nutritional labels in order to understand what’s in your food.
To curb weight, use the same strategies you’d use to control weight with or without the added effects of medication. Choose low-calorie foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, eat fiber-rich and slow-to-digest complex carbohydrates, and drink lots of water.
People taking antidepressants should also be aware of hyponatremia, which is low sodium in the blood. This is especially important in the first 28 days of starting antidepressants, as low sodium levels can lead to more severe health problems.
If you’ve been newly prescribed an antidepressant, your doctor should monitor you for signs of hyponatremia, including:
Your doctor can help you avoid hyponatremia.
Venlafaxine withdrawal and weight gain
For myself. In the beginning; the only reason I kept taking Effexor, was the fact, I was losing weight. I knew Effexor, wasn’t for me. I was afraid to stop taking it because, at one time I lost weight on it… even though, I started having edema on it from higher doses and gained weight. Whenever, I felt like eating I did make better choices. I still wasn’t eating much it made me felt better in that sense… once, I finally stopped Effexor from having ill effects. I felt hungry but, it was short lived and evened out after, a few months.
Effexor, is weight neutral. The fact, everyone is different with the way they react to any situation as well as medication. Some people can gain weight short term because, they begin to eat when, they wouldn’t have otherwise in a depressed or anxious state. Others lose weight because, they stop eating in the same situation.
Weight goes up and down daily. On Effexor, it may go up and down more until, ones body adjusts to the medication. My weight did. I would retain more water especially, in the summer. Just, be careful… especially, in heat. I had a difficult time cooling down while I was on it. I developed tachycardia from beginning on the max dose of Effexor for years.
I hope a small glimpse of my experience can help in some way.
3 years ago,
12 users are following.
I’ve been on venlafaxine for 6 months and seem to be steadily gaining more and more weight. Before starting antidepressants, I was one of those people whose weight never fluctuated by more than 5 lbs at most- I’d consistently been the same weight from my mid teens. Started sertraline 2 years ago- no weight gain, but it wasn’t effective. Switched to citalopram after a few months, and that was where the weight gain gradually started, although my diet was pretty much the same. However, it was when I changed to venlafaxine that it really started to go up.
In about 1.5 years, I’ve gained 2 stone. I don’t look or feel myself anymore, my clothes don’t fit, and whilst the venlafaxine is really helping, this weight gain is getting to me a lot. I did a BMI check this morning and for or the first time ever, I’m now at 25, in the overweight category.
I know I can’t completely attribute it to the medication, as I also used to run a lot and haven’t kept this up regularly over the past year. However, there were previously periods where I’d stopped running for a month or two and my weight wouldn’t change at all. I’ve mentioned it to my CPN who insists it’s not the medication.
Has anyone else had a similar experience? Is it the medication, or am I fooling myself?
0 likes, 15 replies
4 years ago,
5 users are following.
I’ve been on this drug for 10 years at 75mg, more recently 150mg.
I’ve always known that coming off these is a nightmare, as even if I was late with a dose I would feel unwell, zaps in the head, tired, sick, you name it!
I’ve decided I want to come off altogether (for a variety of reasons) and I thought I’d share my progress as I go along.
Despite my GP suggesting that I just drop from 150 to 75mg in one hit, I have decided to do it really slowly and cautiously to avoid withdrawal symptoms. I went from 150 — 130mg (1 x 75, 1 x 37.5 and half a 37.5) to get to around the 130 mg mark. This was 6 days ago.
Even with this slight decrease I have noticed the withdrawal.
I’m determined to stick with it, and stabilise, until these symptoms wear off — then I’ll be reducing down to 112 mg.
It’d be great to hear of your attempts/success stories and/or your experience on this drug.
Thanks for reading x
0 likes, 18 replies
Eating a potassium-rich diet is great for people who are looking to lose weight gained because of medication — potassium flushes out sodium. And a potassium-rich diet is linked to other health benefits, such as reduced blood pressure, protection against stroke, and osteoporosis prevention.
Potassium-rich foods include:
- sweet potatoes
- coconut water
- black beans
Managing your condition is a priority, so there may not yet be any options that cause little to no weight gain.
Still, ask your doctor if there are any alternative medications or treatments that would maintain your health without the extra pounds.
For people on steroids, ask if going on the shortest, most effective dose is a possibility.
If you’re taking antidepressants, bupropion (Wellbutrin) may be less likely to cause weight gain.
For people who have come off medication, intermittent fasting can be an effective way to lose weight, provided it’s recommended by your doctors.
“I usually suggest a gut rest. This is a 12-hour window when you don’t eat, which should start about 2 to 3 hours before bed,” says Cabrero. “A lot of times after dinner we end up snacking on foods that are not nutritious, nor are even related to hunger.”
3 years ago,
17 users are following.
has anyone got any experience of ven weight gain and if it comes back off? Or is my metabolism ruined? I have put three stone on in the few months I was on it, despite being active!I asked to be put in an antidepressant that didn’t have that side effect so this has made me feel even worse.tapered down over the space of one month to the smallest 37.5 dose, I am on day 7 of no ven and it’s been the week from hell!hearing voices,vertigo, nausea,vomiting,crying for hours, mania,severe anger, crazy thoughts, head zaps (the weirdest sensation) confusion,memory loss,sweating, took me a week to feel even slightly human and still feel crap!taking diazepam to calm symptoms,terrified it has caused irreparable damage. Any help would be appreciated!
1 like, 28 replies
2 years ago,
21 users are following.
Hi there, I’ve gained weight over the past 6 weeks after coming off of venlafaxine — I was on it on and off for 5 years.
I thought it was due to the supplements I started taking (5htp, l-tyrosine, vit b complex) but I’ve read a few reports of rapid weight gain after coming off meds.
Has anyone else heard of this??
Can the weight be lost?
I’m exercising and eating super healthy and gaining weight by the day……, help!!
1 like, 43 replies
4. Eat small, frequent meals
Your appetite can increase while taking specific medications, so you may be tempted to eat more.
Instead of having three massive meals throughout the day, breaking up your food into smaller, more frequent meals can make you feel like you’re consuming more calories because you have little time between snacks to be hungry.
It’s recommended to stave off hunger by eating six small meals a day versus three large ones.
Cabrero suggests you try to integrate nonstarchy veggies, or what she calls “volume-rich foods,” into your diet. “They’re nutritious and don’t have a lot of calories,” says Cabrero. Experiment beyond cut-up carrots: try veggie soups and salads.
5. Stay active
Staying active is important for overall health as well as weight loss or maintenance. Depending on your level of health or current symptoms, you may want to consult your doctor first.
“Depending on what other symptoms are going on, physical activity is something to be sure to do,” says Cabrero. “You might not be as active as you were before, but light yoga, walking, or something along those lines helps to keep you mobilized and improves overall health.”
7. Get some quality shut-eye
A good night’s sleep can do wonders when you’re trying to lose weight, especially if you’re taking steroids for any condition.
“With steroid use, patients find that they won’t sleep well, and that increases your appetite for sugary foods because you need that energy burst,” says Cabrero.
Here are 10 ideas for natural ways to sleep better.
Do you lose weight after going off Effexor?
Many people do, but it is not a guarantee.
The dysfunctions caused by Effexor which caused you to gain weight will not necessarily be corrected just by stopping Effexor—some may stick around, or take months or years to be corrected.
Sometimes there are permanent changes or damages that can contribute to abnormal weight even after Effexor has left your system entirely. The mechanisms and commonness of such outcomes is not particularly studied, though epigenetic changes, physical and functional changes to organs and organ systems (including the brain and nervous system), and permanent changes t…
We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are
not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in
respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek
as being in breach of those terms.
If you are thinking about discontinuing Effexor, or if you have encountered withdrawal problems from the medication, it may be time to seek help. Slowly reducing your Effexor intake with professional help will make it much less likely for you to experience withdrawal symptoms. Never stop taking venlafaxine cold turkey.
Venlafaxine withdrawal symptoms include anxiety, fatigue, dizziness, headache, insomnia, visual hallucinations, tremors, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, blurred vision, electric jolting zaps, joint and muscle pain, restlessness, tingling sensations, fever, flu symptoms, abdominal discomfort, agitation, sweating, irritability, vertigo, aggression, confusion, concentration and memory problems, gait disturbances, vivid dreams or nightmares, general malaise, hot flashes and chills, crying spells, lethargy and weakness. Rare but serious symptoms such as anorexia or suicidal thoughts may also occur.
The duration of withdrawal symptoms varies from person to person and can take anywhere from a few days to a month or longer.
Why do some drugs make putting on extra pounds more likely?
Antipsychotic drugs, antidepressants, and mood stabilizers are common drugs that have the most potential to increase weight gain.
With approximately 13 percent of Americans currently taking antidepressants — and without medication options that don’t cause fluctuations in weight — a lot of people can’t avoid being put at higher risk for unhealthy weight gain.
Steroids like prednisone may also have similar effects.
Alanna Cabrero, MS, a registered dietician at NYU Langone Health’s IBD Center, says steroids are often “used to tackle inflammatory conditions like IBD, Crohn’s, arthritis, lupus, and osteoarthritis.”