Lithium Weight Gain.




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Weight gain from Lithium.

Lithium weight gain is more common then you might think. You are not alone with this side effect. Not every person taking Lithium will gain weight but it happens enough for Lithium to hold a solid reputation as a weight gain drug.

In the weight gain arena, all antidepressants without exception have the potential to cause weight gain. Many people are not even aware that weight gain is one of the most common side effects associated with Lithium until it is too late. Ironically, this common side effect of Lithium is counterproductive to depression since unexpected weight gain can further aggravating mood instability and low self-esteem.

Weight gain caused by Lithium and other antidepressants is a major reason for people stopping drug treatment. Even Wellbutrin, which is touted as the antidepressant lest likely to cause weight gain, causes weight gain in some people.

All antidepressants slow the metabolism and inhibit specific enzymes in the liver that allow the metabolism to function correctly. Many antidepressants also also increase appetite and carbohydrate cravings. Antidepressants like Lithium are also shown to cause hormonal changes, which can further add to weight gain.

Studies showed an average weight gain of 15 to 20 pounds with Zoloft, Prozac and Celexa. Paxil appear to have the most significant impact on weight gain of all of the SSRIs and causes weight gains in excess of 20 pounds for the average person taking this antidepressant. Effexor weight gain is not as severe as the weight gain reported with Paxil, Prozac, Celexa and Zoloft. Lexapro appears to have the least weight gain problems of all SSRIs.

With Lithium weight gain, it is not the amount of food eaten, but the body’s crippled metabolism. If you have already cut your food intake, have eliminated fatty foods, exercise on a regular basis and you still are gaining weight, your metabolism is to blame. If you are taking Lithium, chances are Lithium is contributing to the sluggish metabolism. The only true solution to Lithium weight gain is to stop using Lithium.

Most people slowly return to their pre-Lithium weight after discontinuing Lithium use, but the emphasis is on the word “slowly.”

Antidepressants outside the SSRI family have also been shown to cause weight gain to varying degrees. The greatest tricyclic antidepressant weight gain has been observed with Elavil, Tofranil and Remeron. Wellbutrin causes the least amount of weight gain but is not shown to be as effective at reducing anxiety as other antidepressants. Desyrel appears to cause less weight gain than Elavil but more than Wellbutrin. Again, the only substantial means of combating weight gain from these types of antidepressants are to discontinue use.

Lithium weight gain is tricky because people often experience some weight loss in the beginning. It isn’t until after a few months that the weight gain appears. It is common for people to report weight gains of 20, 30 and even 60 pounds several months into treatment.

Deprex is a complex of natural "antidepressants" that supplies the precursors to key mood-controlling neurotransmitters. Deprex raises circulating serotonin levels, restores the appropriate production of serotonin and norepinephrine and regulates cortisol release – without weight gain side effects or other side effects commonly associated with Lithium and other antidepressants.

*This antidepressant drug information does not endorse Lithium, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible warnings, uses, precautions, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse side effects of Lithium. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your health care provider or pharmacist. The information provided should not be construed to indicate that Lithium is safe, effective or appropriate.

Do not stop taking Lithium without first talking to your doctor. Your doctor may need to gradually reduce the dose before stopping Lithium completely. Suddenly stopping Lithium may cause unpleasant and potentially serious side effects.

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