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Hi Everyone,


I have been managing my anxiety/depression/obsessive thoughts pretty well since being put back on Paxil since February. My only issue has been excessive night sweats and a lot of weight gain.


I had been on Paxil in the past and it worked well for me and I did gain weight, but it happened gradually...this time I gained 10lbs since February, which to some might not be a lot but I am a petite female and it shows up on me.   I'm 28, an avid runner (run 20-25 miles a week), work out at the gym, eat pretty well, and I am pretty active otherwise (always on the go). I have been staying steady at my weight for the past 3 weeks after taking Omega 3s, multi vitamins, fiber pills, and my pdoc lowering my dosage.


Even though I am staying level, I am still extremely unhappy...it’s become my new "obsession". I am getting married in 4 months and literally can't afford to gain anymore weight and it’s become extremely difficult to stay level.


PDoc was thinking of switching me to Wellbutrin, but I have heard some stories that it has increased peoples anxiety, caused seizures, and it won't really help my obsessive thoughts.


Has anyone made a switch from Paxil to something else due to the rapid weight gain and found success? I tried Effexor and Pristiq before going on Paxil in February and they did not work for me at all.




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if you are getting married in four months then I suggest you

look into Weight Watchers


it is a very awesome plan for healthy eating 

I am on weight gaining meds such as Seroquel

yet I have lost 15 lbs in two months

it really works!!!

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It sounds like you already have a healthy diet and exercise regime in place, which is awesome.  That is the hardest part for so many of us.  I admire your ability to keep active and put in the miles!


I have never been on Paxil, but I have had the experience of gaining weight on an SSRI despite working out consistently and running 20-30 miles per week.  The tough thing is that medication side effects vary so much from person to person. 


Have you considered switching to a different SSRI, such as Celexa or Viibryd?  Both of those have been weight neutral for me, and might be worth a shot.

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I'm on Wellbutrin now, and I love it more than prozac, cymbalta, or zoloft. It might increase the physical symptoms of anxiety because of how it works, but I haven't had that experience. It also lessened my obsessions a fair amount, although that might have just been coincidental timing, considering my other  therapy going on. From what I can tell, the seizure thing is pretty overblown, unless you're taking a very large dose or overdose. In that case, it can be extremely dangerous.

Another option to think about is augmenting the paxil with welly, rather than an outright switch. That seems to be more common of a method that a straight switch, or at least that's what my old pdoc told me. There's also switching to a different SSRI, like Lexapro.

Good luck with your marriage!

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From what I can tell, the seizure thing is pretty overblown, unless you're taking a very large dose or overdose. 


Yes, the risk is dose-dependent. It starts to become a significant risk at doses of 600mg and above. The standard dose is 300mg. Some go up to 450mg (I have been on that in the past.) It depends on your general seizure threshold.

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I can relate to what you're talking about. I'm an extremely healthy eater and I exercise daily, but with my SSRI (Zoloft) I gain all of my weight in the face. It's not anything really noticeable to anyone, I still look good "in person", but I can't stand to look at photos of myself. It's like night and day, the difference between what my face looks like not on Zoloft and what it looks like on Zoloft. My cheeks are fuller in photographs, and my eyes have a beady-like appearance on the SSRI, basically like someone on a steroid medication. 


I'm currently making the switch to Wellbutrin, and it's going good so far. I've been on Wellbutrin in the past and it actually helped my anxiety, because a lot of my anxiety comes from my depression, i.e. lack of confidence, etc. 


There's always the option of adding a low-dose benzo like Klonopin to Wellbutrin if you get off the Paxil, if you're not adverse to using benzos. I like Klonopin because it has a long half-life. I take a small dose, 0.5 mg once or twice a day. 


I've heard Paxil has a pretty bad rep. for weight gain. I've heard Prozac can sometimes cause weight loss or be weight neutral. Paxil could be the weighty-ist of the SSRIs. 


In the end, I guess you just have to decide what "sucks less" as the creator of this site once put it. 

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I can totally relate to what you say.  When this happened my pdoc put me on naltrexone, which kills cravings (to an extent). People who are trying to quit cigarettes or alcohol sometimes take it to help with the cravings of each.  Since being on it, I havent' lost all the weight I gained, but I am at a weight I can deal with now.  Idk what I'd do without being on this med.

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Thanks so much everyone for the advice and support! It's nice to be able to speak with people that are going through the same struggles with side effects. It can be so frustrating when you are doing everything right and you continue to put on weight. 


The weight gain makes me uncomfortable in my own skin, and to be honest I'm tired of hating on my body right now and my fiance gets upset hearing me complain about myself bc he doesn't see what I see/feel at the moment...which I can understand bc no matter what, when I look at him I just see the man I fell in love with. 


I spoke to my Pdoc yesterday, because I gained another 2 lbs, that's 12lbs since February. I was already down to 10mg of Paxil, so he wants me to cut those in half and then stop them on Monday and I am going to see him next week to talk about a new medication. There are so many out there, something else has to work right? Sucks though, because Paxil manages my anxiety and depression so well.


I will bring up the other rx's you guys mentioned as well. I will keep you posted! Thanks again!

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I would go for Wellbutrin XL if I were you. It very well could work (and don't be worried about the seizure thing, that's a bunch of ballyhoo). It's easy to manage, two typical doses, you take 150 mg for one week, then go to 300 mg and you're set, if you want to go to 300 mg. It's easy to get off of too, none of the harsh SSRI brain zappy things. Wellbutrin's great in many ways. 


If for some reason the Wellbutrin didn't work, you could always go back on a different SSRI, or add a low or regular dose SSRI to Wellbutrin later, perhaps one that is not as weight gain-y as Paxil, like Prozac, or Zoloft. Zoloft didn't cause any body weight gain with me, just superficial things. I've known others who've taken Zoloft and not suffered any weight gain, perhaps because of Zoloft's light dopamine re-uptake. Paxil is straight up serotonin re-uptake and has a pretty notorious reputation for weight gain, probably the worst of the SSRIs. 

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Thanks Adam! I see my PDoc next Wednesday and he will be putting me on something else then.  I hope Wellbutrin does the trick, I need something that makes me feel mentally great like Paxil, but also something that doesn't pack on the pounds.


Today is my first day without Paxil, Pdoc wants me off it for a week so it will wash out of my system.  I'm a little nervous about going a full week without anything (I do have xanax though). Ever since he brought me down to 10mgs and then 5mgs I've felt my obsessive thoughts and fears trying to come through. I keep trying to tell myself that its because the weaning and its to be expected, but I can't help but get a little upset. It's not fair that we can't be like other people and have to rely on meds in order to remain ourselves :(


I'm going through a lot of life changes, which is what tends to spike my anxiety. My fiance and I just closed on a house (which up until the day we closed last week I was nothing but ecstatic about, now I'm realizing "wow, we bought a house").  I'm feeling a bit nervous with all the life changes we have going on ugh! I hate growing up!

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  • 3 weeks later...

i just wanted to weigh in *groan* on the discussion - in that i had exactly the same problems on cymbalta - i had even signed up for a pretty extreme online training course - the peak condition project - and lost 5kg (11 pounds) which others in my group were losing closer to 10-15 kilos (20+ pounds). the trainer mentioned that he had seen this happen before with someone on antidepressants - and thankfully, i got my money back.
it's the one thing that's really making me hesitant about taking seroquel...i really don't need to be gaining more weight right now.
quite the opposite.

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Cipher, congrats to you on losing weight while on Cymbalta! It's not easy to do and that is a huge accomplishment, you should be very happy with yourself.


I'm a marathon runner and I still was putting on weight with Paxil...so my Pdoc weaned me off and now I'm on Wellbutrin 75mg and Lexapro 5mg...The up side, I've lost a few lbs, the down....i feel my anxiety again. I'm hoping the Lexapro kicks in soon for the anxiety, bc the Wellbutrin alone was not good for me. We kept the Wellbutrin to counteract any weight gain.


Here's hoping...

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