Weight gain an adverse affect of discontinuing citalopram

Posted , 42 users are following.

Hi I was put on citalopram for a few months, within a month of stopping I started to gain weight within 6-8 weeks I was 2.5 dress sizes bigger and for 5yrs I exercised twice a day burned 2000 cals and ate under 1000 a day and couldn't shift the weight. The doctors did all sorts of tests and nothing came up. Thats when my normal happy life stopped i only went on them because i was ancious about a break up. I continued visiting the doctor with new research as to what it may be. Then 11 months ago something happened and I was prescribed citalopram again and within a few months I'd lost the weight I just assumed it was stress but I exercised less and ate more which was odd. Then 4months ago I came off the citalopram and got my energy back and started running again but started gaining weight and within 6/8 wks I was 2dress sizes bigger which is when I started researching citalopram I found American forums with many people in the same situation and someone called it paradoxical weight gain iv been in touch with lundbeck the makers of the drug but they so say have had no reports. This I find hard to believe there are so many people with the same reaction on the American sites. Also in the research iv done there are studies in animals that suggest the brain does not renormalise after coming off citalopram and they deny this could have anything to do with weight gain. How can it not? Your body needs serotonin and tryptophan receptors to burn fat, if this function does not renormalise surely it can affect weight?? Does anyone have anything to help me?? I'm thinking of taking them to court as I am now depressed on diazipam having panic attacks all because I was a little anxious about a break up 6 yrs ago. Please help if you know anything x

3 likes, 73 replies

73 Replies

  • Posted

    Hello tamsin. I discontinued Citalopram 1 year ago. I was on it for 6 years for anxiety attacks. I had a consistent body weight the whole entire time while on citalopram, in fact I lost weight, and if it ever raised a tad (typically because of lack of exercise and overeating) I could just go back to working out and eating healthy and drop it all very easily. Over the past year I actually have a timeline of photos of me gaining weight slowly but surely. I went so far into testing for parasites etc to see if there was some sort of issue or blocking factors that was causing me to gain weight and no matter how hard I would try (max efforts) I would actually continue gaining weight, even my "fat" pants are tight now. I had to get to the bottom of it because I can't understand it. I am a holistic nutritionist and personal trainer so I am pretty aware of what I need to do to lose weight in a healthy manner etc. and nothing seems to be working. I figured it out that all my weight gain started exactly when I discontinued citalopram, and I know this because of the photo timelines. Im actually thinking about going back on it as I am starting to get anxiety and depressed from the weight gain and the lack of control I have over it. It will be crazy if it helps, and they should really list that as a side effect if it is in fact the case.
  • Posted

    Hi thank you for your reply I had to go back onto citalopram and it seemed to stop the weightgain but im still having panic attacks and am now depressed because of the weight. they seem to be doing nothing but making me miserable and un-motivated so i have been weaning myself off them and have been off 3 days so far so we will see if i gain more weight within the next 4 weeks. hopefully not. I am still in discussions with Karen Warrillows at lundbeck who still denies any reports or links to weightgain, though there are forums dating back to 2001 on this subject. She says the animal studies were not done by her company and even though she knows of them they have not been followed up by her company as they dd not originate from her company. After explaing my point very slowly to her she did say she could see where i was coming from and why i saw the link between the animal studies and the brain nt re normalizing after citalopram and weightgan but said she had no information on it. She has since after speaking with my doctor again said she may have 1 study which i may find relevant so i am waiting on that to arrive at my doctors and will know more next week so will let you know. I am filling in my adverse affects form with the doctor next week also as it is the doctor who has to report it to them so it would be great if you could do the same? I have a homeopathic doctors and have tried everything natural from them. I am now going to try msm and himalayan livercare which was suggested on another forum to get the residue of citalopram out of my organs and im also going on a liver and gallbladder flush as i want all of this vile drug out of my system now. I will post a load of links i think you should read that i found in my research later today. Im late for work. tamsin xx
  • Posted

    Hello Tamsin. Thank you for your response. I will ask my doctor about the adverse effects form. Its interesting that you are going to take livercare supplements etc. During my process of flushing out a parasite they found in my system, a parasite that only the homeopathics think as an issue, I had to take a liver care supplement called L-K and it made me incredibly ill. However all this occurred after taking Citalopram. I used to do coffee enemas to flush out the parasite among other things but never got to the liver and gallbladder flush which maybe I should try out before going back onto the citalopram. Let me know how it goes with you. What is msm by the way? I am looking forward to the links. Thank you!
  • Posted

    Hi these are a few links you may be interested in reading.

    although these are not directly linked to weight gain in lundbecks eyes i personally see a link as if the neurotransmitters needed to burn fat are not re-normalizing surely weight gain can be a side affect.

    this is the liver flush recommended to me

    and this is the other forum i heard about the liver care and msm. msm seems to be a supplement.the post was made by



    there is also a study which says 71.3% gained weight after discontinuing citalopram which they put down to the depression coming back. I have asked for a breakdown of how many were depressed before and how many just had anxiety and if they had any weight problems before the drug and if any changed eating habits or exercise regime. It will be interesting to see the full report.

    Also i have just today been to see a herbalist for the tincture needed for the detox and he says its not the first time hes heard of this weight gain after citalopram and thinks its hormonal so when i have time i will speak more with him.hope to talk soon

    Tamsin x

    • Posted

      Tasmin, I know you made this post quite some time ago, but I was just curious if you had come to any further conclusions? I have been suffering from severe anxiety and my doctor is wanting to switch me from citalopram (which I have taken off and on for 10 years now with weight gain occurring each time I've discontinued it). My doctor acts like in so foolish for insisting that weight gain has occurred as a result of discontinuing citalopram & the links to the literature that you had shared are no longer available online. rolleyes So I'm not really certain how to move forward & to convince him that I'm not just exaggerating or blowing things out of proportion. Any advice, insight, shared experiences, or suggestions would be GREATLY appreciated!!!
  • Posted

    The Private Messaging system is the best way to pass along links etc smile
  • Posted

    Hi. I was just wondering if you have had any new developments with this? I, too, have experienced the same struggles with gaining weight when attempting to taper off of citalopram & as soon as I begin taking it again, I almost immediately upon resuming my regular dosage (20mg daily) I am able to lose weight again. I want to add that I have gone a year without taking the medication, working out for HOURS each day & eating only natural/whole foods & my weight would not budge one ounce. I even did a 3 day fast (doctor ordered) and wound up GAINING weight during & after the fast (before ever consuming any food. And it wasn't a fruit fast or anything like that. Just water. I have a BS in Dietetics and am well aware of healthy eating habits and adequate activity levels and I strive to be an all around healthy individual. I would just really like to be able to achieve/maintain my weight without being stuck taking this medication for the rest of my life... (I'm now 25 & have been taking this since I was 18). If anyone has any information they can share or has at least experienced a similar encounter with Citalopram, any feedback would be greatly appreciated!
  • Posted

    Hello. Unfortunately I tried everything in terms of losing weight while off of citalopram. I finally decided to go back on the smallest dosage, 10mg and almost within three days bloat went down and things were moving along. I now take 10 mg every other day sometimes every two as I no longer need the medication except to keep myself from gaining weight again. I'm afraid to come off as I don't want to go through that struggle again of gaining weight even with great efforts of eating healthy and exercising.
    • Posted

      Hi sdcohen

      I found your post very encouraging. I have gained a lot of weight since being on Citalopram. I have decided to come off the the 20mgs over the next couple of weeks. I wondered whether the weight would go off.


  • Posted

    Wow, I can't believe I found this discussion.  I went off Citlopram a few months ago and have gained 10 lbs.  Just like the other participants in this discusion I have tried everything to lose the weight.  It occurred to me today that there might be a correlation between the two.  I don't want to go back on the drug, but I am going to start taking a small amount and see if it helps.  I will report back and let everyone know the results.  I really don't want to resume takng them because of some of the side affects, but I have maintained a manageable weight for years now and cannot tolerate the extra lbs. 
  • Posted

    Yes, I am so sad to say but after being on this family of medication citalopram over the last 15 years I decided to go off in March (so it's been 3 months now) 15 years ago at my top weight ever I was 156, then steadily gained more and more weight topping out at 193lbs for a very long time. Now 3 months later (after going off the meds)  I have hit the 200 lb. I CRIED.I always thought it was the meds that caused me to "Gain" weight Along with menopause all thru my 40's ...so for about 1 month I switched to "Cymbalta" because I'd heard that one may cause decrease in appetite and less issues in the libido area which citalopram did a number on also, well then I decided to just go off everything and BAM! 200 lbs! I could not believe that going "Off" the meds I would Gain weight, I went Off the meds because I wanted to Lose weight. I do work at a desk all day, and do not exercise, and do have an appetite, but I swear the meds did this over the years (I was always Underweight at 5'6"  110lbs for most of my teen years, then never more than 136lbs after my second child. Realizing I'm not 18 anymore (I'm 54) but I look at other friends my age with flatter tummies and true it is depressing, but I don't really want to go back on the meds even tho the anxiety is more prevelant, I told my spouse there are some issues you just need to work on without a pill...Any other comments welcome or Solutions...I know exercise, water, and eating healthier,but I feel it's more than that, I feel it's the citalopram issue.
  • Posted

    OMG! I am having the same problem.  I have gained about 1 dress size since June and still gaining since I have stopped taking it.  I have not been able to figure out what is causing the gain. I am reduced my calories, drinking lots of water but keep gaining. I just thought was has changed recently and I realized I stopped taking Celexa and I decided to do some research and I came accross this.   I really don't need celexa I was only on it because I really hated my previous job and I need to get through the day but I am going to go back on it to stop this weight gain.  I feel so miserable with my weight
  • Posted

    Typed in could quitting citalopram cause weight gain since I've gained 6 pounds in a few days from not taking them.  Felt great but not great enough to get fat. I appreciate the thumbs up,and popped one in my mouth before I go to sleep in a few. Plan on taking one in the morning to give my diet a kick start. I wanted my orgasms to come back with my husband...I will fake those and hope some of them don't need to be,,,Damn the luck!

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