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on psychiatry and psychology

Medicines/Drugs Causing Weight Gain/Increased weight

Abstract: Medicines such as Lithium, Chlorpromazine, Cortisone, etc. can cause weight gain.

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Medicines/Drugs Causing Weight Gain/Increased weight

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Question(s): 
Written by: Gunborg Palme, certified psychologist and certified psychotherapist, teacher and tutor in psychotherapy.
First version: 22 Jul 2008.
Latest revision: 13 Aug 2008.

Which drugs/medicines can cause increased weight? How to gain weight?

Answer:

Examples of drugs which may cause overweight in some people (not a complete list):

  • Lithium: used for manic bipolar disorders. More.
  • Cortisone: Cortisone, Prednisoe used for rheumatism and allergies
  • Anti-seizure medicines: Depakote, Valproate.
  • Mood stabilizers: Elavil, Tofranil, Xeroxat, Cipramil, Sertralin, Zoloft, etc. More.
  • Antipsychotics: Zyprexa, Paxil, Ergenyl, Absenor, Orfilir, Chlorpromzine.
  • Migraine medicines: Sandomigrin, Ergenyl, Trypizol.
  • Oestrogen: Follimin, Follinett, Neovletta.
  • Insulin for type 2 diabetes: Insulatard, Humulin, Actrapid.
  • Breast cancer medicines: Nolvadex, Tamoxifen.
  • Beta blockers: (aginst high blood pressure) Inderal, Cardura.
  • Reumatism cures: Etanercept, Enbrel
  • Anti-heartburn medicines: Nexium, Prevacid (may instead cause weight loss for some people!)

In general, not all people using these drugs gain weight. The same drug may cause weight gain for some people and weight loss for other people. Do not stop using a medication without consultation with your physician. Almost always, there are alternative medicines which are just as good and do not cause weight gain. For example, Prozac/Fonex/Fluoxetine is an anti-depressive medicine which more often cuses weight loss than weight gain.

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