Medically the evaluation by Daniel Bubnis, M.S., NASM-CPT, NASE Level II-CSS, Fitness — written by Steph Coelho on July 27, 2020


You are watching: How to lose weight when medication makes you gain

Medications that administer relief from autoimmune diseases, chronic pain, and depression assist people live fuller lives. Unfortunately, plenty of of these an effective medications have actually undesirable side effects, consisting of weight gain.


In this article, we look at which drugs are known to reason weight gain and also how world can efficiently lose weight that they have acquired as a an outcome of acquisition medication.


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Share ~ above PinterestSwitching medications, lowering the dosage, and drinking an ext water may assist people lose the weight they gained because of medication use.
Gaining weight because of a medication have the right to be frustrating. Expertise that weight acquire is a possible side result is the very first step in combatting it.

Here are some ways to lose weight gained because of medication use:

1. Move to a different medication

The an initial strategy to take into consideration involves changing medications. People experience various side results when taking different drugs.

If weight get affects a who health, a medical professional may be able to prescribe a similar medication the is much less likely to produce an increase in weight.

2. Reduced medication dosage

In some cases, the is feasible to lower the dosage of the medication that is bring about weight gain and also still gain relief native the symptoms of the problem that that is treating.

People must not protect against their medicine or reduce their dosage without very first consulting your doctor.

3. Limit portion sizes

Appetite sometimes rises when taking particular medications. Civilization on antidepressants, because that instance, may discover that they have an boosted appetite due to the fact that their mood has actually improved.

Learning to listen to hunger cues and also control part size can assist limit weight gain.

4. Exercise

Increased physical task can also aid control weight gain from medication.

A 2011 study says that exercise has actually health benefits regardless of even if it is it leads to weight loss. These benefits include reduced blood pressure.

Exercise have the right to also help prevent symptoms of depression from return when civilization combine it with antidepressant medication.

Learn more about walking and also weight ns here.

5. Eat an ext protein

The Depression and Bipolar support Alliance recommend raising protein intake if medication-related weight acquire is a concern. Protein helps people feel fuller because that longer.

6. Talk to a dietitian

Those concerned about weight get on medication need to seek advice from a dietitian to evaluate their current diet. A dietitian can aid people who have a put in order appetite discover a healthful method to satiate their hunger.

7. Protect against alcohol

Some medicines that reason weight get are no safe come take through alcohol. Even if they are taking a medication that is for sure alongside alcohol, world should protect against high calorie alcohol addict beverages to protect against unnecessary caloric intake.

8. Get enough sleep

Quality sleep is a crucial component that health. Negative sleep deserve to have adverse results on the body, including boost in fat stores and elevated tension hormone levels.

9. Drink an ext water

As part of their dietary guidelines because that the prevention and also management of medication-related load gain, the American Academy of kid & Adolescent Psychiatry introduce that people drink several large glasses of water throughout the day.

10. Minimize salt intake

People on drugs that cause water retention, such as corticosteroids, have the right to limit weight acquire by reducing salt intake. A low salt diet requires consuming much less than 2,000 milligrams the salt every day.




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Common medicine that reason weight obtain include:

epilepsy medicines, including valproate (Depakote) and also gabapentin (Neurontin)

Weight obtain does no necessarily happen instantly when world take these kinds of medications. A 2018 study uncovered that civilization were most likely to acquire weight 2–3 years right into treatment with antidepressants.

With antipsychotics, many weight gain occurs in the very first 6 month on medication.

It is important to note that no everyone benefit weight when taking medicines that have weight gain as a recognized side effect.

Some antipsychotics, however, have actually a higher likelihood than various other drugs the causing rise in body weight.


Not everyone who gains weight since of a medicine notices it, particularly people who had actually underweight when they began treatment.

However, a physician will generally notify a human being that they have obtained weight due to the fact that their previous appointment. They can ask around changes in lifestyle habits to evaluate whether the medication has actually caused the weight gain.

It deserve to be an overwhelming to confirm the link between weight gain and also medication use, especially if the boost in load is gradual.

In some cases, other lifestyle habits and outside impacts can add to weight gain, consisting of supplement use and poor sleep quality.