Prescription Medications and Weight Gain

There are a number of prescription medications that may lead to weight gain and certainly, difficulty in losing weight. Probably the most prominent category of these types of medications is the “SSRIS”---Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors. Examples of these medications include Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft. Mood stabilizers such as Zyrexa, Rispirdal, Lithium, and Seroquel also fall into this category.

Some medications that are used to treat diabetes, such as glyburide, glipizide, insulin, Actos and Prandin ma lead to gaining weight. Interestingly, the OTC antihistamines such as Claritin, Allegra and Zyrtec have been implicated in weight gain. Oral steroids, especially when used for long-term purposes, have a very high chance of causing weight gain. Beta-blockers used for high blood pressure and abnormal heart rhythms have a role in weight gain.

As much as I like to say that the “less medication the better” there are certain medical conditions when prescription medication are absolutely needed to avoid catastrophic medical situations. When you look at your personal list of medications, decide which ones are absolutely necessary and the ones that may be avoided by life-style changes. When it comes to blood pressure, diabetic, pain and a number of other meds, weight control may have a chance of eliminating their needs or at the very least, reduce the dosages required for the desired effects.

Although prescription medications may play a role on controlling weight, this is usually not as powerful as the behavioral approach to eating and exercising.

Dr. Robert Posner One of the world’s leading medical weight loss researchers, Robert Posner, MD, operates his state-of-the-art weight loss clinic, Serotonin Plus, in the heart of Burke, Virginia, in the suburban Washington area.

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