In our society, most people are very conscious of their weight and size. While media ads portray the ideal body type as skin and bones, the entire country has seen a drastic increase in adult and childhood obesity over the last 20 years. This has lead to increases in all kinds of disease states (diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, etc.) among all age groups in our population. While diet and exercise play a major role in your weight, your medications may be working against you! Here are several classes of medications that may make you want to keep an eye on your scale:
Atypical Antipsychotics – These tend to be some of the worst medications for weight gain, especially olanzapine (Zyprexa) or clozapine. These medications increase many patient’s body weight by 7% or more. Weight gain is less likely with Abilify, Invega, Latuda, or Geodon.
Antieplieptics – Gabapentin (Neurontin) and Valproic Acid (Depakote) increase weight gain by over 10% in 33% and 50% of patients respectively who take these medications. Lamotrigine, phenytoin, or levetiracetam tend to be weight neutral, while topiramate and zonisamide can actually lead to weight loss!
Antidepressants- Patients taking paroxetine or mirtazapine tend to gain an average of 6 pounds. Fluoxetine, sertraline, citalopram, and escitalopram are all weight neutral and will not change your waistline. Bupropion is another option that actually results in weight loss for some patients.
Diabetes Medications- While insulin keeps your sugar under control, it is a growth hormone that actually causes you to gain weight. Patients can expect to gain from 8 to 15 pounds after starting insulin therapy. This risk can be reduced if the patient continues on metformin after starting insulin. Glipizide, glyburide, and pioglitazone (Actos) all tend to increase your weight by 5 pounds.
As always, discuss your medication side effects with your doctor and pharmacist. Be sure you understand all of the risks associated with them before you start a new therapy.
Your Family Pharmacist,
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