Do people not experience side effects from SSRI antidepressants?
December 14, 2004 9:15 AM   Subscribe

Anyone been on antidepressants (SSRIs, specifically) for a while (more than a year) and not gained weight and/or experienced sexual side effects?
posted by fabesfaves to Health & Fitness (32 answers total)

Nothing obvious. Less physical activity may have turned my 36.5 waistline into a 37.25. Mild-to-none. Celexa. Now you know all.... Also, I'm happier, and less liberal.
posted by ParisParamus at 9:27 AM on December 14, 2004

There have been previous questions about SSRIs you might want to look at.
posted by mathowie at 9:28 AM on December 14, 2004

Response by poster: thanks, mathowie--I did see those but really want to know about the weight gain issue, which isn't mentioned much in those previous posts. thanks for the suggestion though!
posted by fabesfaves at 9:32 AM on December 14, 2004

Zoloft here. Luckily, I haven't experienced any noticeable side effects. However, when I lapse in taking my medication for a few days, I get dizzy/light-headed and irritable.
posted by LouMac at 9:33 AM on December 14, 2004

I took prozac for a couple of years without gaining weight...if anything, it helped me stop overeating. And sexual side effects...never had a problem. Sometimes orgasm takes longer, but that is not always a bad thing.
posted by bingo at 9:47 AM on December 14, 2004

I'm not sure if Wellbutrin is an SSRI but i was on it for like 2 years and actually lost weight (*and* quit smoking, good lord! Should've stayed on...). My sex drive increased, too. I love that drug.
posted by tristeza at 9:49 AM on December 14, 2004

Zoloft gave me sexual side-effects. I also felt unsteady when I didn't take it. Wellbutrin, none of the above.
posted by ludwig_van at 9:57 AM on December 14, 2004

Zoloft helped put 30 pounds on me; Wellbutrin, not an SSRI, quickly, like in two weeks, took five of those extra pounds effortlessly off. (If I could stop being such a lazy glutton I might lose more.) Those fearing weight gain might try non-SSRIs.

Upon preview, it took about six years for Zoloft's sexual side-effects to hit me, and that was a not so much physical impotence but a near-total loss of libido. (I understand many women have similar problems.) Instead of "chemical castration", sexual offenders might be given SSRIs.

Another thing though is that SSRIs seem better at treating "social phobia" and obsessive- compulsive stuff, and that Wellbutrin likely won't benefit those who don't enjoy stimulants. Wellbutrin might also be counter-productive for those with anger-management or hostility problems, or who are in no position to risk getting one of those.
posted by davy at 10:02 AM on December 14, 2004

Go go Wellbutrin! No sexual side effects, a little loss of appetite (ask any of my friends who go to dinner with me, it's a sin how much I don't eat off my plate). I do not believe that it is an SSRI.
posted by adampsyche at 10:05 AM on December 14, 2004

Celexa, no weight gain, delayed ejaculation syndrome, but also now multi-orgasmic (so I figure it works to my advantage!)

Based on a previous AskMe SSRI discussion, I'll be giving lexapro a shot starting hopefully this week.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:21 AM on December 14, 2004

No weight gain on Effexor, either. I know it's not an SSRI per se, though.
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:31 AM on December 14, 2004

My doctor prescribed Paxil in part to put some weight on me, as at the time it was prescribed I was such an anxious mess that I was well underweight. Boy, did it work! I am *much* heavier than I've ever been, though I wouldn't blame it all on Paxil. I have also had negative sexual side effects.

I was on a Wellbutrin/Paxil cocktail for a little while and lost a few pounds effortlessly, which was nice.
posted by katie at 10:34 AM on December 14, 2004

yes. I always lost weight on them. The first time I was put on prozac I dropped 30 pounds in a month. I had to enlist friends to remind me to eat. The only negative sexual side effects I've had from meds were when I went off zoloft.
posted by poipill at 10:42 AM on December 14, 2004

300mg Wellbutrin and 125 mgLamictal/day. No side effects whatsoever.
posted by pieoverdone at 10:43 AM on December 14, 2004

Been on Lexapro for almost six months; the orgasm problem went away after two months; I've actually lost weight (although the "no appetite" side effect went away about the same time the "delayed orgasm" problem did). I seem to have gotten used to it (or am building a tolerance, if thats even possible) and am going to talk to my doctor about going to 20mg from 10mg.
posted by mrbill at 10:52 AM on December 14, 2004

I was decidedly under weight when I first went on Paxil - much like katie, I suspect. I've gained at least 20 pounds from it, but have since started making some regular trips to the gym and watching what I eat a bit more carefully. While I haven't lost much weight, I've stopped gaining.

Fortunately, there have been no sexual side effects for me.
posted by aladfar at 10:52 AM on December 14, 2004

I've been on Zoloft for about six months and I've maybe lost a couple of pounds. Or my self-image is slightly better. At any rate, the effect on my weight has been negligable. Sexual side effects are... time consuming.
posted by stet at 11:04 AM on December 14, 2004

Am I the only person who lost weight (20 pounds) on Zoloft?

I think one thing you have to remember with these drugs is that your mileage may vary. I was once on topamax (which is supposed to be some kind of miracle for weight loss-I knew people who lost fifty pounds on it-and I lost maybe a pound total.)

On my bipolar forum I don't recall people complaining of weight gain on ssris. Usually it is the antipsychotics or some mood stabilizers that pile on the pounds.

Ask your doc. There are some things that can be done for sexual side effect.
posted by konolia at 11:28 AM on December 14, 2004

I was on Paxil for about a year and a half. Never gained any weight and also, big time bonus, it delayed ejaculation quite well. Made my girlfriend REALLY happy. I hear now that in 2006 they will be coming out (no pun intended) with a version of paxil that will be marketed to treat premature ejaculation. You will be able to take on an as needed basis, kinda like viagra.
posted by spicynuts at 11:30 AM on December 14, 2004

Response by poster: Thanks to everyone who was candid enough to leave comments--I appreciate it. I am not yet having either of these problems on Celexa but know of people who have had them on other SSRIs and just wanted to see what everyone else had to say.
posted by fabesfaves at 11:37 AM on December 14, 2004

fabesfaves, I've taken Celexa since November 2000. No real sexual side effects, but I had a slight weight gain (~10 pounds) and -- more importantly -- an significantly increased resistence to weight loss, diet and exercise notwithstanding .
posted by pardonyou? at 12:20 PM on December 14, 2004

The CrazyMeds site makes me laugh every time I even see it in the browser bookmarks. Its tone is certainly, ahh, informal, but the quality of information (that I've seen) has been sound. These threads about others' experiences really help me, too. The official prescribing information only goes so far . .
posted by oldtimey at 12:28 PM on December 14, 2004

I'm on Paxil for slight OCD. I have gained weight, but it could be due also to less activity (I went on it within a year of entering full-time employment, ie, less time running around from class to class and for the gym). However, I had a dose increase and a correlated weight gain. Since then, I've been fairly stable.

Sexually...well, generally, I can pretty much easily forget about sex (go 3-4 weeks between "clearing the pipes"). <shrug> It's sorta useful since I'm not in a relationship.
posted by MikeKD at 12:59 PM on December 14, 2004

I've been on a very low dosage (10mg a day) of Lexapro for a month or so, and while I don't ever weigh myself, my favorite skirt and sweater are both fitting more loosely. I find that I don't have much of an appetite some days, though when I do want to eat, I want to eat sweets or comfort foods. Today, for instance, I've had a poptart and a small dish of mashed potatoes. I'm consistently motivated to drink water, so I could be filled up on that.

We won't talk about the other side effects. Blah.
posted by Dreama at 1:42 PM on December 14, 2004

Dammit, Lexapro isn't available in Canada!
posted by five fresh fish at 1:53 PM on December 14, 2004

Wellbutrin, four months or so, lost ten pounds. No other side effects, and I attribute the weight loss mostly to increased activity and stuff.
posted by majcher at 2:04 PM on December 14, 2004

My boyfriend was on Paxil and it had the same (positive) sexual side effects that spicynuts mentioned, and no weight gain.
posted by dagnyscott at 4:46 PM on December 14, 2004

I've been on Lexapro for over a year, and haven't experienced any side effects.
posted by still at 5:16 PM on December 14, 2004

I've just started taking anti-depressants, so the weight question is definitely unanswerable.

I was on Celexa for three weeks, libido was already diminished and it totally disappeared. Orgasms? What are they?

Anyway. I'm starting Wellbutrin tomorrow and am hoping all the positive side effects (libido, weight loss, less anxiety, etc.) kick in for me.

FFF: I mentioned Lexepro to my doc today and he had never heard of it.
posted by deborah at 8:40 PM on December 14, 2004

And I'm beginning to believe that Mefites not on anti-depressants must be in the minority.
posted by deborah at 8:43 PM on December 14, 2004

I'm not sure if Wellbutrin is an SSRI but i was on it for like 2 years and actually lost weight (*and* quit smoking, good lord! Should've stayed on...). My sex drive increased, too. I love that drug.

Doctors commonly prescribe Wellbutrin in tandem with an SSRI just to counteract the anaphrodisiacal effects of the latter.
posted by y2karl at 2:15 AM on December 15, 2004

I was on Paxil for a while...gained a bunch of weight and my sex drive completely disappeared. Needless to say, I am no longer on it. I am on a cocktail of Wellbutrin/Lexapro now and that seems to be working.
posted by SisterHavana at 9:58 AM on December 17, 2004

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