Hi , I'm currently weaning off olanzapine and am desperate to lose the weight that I've gained whilst on it. I'm currently taking three-quarters of a 2.5mg pill, and will reduce by a quarter every 2 weeks. I'm also taking mirtazipine which is another weight gaining medication, but just wanted to hear how others got on with losing olanzapine related weight gain. I've put on 2 and a half stone and can't fit into any of my clothes. It's making me so unhappy. Thanks.
Losing weight after Olanzapine - Action on Postpar...
Hi Olanzapine1,Nice to hear from you again, and how you are getting on in your weaning journey.
Yes, weight gain is so common on antipsychotic medication, but also a common gripe of someone who has recently had a baby.
I went up 20 kilos over my pre baby weight and managed to loose 13 of them. I did calorie counting and even though it was a lot of effort I found it worked for me. Something that kept me going for the 4 or 5 months it took me was to allow myself some cheating at the weekend, I would have a pizza or some fried chicken, a beer or some wine and not worry about it as I was following my plan Monday to Friday.
Getting back onto some exercise plan is also a good idea and has great benefits for our mental health too.
Whichever way you find that works for you, just remember to be kind to yourself and take things slowly, the most important thing is that you feel well in yourself.
I put on a very similar amount of weight on olanzapine. I have managed to lose about two stone of it over the past year as like you I wasn’t happy and couldn’t fit into most of my clothes.
I tried to be conscious of what I was eating with meal planning. Found exercise helpful as well. I got back into swimming but a daily walk is great. If you want something more intense but from the comfort of your home I would recommend the body coach work outs on YouTube. Free and you only have to find 20 mins for them.
The big focus of mine was trying to feel less lethargic (I know most of it was the medication but I think a bit was the weight) and once I started eating a bit better and being a little bit more active that came.
I wanted to reply to you - I was on olazapine for about 18months after having my son in 2013. I did gain weight but I didn’t record any figures of how much. I know that before becoming pregnant I was just over 11 stone, at my heaviest I was 12.5 stone
I have only now (9 years on) starting losing the weight - if you are based on the U.K., the nhs has a weight loss app - it was really good. It helps track calories, you can also use my fitness pal app to scan food to tell you the calories. I have managed to lose 2 stone in 14 weeks, I run 3 days a week which I have found post PPP that it really helps my mental health.
I hope you get to the weight you are happy with x
Hey ! I just wanted to share, maybe you find some of it relevant.
I had a mix of drugs including Olanzapine on my PPP journey. And i also gained a lot weight. And this weight is very stubborn, the average amount of effort i put into being active and moderate limitation of calories don’t give the result i was hoping to get. And my kid is almost 3 y.o., so it’s already been quite some time after PPP.
What was important for me is to accidentally discover that despite good blood sugar levels, i have high insulin. I don’t really know if it was the pregnancy itself or the PPP and drugs which came after it, but my insulin level is twice as higher than prior pregnancy. So now i’m going to follow some insulin-resistance diet program and see if the results are different and i start to lose weight in a better pace. Good luck and a big hug
Hi I also put on 2 stone with this medication. It makes you eat so much more than you need. I came off a few months ago and I am back to my normal weight. I started eating small portions and looking at what I eat. I don't deprive myself of treats but just consider how many I have. Everyone has noticed the difference and you will too, given time. Good luck, you will get there. X
Thanks for replying - can I ask how you found it coming off the olanzapine? Did you taper off and did you have any side effects?
Hi, I came off slowly reducing the dosage and I didn't have any side effects. I suffered with 2 births and it was identical with both. I came off olazapine both times and was fine. I then went for about 20 years with no issues at all. But when I hit the menopause at 50 I experienced similar issues and had to go back on. After discussions with the doctor I came off the medication and have now got hrt patches. So far I am doing really well and keeping my fingers crossed I don't have any more episodes. Not everyone will experience this, but for those that do keep going and explore all your options.
Thank you so much for all your replies. I managed to stick to my calories allowance yesterday so that's a start! I'm finding it very hard to go out for walks etc partly because I am so lacking in energy and partly because I feel really self conscious being bigger. I am using my fitness pal to log everything. I think until I'm actually fully off the olanzapine it's going to be hard going. I just hope that being off will make a difference and I don't have insulin problems or a permanently messed up metabolism.
Hi, I also gained a huge amount of weight. I went from an Australian size 6 or 8 pre-pregnancy to a 14. My son is now 18 months and I actually switched from Olanzapine to Quietiapine a few months ago. I am now a size 10-12. My main issue with Olanzapine was that I was always extremely hungry and I would eat huge portions of food. I was also very lethargic and needed a heap of sleep. With this new medication, my appetite is back to normal and that alone has helped me lose at least 8kg I would say. I need to start eating healthier and exercising more, but I am already relieved to have lost some weight
Last of all, I do think of Olanzapine as a sort of necessary evil - I hated the weight gain but I think it was a worthwhile trade-off for not having psychotic episodes.
Best wishes with your journey.
Thank you for replying - congratulations on losing weight. I'm frustrated because I'm not really eating more on the olanzapine, but still the weight won't shift. I'm dieting just to keep from gaining weight, which is hard work and demoralising.
I've been told it slows your metabolism, so it really is an uphill battle. And it really is demoralising - that's the perfect way to describe the experience. How long have you been on it? My psychiatrist did a direct switch from Olanzapine to Quietiapine for me about 14/15 months in, and I'll then wean off Quietiapine. Not sure if that's something you could enquire about with your doctor.
I've been on it coming up to a year. I'm weaning off currently, should be off completely in about 5 weeks. I'm also taking mirtazapine and switching from citalopram to sertraline. I have depression and panic disorder and my psychiatrist seems to be throwing everything at it!
I remember asking my lovely mentor exactly this question - and feeling like a beached whale to be honest. In some ways it didn't help that the mental health clinic recorded me as 3 inches shorter than I really was, so everyone was panicking about my BMI. I was very fortunate in having a dieticians advice due to that mix up, but I found the focus on food demoralising. Sertraline wasn't so bad as olanzapine for weight gain but it does keep sugar cravings high I think. It has taken longer than I ever expected to get back towards my pre baby weight but now, 3.5 years after birth and finally off all medication, I am pretty close to my pre baby size.
So please give yourself a break while you're having to take medication, buy some clothes at your current size if you can, and focus on eating healthy food in the week. Good nutrition with extra protein, vegetables and hydration will help, plus any movement you can face doing. Movement, even if it's dancing round the living room for 5 minutes, it's all about gaining some momentum and feeling good in our bodies.
Best of luck!
Thank you, I'm trying to move a bit more and make sure I eat mostly healthily while I'm still weaning off the olanzapine. I still have mirtazapine to come off so to be honest losing weight isn't going to be plain sailing.
I am having the same problem with risperidone. I have gone up 4 sizes in two years. Im not massively overweight but my stomach looks huge and people always think I’m pregnant… I don’t track my weight or calories or anything like that. That’s a slippery slope. I had a really sever eating disorder when I had ppp so having a great relationship with food is the most important thing to me than trying to loose weight. I know I’m not doing anything over the top at all with food, my body is just gaining. The lethargy of meds and maybe weight too makes it hard to want to do loads of exercise, but I get out with my kids everyday.
I have accepted this is me now. Maybe one day I can reduce meds and see if I’m well without at least one of them, but acceptance is more important right now.
Since you’re already weaning off and hopefully going well? I would expect your weight will start falling off without you counting calories and doing loads of exercise I would try not to focus too much on it and just see how it goes and adjust accordingly xx
I can certainly empathize with how you must be feeling right now. Even if a person has not struggled with addictive behavior (eating, shopping, alcohol, drugs) the structure and method of a 12 step program can be very powerful to sort out the mountain of emotions stemming from trauma, resentments, shame, etc. that usually come up while discontinuing medication. As scary as it sounds, there's a ton of freedom in it because you get to "go back to yourself", a healthy new you in fact. Most importantly though, build a support system of safe people you trust like your life depends on it. Reach out every single day even if just to say "Hi I'm here." You are certainly in an exceptional community on H.U. I strongly suggest you nurture this part first before trying to improve your body weight no matter how unhappy you are when you look in the mirror. Seriously--one thing at a time. That said, there is certainly no harm in gathering information about improving your weight. The following have been valuable online resources for me: Dr. Sten Ekberg (healing the gut, esp after a lengthy period of medication); Thomas DeLauer; intermittent fasting; & "dirty keto" (50 carbs or less per day--helps with brain fog).I'm so glad you reached out today. Do it again tomorrow.