Help! Meds making me gain weight

Discussion in 'Underwear, Clothing, and Appearance Issues' started by Uncutsouthernboy, Jun 22, 2011.

  1. Uncutsouthernboy

    Uncutsouthernboy Well-Known Member

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    I have been having A LOT of headaches in the past year. I have had an MRI and apparently I was told "You can now tell everyone that yes, you have a brain and yes, it IS normal". At least that is what the doc said. He put me on nortriptyline, an anti-depressant (did not work), Callan, a calcium channel blocker for blood pressure (did not work) and now I am on Neurontin and it is not working. After taking these meds, I have gained 25 lbs. I have been dieting, lifting weights and biking but I am not getting nor keeping the weight off. I am told that if this don't work, I will go on Topamax, an anti-seizure med that will make me gain. Six months ago, I was 5'10" and 200 lbs of muscle. Now I am 225 of muscle with a belly. Which I don't like at all. I have gone up a full pant size. How can I take meds whose side effects include weight gain and still lose weight and keep it off? I am taking in 1500 calories daily with little carb and fat. Mostly oatmeal, turkey and chicken breast, vegetables and salads. I don't like fish. I rarely eat beef or pork even though I like them very much. I love sweets but eat very little.

    Anyone experience this?
     
  2. SCSea

    SCSea Member

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    Topamax actually tends to make people *lose* weight. It's been studied in obesity treatment, in fact. Not a ton (2-3% of body mass) but way better than gaining. It also makes carbonation taste like crap, so if you're sucking down caloric fizzy beverages (beer, soda, champagne), that'll stop quick-like.

    Depakote is the antiseizure drug that makes you fat, fast, btw.

    I'd be worried if, at 6', 225, 1500 cal/day isn't holding your weight steady or losing. A 25 year old male, 6', 225 would burn 2200 calories/day in a coma (no movement). If you're seeing a neurologist for the headaches, talk to your internist. If you're seeing an internist, find a new one. Something about your description kinda makes me wonder about your thyroid....

    SC
     
  3. MsThang

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    If all those medications don't do anything for your headaches I suggest acupuncture. I think you will be surprised with the results.
     
  4. Uncutsouthernboy

    Uncutsouthernboy Well-Known Member

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    Thyroid has been checked. TSH is good. It was an immediate gain after starting the headache meds.
     
  5. D_Skippy_Skidmarx

    D_Skippy_Skidmarx New Member

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    How many miles do you ride a week?
     
  6. cdog204

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    Why don't you try and find out what is causing the headaches and stop that as opposed to dealing with them and then the side-effects of the medication? Headaches are usually a symptom, not a condition in and of themselves. Most doctors are, quite frankly, stupid pill pushers and it sounds like you've got yourself one of those.

    Also, perhaps your low metabolism has something to do with the headaches as opposed to the meds...
     
  7. Layne0033

    Layne0033 Member

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    Topomax definately makes u lose weight, also turns your hair blonde. Many call it the "model's drug".
     
  8. dude_007

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    First of all, doctors aren't stupid. People are complex and what works for some doesn't work for all. It is interesting you've tried antidepressants and anticonvulsants, both classes have migrane prevention as an off label use or side effect. Is there more going on than headaches? Interesting these would be the first choices to try rather than something like sumatriptan, which is specifically for bad headaches and doesn't have so many adverse effects as the others (unless you have cardiovascular issues)
     
    #8 dude_007, Jun 23, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2011
  9. fangirl

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    wow.... that topomax might be the shit for some people, but those are so freaky side-effects. if itll make your hair blonde from the inside out, i would avoid it at all costs. cant be good for ya, but to each it own.

    ms thangs' suggestion of acupunture is a good choice. just make sure that you ok it with your doctor before you do anything.

    my bf has occular migraines and has gone through the same situation as u with the non-helpful meds and the weight gain in the belly. finally he just stopped taking meds altogether, even his anti-depressants (hes bipolar). Now, two years later, he is finally losing the weight in his belly. his migraines have gotten less crippling, too. But he's just one of those people who dont do well with medications like that. The side effects just drag his body through shit and cost him alot o money.
    You may be completely different. So talk with your doctor about taking a break from the meds, and, if he approves, keep in touch with him. the first few months will be a bitch, but it may be what you need.
    you have to give your body tme to rest and reset itself, dude.
     
  10. Uncutsouthernboy

    Uncutsouthernboy Well-Known Member

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    My MD is a Neurologist at Emory Univ. Hospital in Atlanta. I called him yesterday and told him the Neurontin was not working. So he doubled the dose. I am now supposed to take 1800 mgs/day. He said "let's not give up on it yet." "So, let's try it for a couple of weeks." Whatever.

    Apparently, it is not that easy to determine what causes headache. MRI is clean. Thyroid is good. BP is fine. Testaterone is a little low but still in normal range. Know allergies, penicillin, sulfa, onions, garlic are kept away. Stress is minimal. These started about a year ago with me not doing anything differently.

    I injured my knee in 1987 and can't run long. I do better biking. I don't go by miles, I go by time. I try to get 30 minutes daily. Sometimes I can't, it hurts too bad. I have lately been doing speed/intensity intervals. It has been suggested that I might need a break from the excersize. I took a month off and saw no difference.

    The weight gain started only after starting the meds. I had another weight gain episode about 5 years ago. I became an insomniac and when I didn't sleep for a whole week, not 1 second for 7 days or nights. I went to the Dr. and was sent to a sleep specialist. After several months of sleep aids/anti-depressants/etc with no luck except fitful nights and tired, tired days, I was put into a sleep study. What a load of CRAP!!! I won't get into it now. Results were that I didn't reach REM sleep. 1000's of $$$ later, I could have told them that. Well, I DID tell them that. I was then put on Remeron. I slept very well with it. That is when I was not eating and sometimes while I was too. I gained 30 lbs in 2 months. I was getting up 6x a night to eat. I just stopped it all for it was not worth it. I still haven't lost all that I had gained from it when the headache of having headaches started and have gained more. I have read that Remeron weight gain is impossible to get off. Now I am back where I was and more. I hate this.

    If I do start Topomax at least I don't like sodas and fizzy drinks to begin with. I have not read that it causes hair color change though. Hmmm.....
     
  11. D_Rufus_D_Dufus

    D_Rufus_D_Dufus Account Disabled

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    Have you tried caffeine pills? I know a few people that had such bad migrains they would shutdown completely and taking the caffeine pills seemed to work.
     
  12. Uncutsouthernboy

    Uncutsouthernboy Well-Known Member

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    Caffeine does help some but does not take the headache away.
     
  13. JulieInNaplesFL

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    My hubby when through about what you are going through.

    After all type drugs (Most bad) he went on Fiorinal. It worked. Controls headaches great.

    Good luck.
     
  14. JulieInNaplesFL

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    PS. No side effects at all.
     
  15. cdog204

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    Caffeine has a vasoconstrictor effect. It is likely to make headaches worse.

    UCSB, doubling your meds is about the worst thing you could possibly do. Your doctor is, as I stated earlier, definitely a stupid pill pusher. Emory isn't a particularly good hospital, just a good one for your region. Doctors get all these ridiculous incentives from drug companies like free cruises for every few hundred prescriptions filled.

    I would suggest you take an extreme holistic change to your health management. Go vegan, caffeine-free, drop all your drugs, and start doing yoga. Total shock to your body at first - try it for 30 days and I'll bet you have no sleep or headache problems. Western medicine is OBVIOUSLY killing you.
     
  16. Uncutsouthernboy

    Uncutsouthernboy Well-Known Member

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    I was vegan for a couple of years. That is until I became very anemic. Male must have high quality protein and there is just not enough in beans. I never could get used to soy products. I also stayed sick a great deal of the time. My testosterone plummeted also and I experienced body hair loss and erection problems. When I went back to a more modern diet my problems with anemia, sinusitis, ED etc. went away. My body hair grew back and am now hairier than before.
    Our bodies are not made to eat that way.

    Before the Veganism, I never experienced headaches except as a child. I would have "sick" headaches, now termed "Migraines". They just stopped on their on when I was about 12. Then during the vegan phase, I had no headaches. Now, a few years later, I have had a headache for almost a year. Nothing I know about has changed in my diet, environment or routine. They have become debilitating to some extent. I do my job and excersizes by ignoring it as well as I can. I try to live my life as normally as I can. I have let some things go in my life. I will catch up.
     
  17. Uncutsouthernboy

    Uncutsouthernboy Well-Known Member

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    SO, is there no way to lose weight while taking medicines that have a weight gain side effect?
     
  18. cdog204

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    Medicines don't have a direct weight gain side-effect. Think about it: the pills way a few grams. The side-effect is that the medication either slows your metabolism or makes you hungrier. You're either eating more or burning less. The solution is, like with all weight issues, to watch what you eat and exercise.

    As stated before, there is always the possibility that the weight gain/ slowing metabolism is part of the root condition and not a side-effect of the medication. That's actually the more likely situation.
     
  19. Uncutsouthernboy

    Uncutsouthernboy Well-Known Member

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    The insert the Pharmacist gave me with the info about each drug all stated Weight Gain as a side effect. I know people who are on Prednisone blow up even quicker than I am. I have reduced my intake and increased my excersize without any effect on the weight gain. I have been bodybuilding for several years and I know a few things about dealing with bodyfat etc. When it comes to taking a drug that makes me gain weight I do not know how to deal with it.

    OK, I have doubled the dosage of the Neurontin. It seems that the headaches are worse. Maybe in a week or two.
     
  20. duderino

    duderino New Member

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    I am a lifetime migraneur, as the affliction is called, and I was prescribed loads of fioricet (same thing but with acetaminophen instead of aspirin in the cocktail). I no longer take fiornal, fioricet - or anything else in that family. Why? In the words of one of the top headache docs in NYC: "it works too well."

    Fiorinal is a combination of caffeine, aspirin and phenobarbital. Yes, phenobarbital, the very same potent barbiturate that killed, among others, Elvis and Marylon Monroe. Doctors up on their literature rarely prescribe fiorinal type drugs for many reasons, the big ones I'll list here: 1.) Phenobarbital is a highly potent respiratory depressant any sort of metabolic disorder causing a slow metabolism of the substance, over-dosage by a small margin or mixing the drug with other respiratory depressants (benzos, opiode painkillers and ESPECIALLY alcohol) can lead to respiratory arrest, and death. There is a reason they invented Valium (a potent benzodiazepam that works along the same neural pathways): Phenobarbital simply killed too many patients. 2.) Fioricet - in a vast majority of cases - causes intense "rebound headaches;" I.e., once you've metabolized the drug and it has cleared your system, your headache returns, and with a vengeance. That leads to 3.) Phenobarbital, and medicine containing it (fioricet and fiorinal) are HIGHLY habit forming, more so than most opiates. Furthermore, because the drug works on the same pathways as alcohol and benzos, withdrawal can - and this is true, epidimiologically speaking - for these three substances - be fatal.

    Phenobarbital, like alcohol and benzos, raise the seizure threshold - in fact, it is a first-line intervention in ER medicine for patients in grand-mal seizures, although faster-acting benzos such as Ativan are generally preferred, as the therapeutic spectrum is much wider. Prolonged use leads to tolerance, and when discontinued abruptly, fiorinal can cause life-threatening seizures - think delirium tremens on crack. I know this personally, as it happened to TWO very close family members, both of whom were hospitalized for a week to detox off the medication.

    Any prescriber who describes fiorinal as "side-effect-free" is, IMO, guilty of medical malpractice and reckless endangerment. There is, currently in the medical community, a strong push to have the FDA remove these medications from the market (try getting your gp to give you a scrip for phenobarbital for anxiety or sleep; you could easily, if you had a time machine. They rapidly fell out of fashion in the mid- to late-sixties due to their narrow therapeutic index, their low safety index and their extreme potential for abuse.

    An easy google search - or, for the more scientifically inclined - medline/pubmed search - will yield months of reading and research to back up what I've written above.

    Fiorinal, far from being side-effect-free, has the potential to be an extremely dangerous substance, even when taken as prescribed. From the medical literature and annecdotal - and personal - experience, fiorinal is rarely taken as prescribed. The rebound headaches lead to maintenance dossage, which leads to tolerance and increases in dosage, which leads to severe addiction and potentially catastrophic effects on one's health and lifestyle. Plus, take one or two too many after a drink (what's the major cause of headaches anyway?) and that may be your last headache. Ever.

    I'm not trying to be a teetotaler here, but it is a public disservice to describe fiorinal, fioricet and any other medications in the barbiturate family as "side-effect-free." On the contrary, they are highly potent medications that carry very real risks, and one must carefully weigh those risks against the severity of the condition being treated. With so many newer, safer and more effective medications on the market to treat migraines (for which fiorinal and fioricet are contraindicated - they are exclusively effective for tension headaches which are far milder than the former and rarely require prescription pharmeceutical intervention), one must be very careful should he choose barbiturate-based medications for headache management. Diet, excersize and other basic lifestyle changes are alone far more effective, and far safer.

    Of course, everybody reacts differently to medication, but my advice would be to find your hubby's doctor and knock him in the head with a mallet and see how he treats that headache.

    Best of luck and my thoughts and prayers for you and your husband's health.

    Thank you for bearing with me!

     
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