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Risperidone and weight gain

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Old 02-21-2014, 03:30 PM   #1
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Default Risperidone and weight gain

Hi all,
In the last months of 2012 my psych changed my medications, and started me on risperidone to treat my severe recurrent major depressive disorder, anxiety, PTSD, and some of the symptoms of BPD. At that time, I weighed a firm and healthy 127 lbs. (i am 5'5" and wore about a 3-5 size jeans- not bad right?) Well within 3 weeks I had gained nearly 30 lbs without changing my diet or exercise at all!!! I immediately discontinued the med and began to try to tackle my issues with more natural methods, thinking the weight would come back off like it has in the past. NOPE! I have had blood work done to check for any abnormalities, and I have been watching my diet and exercising more, but my weight just would not budge! This new thing I am trying seems to be working pretty well (a little program I decided to create on my own), but I have never in my life had so much trouble getting rid of the pounds. What's worse, is most of the weight is in my belly, which has become a big ball of fluffiness! The rest of my body hasn't really grown too awful much (and no, I'm not pregnant! lol)
I am trying desperately to find that bikini body that is hidden deeply within the depths of fluff!
I wonder- has anyone else experienced extreme weight gain due to this medication? Were you able to get the weight off?
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Old 02-21-2014, 08:01 PM   #2
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Risperidone is sn antipsychotic medication used for some bipolar disorders and schizophrenia, so I am assuming that when you say BPD, you are talking about bipolar and not borderline. If it is borderline what was your psych thinking!

The effects of risperidone for weight gain is fairly well known and the weight gain is often related to changes inblood sugar and the processing of carbs. The effects should lessen over time with natural weight loss occurring.

Holding the weight after ceasing the meds can happen, but with a normal healthy eating program it should shift, possibly slowly, but it will go.
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Old 02-21-2014, 08:22 PM   #3
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Do you keep a food diary. If not, at least do that and include any alcohol as well. As well as list your exercise. That way you have something to monitor yourself against. YOu can count the calories occasionally, do the scales daily though that shouldn't be take too literally each day and one should not panic about frequent fluctuations.

YOu could have insulin resistance, although you'd think that the blood tests would have showed that up.

No i haven't taken respiridone. I'm sorry you are struggling with so many difficult issues. I'm pm'ing you a good place to ask your question - a place where i know lots of people use respiridone.

So you are off it now right? Do you want to stay on it?

also one thing i think that happens with people taking meds like this is that the docs start you off on highish doses and lower it as you go along. you could ask your doctor about that.
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Old 02-21-2014, 08:24 PM   #4
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I can't send you a pm. It might be because you are new here or maybe you've got the function turned off.

but ask your question on the forum of the depression tribe website. And also write a blog about it over there. That way you increase your chances of getting more replies.
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Old 02-22-2014, 11:37 AM   #5
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Thank u for all the replies and advice! He actually was prescribing it for BORDERLINE!! (yeh. he's not my psych anymore) He would actually ASK me what I wanted to try sometimes!! I was blown away by that. I am currently not on any medications because nothing has been proven to be effective for borderline, and it seems that when I treat the symptoms of my other issues with antidepressants and other prescriptions I end up with "side effects and medically induced symptoms" that make my condition worse instead of better. I haven't been on risperidone in over a year now, and have been completely med free for about 5-6 months. I am trying a natural approach with vitamins and supplements right now.

The blood work he ordered was focused more on my thyroid. He didn't test me for insulin resistance, although both of my parents are type 2 diabetics. Thank you electra- I didn't know that the med was known to cause bs issues and interfere with the processing of carbs! Guess it's time to get tested.

I don't eat processed foods or many carbs (I try keeping it below 40 every day) and I monitor what I eat very closely. I eat lean meats, seafood, and other proteins, lots of low GI veggies, and whole grains, seeds and nuts. I haven't tried a food diary, however. One of my biggest downfalls (and probably my only cheat) is wine. I love red wine. They never should have told me about the health benefits of it! lol. BUT, I am starting my new "diet and health plan" Monday (once I have everything I need to get started), and wine is off the list. I have often wondered if that had a play in my balloon belly.

I weigh myself daily in the mornings, and measure my waist daily as well. I have finally started to drop a few lbs just this past week... but I'm not getting excited just yet, as I drop a few lbs water weight and then put it back on pretty frequently.

And BTW Pattience.. I'm not sure why you can't send me a pm. like u said, maybe it is because i am new? hmmm.
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Old 02-22-2014, 05:18 PM   #6
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Amy, depression and anxiety may respond to medication but in the context of BPD, the most effective treatment is counseling. Even though it can be very difficult and even confronting to engage in.

Depending on where you live will depend on what is available. Counseling for BPD is specialized and many psychs (psychiatrists and psychologists) are not set up to handle it. DBT, is considered the first line of therapy (dialectical behaviour therapy) or CAT (cognitive analytic therapy) is common in the UK. There are other options but make sure that if you do start this work you are working with someone who is trained and supported by good well qualified supervisors for this.

Good luck with this, I think the advice to post in the forums where you can get support from others with similar issues will help as well. Good luck with the new diet plan. Sounds healthy enough from the general details.
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Old 02-22-2014, 05:44 PM   #7
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Yeah, i totally agree with DBT. I think it would benefit anyone, not just people with borderline. Its based on the concept of mindfulness and i know quite a bit about that. I also work with a psychologist who does DBT and she is a wonderful person and therapist. I have had a few chats with her when i couldn't shake the desire for suicide, - i.e. when i was still depressed. It was so refreshing to be able to have an open accepting conversation about that where it wasn't oh no you mustn't and so on. I just loved it. So i hope you can find someone as wonderful as she when you go looking for a DBT therapist.

Since people with borderline and severe depression can display psychotic thinking, i think when that happens, antipsychotic meds are tried.

But back to the weight issue.

I think Amy, you've hit the nail on the head. Its probably the wine. And wine is not really good for anyone with mental health issues and despite its health benefits, these days they say, as little as a glass of wine a day in women has a significant impact on the risk of getting breast cancer. On the other hand, as little as an hours walk each week can positively impact the risk of breast cancer. I don't know if that means they cancel each other out but i think its still worth thinking about all that.

You know i see a lot of people obsess about how this or that quite ordinary healthy food will make them sick and die young and then they go ahead and smoke cigarettes. I have a friend who has an organic cafe and now all her cakes are filled with artificial sweeteners, non gluten flour and so on and they don't taste good any more either, and yet she smokes!

So its great you are willing to cut down/out the wine. I think you will see a great difference in your weight. I still drink a cupful on many a day (in a wine glass) but i am rarely tempted to drink more.

I recently realised that there is actually a direct relationships between weight and measurements. Think of a balloon full of water. It will weigh more if there is more water in it. and you can visibly see its size change in direct proportion to the quantity of water. The only thing that doesn't weigh which has volume is air. So i no longer consider one to be more accurate than the other.
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Old 02-26-2014, 01:37 AM   #8
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thank you so much to electro and pattience!! for once I feel like someone understands what I am talking about! I have been inpatient and outpatient DBT, and although I understand what i am SUPPOSED to do, and how I am SUPPOSED to react, I am rarely able to manage my actions/reactions. I'm worried. I have another med evaluation monday, March 3rd, and i just know this quack (they sent me back to that same old doc instead of the new one I was supposed to have)is going to ask me what meds I want.. really? do I look like a doc? (starting to think so).I asked about natural remedies/ vitamins and supps... but he is unwilling to even check into anything. Maybe I should ask for adderall. I also have add. at least adderall will help me lose this extra fluff! (OMG I am getting that desperate!!) In the mean time, I am married to a full fledged alcoholic whom I love very much. BUT- he likes the red wine as much or more than I do. (yes i have talked to him) It makes it very hard NOT to have a glass or two when he is drinking it. everything else I can do without- the sweets and breads and danishes... im okay with all of that.. but the wine is my downfall. I break nearly every night. just one or two glasses, but still. And to complicate matters, I sleepwalk. n I don't just walk around, either. I get up, cook full meals sometimes, clean everything up, and go back to bed. I don't ever even remember it. My hubby wakes up to cold eggs and sausage 2-3 days a week. (omg im so messed up)
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Old 02-26-2014, 02:10 AM   #9
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BTW- to pattience- I re-read ur post. talking about cigarettes.. n wanting to commit suicide and such. Ive been on the on again off again suicide thing for a long time, and I kept putting stopping smoking off "until things calmed down". I lock myself in my bedroom and chain smoke to calm my nerves until "this passes". but then, a few days ago i took my daddy to the hospital for some tests, and he couldn't breath. he has smoked for more than 50 years. I have smoked for about 25. When I saw him- my daddy- gasping for air and being SO weak, i made a decision. I asked my husband to help me quit. so... along with my fluff, im trying to stop smoking. I was just thinking- i have trouble taking my dog for a run because I can't breathe. I stop during my workouts because I cant breathe. There are a lot of things I don't do, even though I am so health conscious, because I cant breathe.I have a five year old daughter.. seven kids ages 22 to five.. But u brought something to my attention. here i sit worrying about my weight more than the fact that I can't breathe. So tomorrow when the stores open, im going to try breathing. Maybe that is my first step? being able to breathe so I CAN work out more...so that I can enjoy my kids. Take them to the park, the lake, go play frisbee and catch.. maybe that is my first step?
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Old 02-26-2014, 07:44 AM   #10
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Hi Amy

Don't worry about being messed up. You are just you. You've got more challenges than most people. And you've got different challenges than most people. Its just that you have to learn how to manage with them. At least you've got people around who can help you with that.

I get you when you say knowing how you are supposed to react and managing your reactions. I'm quite a bit the same at a certain point. But the thing is, with learning this stuff, so long as you can stay in touch with it, you do get gradually better at using it. and you also get better at avoiding the worst of your reactions. NOwadays my depression is so much different than how it used to be. I've matured quit a bit over the years since i first started therapy. Some of that is therapy and some of it is just ageing. But i have tried to apply myself to personal growth since i started therapy. I only took up with mindfulness about 3 years ago. And i find it really frustrating that there are no support groups for depression or mindfulness practitioners around. The mental health crowd and government doesn't want to spend the money on that sort of thing. I think it would save the government lots of money and save us in the public a lot of suffering . But there you are.

Well if you know you drink 1-2 glasses of wine per day then you have to factor that into your calorie allowance. Drinking and smoking go hand in hand too so i think its going to be pretty tricky to quit but its good of you to try. When you've had a glass or two, your defences are down. You may start to find it hard not to have a smoke.

But if you can keep focused on your health, then it may help you since you know these things are harming your physical health as well not really helping your mental health either.

Anyway keep talking to us.

ARe you keeping a diary? A food diary? A quit smoking, get fit diary? I always keep a food diary when i on a diet. It helps me focus.

In dracula which i've been reading lately, one of the women is a bad sleep walker like you. Sadly dracula got hold of her. You shouldn't read this book. It might give you nightmares. I loved the first part but it got a bit boring later on and i didn't finish it.
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Old 02-26-2014, 01:49 PM   #11
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I just started a food/fitness diary yesterday on another forum site that focuses on low carb diets and I am hoping that will help me identify which foods are causing a stall with my weight, (and perhaps affecting my mood).

lol about the dracula book! Yeh I am thinking that maybe that wouldn't be a good book for me! I do notice that my sleepwalking thing is better on nights that I take black cohash about an hour before bed, but ugh- It is linked to weight gain, so I don't take it very often.

I do add the wine into my daily calories and carb counts, but most days I still manage to stay well below 1000 calories and under 40 countable carbs.

I weighed myself this morning, and I am back down a pound, but more importantly, I measured my waist and am down 1/2 an inch since last week! So maybe that balloon thing you mentioned is a good thought for me to focus on? lol.
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Old 03-04-2014, 09:06 PM   #12
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Hi Amy,

My name is Amy too!! Anyways, I am on Risperdal too and when I first started it after being off it for years, I did gain some weight because it's a common side effect or so I hear. The hunger cravings got better but I'm on a little less than I used to be too. I find it's common for psych meds to cause weight gain, I have gained weight from other psych meds too. I find the Risperdal really helps me though.

Good for you for trying to get healthier. I want to start going back to the gym and slowly get healthier too. That reminds me that tomorrow I'm going to start keeping track of what I eat again, it's eye opening for me and helpful for my nutritionist.

Have a good night and take care!

Us Amy's rock!!

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