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Dieting & exercise

Medications and weight gain

(11 Posts)
WhiteElephant Fri 18-Mar-22 14:26:43

As we age and more medications are prescribed, if you find you suddenly have lots more trouble losing gained weight... check those side effects of any new meds.
After a heart attack I was prescibed Plavix for cholesterol and blood pressure. After 4 years of taking it the cost went from 64 USD a month to 364 USD a month. I had to stop taking it as the US would not allow a generic brand to be sold here.
Hence the cost of having to sop taking it was 2 heart attacks in one evening, I actually died both times. Luckily I got through it with no heart damage. When asked why wasn't I taking the Plavix I told the Cariologist of the cost. She then told me the generic brand just got on the market for 20USD a month, could I afford that? Oh Hell yes!!
The new medication is called Atorvastin and due to the problem at hand I was prescribed 100mg per dose. and told to drop weight.
In about 7 months I gained near 60 lbs and was lectured over and over on my weight. I bought a bike, did daily walking, adjusted my diet and could not lose weight. I was told that I had to take the medication due to it's was the only med that was holding my cholesterol from rising. The fight went on over this for 2 more years.
Finally in desperation I looked up all my meds as I was just diagosed with Chronic renal disease stage 4 (stage 5 is dialysis), and Type 2 Diabetes. I was deperate and I was doing all they asked and they did not believe me. Turns out the Atorvastin had the side effect of ....weight gain!
I called a Bariactric Clinic and set up a consult. Long Story short, I had Gastric Bypass and before going home, I was down to 2 medications compared to 9!
I still take Atorvastin but from 100 mgs to only 10mg daily. No more sign of renal problems nor Diabetes. I have lost from 244lbs to now 120lbs and no problems. I took that surgery serious and knew there were no do-overs.. no 2nd chance with that one. My lab numbers are all right smack in the middle and healthy for 4 years now.
Sadly I felt and looked best at 135lbs but I got bit by a tick we have here and now have an allergy to red meat. I get stomach pain emmensely if I eat beef or pork more than 3 bites. So I lost that additional 14 lbs.
Anyway... check your meds for weight gain side effects if you have a problem and talk to your doctor if a sub can be used.
It's frustrating enough growing older but to not be believed and made to feel it is YOUR fault for being overweight is not right. I hope this can help someone battling this problem.

WhiteElephant Fri 18-Mar-22 15:10:17

I should have added that Kidney problems and Diabetes was aslo side effects of this medication also.

Oopsadaisy1 Fri 18-Mar-22 15:15:58

I do sympathise, but if you had a Gastric Bypass, (which presumably meant that you couldn’t eat so much and so you lost weight,) then surely it was the diet you were on that caused the weight increase?
It’s certainly true that if you are unwell then exercising is difficult and it’s a vicious circle, the more you sit the more weight you gain.
At least you are able to come off the pills now and I hope you continue to improve.

WhiteElephant Fri 18-Mar-22 15:27:26

No, it was not the foods especially the 2 years prior to surgery. After I had the surgery even my Cardiologist and Family Physician said it was the only direction I could take to be the healithest I could be. You have to understand here in the states, the drug companies own the the Doctors here. I am not telling people to go for this surgery, I wish I had paid attention to the side effects of all medication before my problems began to escalate to no stop in sight. Just educate yourself on your meds side effects.

Whiff Sat 19-Mar-22 05:39:13

WhiteElephant sorry about your health problems. I have been on various medications for 34 years. Even though some said may cause weight gain would never blame my tablets for my massive weight gain . That was due to my eating far to much and not exercising. To say tablets alone cause weight gain is an over statement. Yes 2 of my tablets caused me to have jaundice but I had been on them for over 25 years . But would never say to people don't take them if they worked for them . I haven't drunk alcohol since 1988 so that didn't cause the jaundice.

By counting calories weighting and measuring everything I eat and drink and exercerising I have lost 7st. Still want to lost just over a stone. This will be my 5th year. As I realised it was a marathon not a sprint to loose and keep the weight off. Had blips along the way and put a bit on but have never given up.

I have a neurological condition which effects my limbs,born with a heart defect and have PAF and under a urologist for UTIs and kidney infections.

But at the age of 63 I am fitter and healthier than I was at 40. Was size 32 now a 16.

Like everything in life some things suit some people but not everyone.

mumofmadboys Sat 19-Mar-22 07:18:15

Well done Whiff. Impressive weight loss.

argymargy Sat 19-Mar-22 07:22:45

Weight gain is an uncommon (between 0.1% and 1%) side effect of atorvastatin - as is anorexia. People like to blame medicines for anything that happens but it’s rarely that simple. Plavix does not lower cholesterol or blood pressure so atorvastatin is not a replacement - you should have been on a statin as well as Plavix after your heart attack, as well as blood pressure medication. I’m glad you are healthier now but it’s not terribly helpful to others.

Allsorts Sat 19-Mar-22 07:36:50

I have been more than a stone and a half overweight for years because I ate the wrong things. Do think that if you eat healthy your weight reduces. The worse for me is biscuits, cakes etc. I now limit them to weekends and that weight is coming off, slowly but surely. White Elephant can you honestly say you eat the correct portions of healthy food. Most of us increase portion sizes I know I did, I got some portion cups and was surprised how much rice, pasta I was having, it was double the portion size recommended, so I increase vegetables etc with any meal to fill me up. Now used to how many carbohydrates I should have.
Whiff you have done brilliantly, no wonder you feel better now than ever. All that weight you were carrying must have put so much pressure on your body. I have lost just half a stone in over two months, slow but sure, feel better in my clothiers already. The rate I’m going it will take me until Christmas to get where I should, but that doesn’t matter.

Marydoll Sat 19-Mar-22 07:40:33

I have been on Atarvostatin for years, with no weight gain.
I am on twenty different medications, but cannot blame them for any increased weight..
I need steroids on and off and that is the main cause of my weight gain. When I am taking prednisolone, I can put on 7lbs in a week. On one occasion, I put on over a stone in a month, but managed to get my weight back done again. However it takes far longer to get it off, than put it on!

It's lack of exercise due to rheumatoid arthritis, heart and chronic lung disease, which is the main cause of me being overweight.. My mobility is restricted and pain levels high, but I strive to get some exercise each day.

I try to follow a Mediterranean style diet, which according to my cardiologist, has been a lifesaver. As a result, my arteries are completely clear, despite having had two heart attacks.
It is so easy to blame meds for weight gain.

mokryna Sat 19-Mar-22 07:45:48

Well done Whiff.
Allsorts the best way I found, in my case is don’t buy, my cupboards are bare, fortunately I can walk to the shops everyday.

WhiteElephant Sat 19-Mar-22 12:11:01

Thank you for all your insights and advice. Did I eat the wrong things and have a poor diet pre-heart attack , yes I did. Never said otherwise. The surgery was not a picnic, it was hard and ended up being a lifestyle change, not just a diet change. It is not easy and many people fail and gain weight back.
I had several doctors tell me that in some cases weight gain on that medications is a side effect and I was on the highest dose. All I can say is what I experienced, what worked and what didn't. I am sorry if some do not believe it but you did not live it. It is so easy to say it's someones diet and lack of will. That surgery seems to ire some people as they think it is the lazy way out.... that is because you haven't walked in those shoes I guess, it is not the easy way out, and you have to come to the realiztion that food from that point on is for fuel, nothing more. Not an enjoyment, not a reason to overendulge for every and any situation.
My aplogies for starting this thread as I was just hoping to help someone not get to the point of needing this choice out of desperation and frustration. Thank you for your understanding and well wishes.