This write-up was median reviewed by Rekha Kumar, M.D., a board-certified physician, assistant professor that medicine, and member the the medical Review Board, top top November 10, 2019.

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When your doctor puts you on a prescription medication, reading the list of potential side impacts can it is in daunting. While it might be tempting to neglect that fine print completely—after all, the benefits of gift on the medicine will likely outweigh the feasible negatives—experts agree it’s still important to know what you can face. A usual one? load gain.

“There are specific medications that are recognized to reason weight gain, but that doesn’t median that if friend take among them, gaining weight is inevitable,” states Prudence Hall, M.D., an integrative gynecologist in ~ The Hall facility in Santa Monica, Calif. “If you know the medication you’re on may cause you to pack on the pounds, you deserve to take procedures to prevent that from happening.”

Shilpi Agarwal, M.D., a board-certified family members physician in Washington, DC, agrees. “My greatest recommendation is to make sure you get specific starting weight prior to you also fill the prescription, and once you start taking it, check your load again in 2 weeks,” she says. “A many of civilization gain load without also realizing it, and also if friend don’t catch it till you’re 6 weeks in, that might mean you’re up 10 or more pounds.”

But even if you perform start getting weight, you need to always speak to her doctor before you make any kind of changes to your routine. “Medications have to not it is in stopped, specifically psychiatric drugs without supervision the the prescribing psychiatrist,” claims Rekha Kumar, M.D., one assistant professor of medication at Weill Cornell medical College and also member that the clinical Review Board.

“In many instances of medication-induced load gain, it would be prudent to consult an American plank of Obesity medication certified physician to help in weight management,” Dr. Kumar says. This could involve prescribing medicine to aid with weight loss that have the right to counteract the weight get potential that the offending (but necessary) drug.

Here, the most common medications that have tendency to reason weight gain—and the alternatives you need to avoid the annoying side effect.


Some contraceptives have been presented to cause weight gain, and Dr. Agarwal states the birth manage shot (Depo-Provera) is chief among them. “Thanks come the sheep of the hormone progesterone, it have the right to increase appetite,” she says. Other creates of birth manage can also cause load gain, despite this is often due to water retention, she says.

What come do: There space a plethora of alternatives when it concerns birth control, says Dr. Agarwal. “Oftentimes, mine patients uncover that low-dose estrogen pills or IUDs the don’t have actually hormones have actually no impact on their weight.” If you’re do the efforts a brand-new method, Dr. Agarwal says giving the one cycle and also then talking to your gynecologist about another alternative if you’re noticing undesirable weight gain.


These blood pressure and medicines are known to cause a five- come seven-pound load gain, states Dr. Agarwal. In fact, one 2016 study released in the journal Cell Reports found the angiotensin-receptor blockers can cause your metabolism to become sluggish and also may contribute to obesity.

What come do: “Typically, the very first line of treatment for high blood pressure is a diuretic, therefore if you’ve to be prescribed among these medications, it’s probably due to the fact that the diuretic didn’t work,” claims Dr. Agarwal. If you’re on among these prescription medicines for high blood pressure, you may not have plenty of other options for treating your condition, for this reason it’s particularly important to remain on peak of the proven way of life tweaks that stave off load gain, claims Dr. Hall. “Eat a plant-based, low-sugar diet and also get many of exercise and sleep,” she adds. Taking these steps have the right to go a long way toward countering any type of potential weight acquire these meds have the right to cause.

If you pop an antihistamine every job to stop allergies (whether they it is in seasonal or as result of your pet), here’s factor to think twice: Research reflects that chronic exposure to these over-the-counter and also prescription allergy drugs may cause weight gain—particularly in women. “While we don’t understand why, exactly, this happens, we think it’s since blocking histamine manufacturing in the body can make united state feel hungrier,” says Dr. Agarwal.

What to do: First, perform what you can to stop too lot exposure to seasonal allergens in the very first place, like brushing or wiping down your pet after walks, maintaining windows closed, and also washing your clothing right after you spend time outdoors. The course, lock can’t constantly be avoided, therefore Dr. Agarwal likewise recommends spot-treating her symptoms if it makes sense for you. “A lot of world take a pill as soon as all they require is a nasal spray for your congestion,” she says. “Why offer the entire body medicine when just one small component needs it?” Be certain to touch base with your allergist prior to making any major changes, though.

There room a range of medications provided for migraine headache, claims Dr. Agarwal, and many the them cause weight gain (tricyclic antidepressants, together with antiseizure meds and also blood pressure medicines are the biggest culprits).

What to do: If you have such major migraines that you require daily medication, questioning your doctor if you might be able to take one as-needed alternative, says Dr. Agarwal. “However, if you do this, it’s even more important to figure out her triggers and also steer clear of lock completely,” she says. For example, if you recognize red wine can collection off a poor migraine, cut it out of her diet. “Sure, it have the right to be hard to make these way of life changes, but the upside is that you’re treating the root cause of the problem,” to add Dr. Hall.

Certain medications used to control diabetes—such as insulin, pioglitazone, and glipizide—can have actually weight obtain as a side effect. Yet this is quite normal, specifically if you’re currently experiencing load issues. Glucose is far better able to get in your cell after you take insulin (meaning the treatment is working), and also when you eat an ext calories than you need, your body will certainly take in overfill glucose and also turn it into fat.

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What come do: The an initial step in any kind of effective diabetes treatment setup is adjusting her caloric intake and revamping your practice routine, per the Cleveland Clinic. But if the doesn’t seem come be keeping the scale in check, speak to her doctor about trying another kind of insulin or diabetes medication. Because that instance, metformin (an oral drug) have the right to be taken on its own or alongside insulin to keep your weight in a healthy place.