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Dr. Schwartz: Why do psychotropics cause other problems?
larsstarscanary posted:
Hi, Dr. Schwartz,

I got diabetes after taking Zyprexa and Depakote. Thank goodness I don't take and won't take either ever again.

I gained 57 pounds on psychotropic medications, going from someone who was always underweight no matter how much I ate (BMI of 18.1), to a person with a BMI of 28.5.

I have diet-/weight-controlled diabetes, hypercholesterolemia (I think that's how it's spelled), and my current BMI is 23.0. Losing the last 5 pounds was the hardest! I do still take psychotropics, though.

What makes psychotropics cause weight gain, high cholesterol, diabetes, etc? (It doesn't seem fair, especially since no one told me beforehand. Even my medical doctor couldn't understand why I was suddenly packing on the pounds.)


Thomas L Schwartz, MD responded:
Your assessment is correct. I'd say about 90% of my meds can cause weight issues. I'm gonna get all psychiatrist geek now so stick with me... drugs like zyprexa block some of the brain's cholinergic system(muscarinic receptors), histaminergic system(antihistamine), serotonin 2c receptor system and the dopamine 2 receptor system (which can increase prolactin) and this makes the body increase sugars, store more starches, increase bad cholesterol and lower the good....add some weight gain, increase stomach size and some blood pressure and you have 'metabolic disorder'...
It is not fair, but it happens. all drugs, even mental ones have physical side effects. We have some antidotes and treatments for these side effects and some of the drugs have less side effect risk... but all drugs have side effects. I am glad you worked some of the weight off!
larsstarscanary replied to Thomas L Schwartz, MD's response:
It's like reading a foreign language! Thank you, Dr. Schwartz for your reply--I'll read it a few times.