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Side effects of Lamictal and Lexapro

I have been taking Lamictal for about a year and a half and Lexapro for a year. The past few months I have noticed I am having weight gain. I don't understand why I am gaining weight because I am a very active person. I go to the gym almost every day and work out for at least 30 minutes or an hour if I take an aerobics class. Some of my weight gain could possibly be muscle since I work out a lot, but I don't think it all is because my jeans no longer fit and I've had to go up a size. Also the muscle tone I had been gaining from working out itsn't as noticible anymore. Its like I have a layer of fat over it. I know it can't be my diet because I usually eat pretty well. I have never had weight problems before so I don't know how to deal with this. I am thinking it could possibly be the Lexapro because I have heard some antidepressants can cause weight gain. The thing I don't understand though is if it is caused by my meds than why am I just now experiencing it? Does certain side effects take longer to show up or does long term use of the drug cause increased side effects? Has anyone experienced this problem with either of these drugs? I can't quit taking my seizure med obviously, but I don't think I really need the Lexapro anymore since the main reason my neuro put me on it was because Keppra made me so depressed and irritable. I haven't taken Keppra in almost a year so I don't believe I need Lexapro anymore. Does anyone have any input on this?


I don't know about Lexapro, the only of these two I've taken is Lamictal, and have noticed weight gain on Lamictal. When I was taking Depakote, I had almost no appetite at all. Once I stopped the Depakote, and was started on Lamictal, my appetite picked up almost immediately. For me, that's a good thing, because I hardly eat anything anyway, and not eating right is a seizure trigger for me. I'm not a very active person, and if weight gain is a problem, I'm in trouble! I've never taken Lexapro or Keppra, so I can't help you there.   

I have taken Lexapro and Topamax for almost a year now and lost a great deal of weight.  I think it is from the Topamax, my doctor has just now changed me to Lamictal which I have noticed I have more of an appetite on.  So I would think it would be more of the Lamictal and not the Lexapro causing your weight gain, but I'm not a doctor, I just know I lost about 30lbs being on Topamax and hoping I don't gain a ton being changed to the Lamictal, but as long as the seizures are under controlled that's all that matters : ) take care Stephanie

by the way did you have any other side effects like rash from the Lamictal?  I have only been on this for three weeks now and keep watching for them to start, can they at any time or once you have been on it awhile and its in your system good should you be in the clear of the rashes?

I never got any kind of rash. I think you just have to be careful when you first start the med. I've also heard if you stop it and start back it can cause side effects. I had an allergic reaction to Trilepital and I had been taking it for about three weeks before I got a rash so you should probably still be on the look out. Hopefully every thing will go well for you. Good luck.

I had huge problems with weight gain and Depakote.  I counted calories and worked out and still was gaining weight.  My doctor switched me to Zonisamide.  With that I had terrible depression.  It amazes me how I made it through that time.  I then went to Keppra and felt better than I have in years.  The only problem is it didn't work and had regular breakout seizures.  I am now on Lamictal.  I am very scared about how it will work.  I realize I'm going to have to just deal with side effects at some point.


Craig M.


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I have been taking Lamictal for about 3 yrs now.  It is the best medication I have taken to control my epilepsy.  The part I'm not liking about it is the side effects.  I have also noticed a change in muscle tone.  All my muscle has turned to fat.  It sucks!  I've never had this kind of problem.  I also have severe weakness and fibromyalgia.  I get double vision and blurred vision from this med also.  From the research I have done I have found that it has to do with the depletion of Glutamine.  Glutamine is what lamictal is inhibiting.  Our body synthesizes glutamine on its own.  So when it is depleted there are bound to be changes.  Glutamine is necessary for muscle development and colon health.  I also have ulcerative colitis (a connection there?) and have suffered from it for a very long time.  I am currently trying to figure out if supplements of glutamine will help regain muscle or if it will make the epilepsy worse.  It's a toss up.  Which side effect do you like more?  Seizures, or fat... Having diseases is so frustrating!!!

Hi peaches,

Lamictal causes water retention, witch is probably why your noticeing lack of muscle tone. Also if you are weight lifting often, this could make you gain muscle weight. Try cutting back on useing weights and increase your cardio intensity.  More sweat=more weight loss. as we get older our metabolism slows down and those of us who exercise need to increase our cardio ( tred mill, stair master, cycling)  Stick with high reps, 15 or 20 reps with lite weight when useing dumbells.  High rep exercises like squats and dead lifts will help burn more fat as well.  Also try increasing your protein intake and try supplements like whey protein powder with a good amino acid blend and take it with L-glutamine powder as soon as possible after work outs. I was also on lexapro do to major depression for a year and did not notice any significant weight gain while on it. 

P.S.  I am cureious I play a pc game called delta force land warrior and there is a 33 year old woman who plays it and her character name is Peaches is that you???  If not just disregard this,lol 


Thanks for the advice, but I already do 30 minutes a day of cardio on an elipitical machine at my gym. I also take a kickboxing class once a week and sometimes I do spinning classes. That is why I don't understand why I would be gaining weight. I am a very active person.  I also take muscle toning classes a couple times a week which work all my muscles. I know muscle weighs more than fat, but gaining muscle wouldn't make me have to go up a size in jeans. When I first started going to a gym about three years ago I lost inches and gained muscle weight. I was getting nice muscle tone. Its just the past few months I've noticed I'm getting flabby. I've wondered if it wasn't the Lamictal, but I've been taking it since Sept 2006 so it seems this would have happened sooner if the med was the problem. I know metabolism slows down as you age, but I always thought that if you stayed active and ate right you wouldn't have to worry about it. Does anyone else have problems like this?

Also I don't play any PC games so I'm not the Peaches you know............and I'm only 29.


Hi there,

 I have been taking Lamictal and zoloft for BPD for the last 2 years.  I increased my Lamictal last summer and since then I've noticed a drastic loss of muscle tone and I'm still experiencing this.  I am also 54 and post-menopause but I've always been in great shape and very toned.

 My doctors keep telling me it is not the meds but hormone changes (decreased estrogen).  I don't buy it. 

 You don't have to tell me your age but are you still continuing to have a decrease in muscle tone and if so, how are you handling it?

Wow, I cant believe that so many folk have suffered weight gain! Ive been on Lamictal for 8 years and lost it if anything. I do suffer severe dizziness if I take my drugs close together, the odd bout of depression and my bowels do strange things some times!! But never any kind of influence on my appetite/weight. I set the alarm to take my morning dose at 4am so I can stand well when I go to work (believe me it is hard to do so confidently if I take them with breakfast) but this is the only serious side effect I have ever got.

This site is great   .... you all have such insight into this matter. maybe if we put our head together we'll be able to figure it out.  It feels good to finally be able to talk to somebody   and get some real information instead of being shooshed about it by my doctors. 

 Peaches...I really do believe it may be the Lexapro that is causing your sudden unexplained weight gain....because that is exactly what happened to me.  Except....It was more when I stopped it cold turkey- I know not smart- ...but I felt so toxic I couldn't take it anymore. I gained the 25lbs and acquired that unnatural "Layer of Fat" look.  so annoying.  and now I can't seem to get rid of it.  My intestines are all messed up too. and god know what else.  I have 'fibromyalgia too.

There just has to be an answer.  I am thinking of trying either Topomax or Lamictal to get my seizures/ or mood disorder whatever it is under control.   _ I used to have petit mals- but was never tested because i didn't have insurance.  I took dilantin-felt great then they took me off it. I don't know why. some side effect maybe?  I feel like a guinne pig. I have insurance  I'm going to try and get an actual real diagnosis from a neurologist.  mine all started from a very bad car accident in which my head got hit and I had severe whiplash. 

This is definatley not fun.  I wish the best to all of you.   maybe topomax is the answer?

Any more info on the glutamine?


Thanks for the reply. I actually have found out since this original post that I have a sleep disorder as well as the seizure disorder. That was actually causing my weight gain! It turns out that even though I am unconcious at night, my brain is constantly waking up so even though I may be out for 8 hours, only half of that may be actual sleep. I starting taking Ambien at night to keep my brain asleep and I take Provigil during the day to increase concentration and focus. It has been a life saver!! I never realized how much difference sleep made in my life. I have gone back down to my usual size and I have so much energy now!

I've been on 3... well sort of 3... meds:

 Depakote: average size (123-126lbs), depressed, pretty good muscle tone

Lamictal: thin (115-123lbs), happy, eh muscle tone... not as easy to build as on Depakote

Lamotrigine: well... (130lbs), lethargic... right when I got home 6:00pm I could sleep till 12:am stay up for 3 hours and go back to sleep... I'm guess feeling lethargic kept me from running around, but still happy.

 All these weights are relevant to my height... so I'm not 6'0 and getting down on myself because I weighed 130lbs :) . I'm now back on Lamictal and losing weight. Yay!

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