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Tegretol and Weight Gain

I have been on tegratol for almost 1 year now and have put on about 15 pds, mostly in my mid-section. Very upsetting as i cannot seem to do anything to get it off. Has anyone had any success losing weight while on tegratol- how did you do it? I am about to get pregnant, so changing drugs is out of the question. Do not want to carry around excess weight during pregnancy. Also, does increased dose affect weight gain?


I have been on Tegretol for

I have been on Tegretol for about 10 months and have gained 15 lbs.  I eat the same and workout routinely.  Super frustrated. Hoping to try an alternate med so I can fit back into my clothes!

I was on Tegretol and I lost

I was on Tegretol and I lost 11 kgs while on Tegretol the secret was I just cut down on what I ate. 

Re: Tegretol and Weight Gain

hi i'm a newbie to tegretol i have been having seziures for over 6 month and they finally put me on medication for it, and weight gain was a big issue when discussing which medication they should put me on as i am only 17 and alway through my session with him he asured me that weight gain is not known on tegretol if anything it supresses your apputite and he also told me that it is safe to get pregnant on so i wouldnt have to change my medication so who do i believe because everyone on here is sayin that it cause's weight gain and you can not take it while your pregnant which is everything my consultant reasured me wouldnt happen ??????????

Re: Tegretol and Weight Gain

Hello Donna,
I am sorry to hear about your problem with Tegretol. Unfortunately, it is an extremely common side effect in anti-convulsive drugs. I took Depakote for 10 year first, and that one packed the weight on. When I was switched from Depakote to Tegretol I was very heavy for my short height, and I wanted to loose weight but never had been successful. I became a vegetarian, excersized almost every day, and watched my meal portions, and it only took about 6 months and all the exess weight was gone. I went from a size 15 to a size 3, and am still in size 3 jeans to this day (and I have not been vegetarian for years) but I still excersize almost every single day for a miniumum of 1 hour.
Hope this helps,

Re: Re: Tegretol and Weight Gain

Thanks Susan
Can I get an idea of what type of diet you followed? I am trying low carb and am exercising maybe 3x/week (I am home alone with a 1 year old, so who has the time?). I guess you are saying that it is possible to lose the weight....That is great news!

Re: Re: Re: Tegretol and Weight Gain

I ate no red meat, or pork whatsoever, and chicken was a rare thing. I ate lots of veggies, salads, and whole grains pastas and breads (there are a great deal of healthy carbs, now). Once I lost all the weight I went back to eating pretty much whatever I wanted. It also helps that I drink no alcohol and no soda. Bottled water, and juice. I even have to watch the coffee intake, because you'd be surprised how the calories start adding up once you add cream and sugar.
I'll post more when I remember more, it seems like so long ago,

Re: Re: Tegretol and Weight Gain

I was told my by my neurologist that Tegretol actually increases your metabolic rate to lose weight instead. It's the same reason why you can't take oral contraceptives and Tegretol at the same time... Tegretol speeds up your metabolic rate and so the oral contraceptives go through your system much faster and render them ineffective. I've gained weight while being on Tegretol, but that was purely by me eating whatever the heck I wanted, lol.

Re: Tegretol and Weight Gain

Hello Donnajoy,

I am also on Tegretol CR 200mgs per day. I actually LOST weight. I find that in the first few hours after I take it, my appetite decreases. However, I also suffer from anxiety as well, so that could also play a factor in my loss of appetite. But recently, I have been free of anxiety, and my weight has still maintained to be on the lower scale.

I guess it's different for everyone.

I am on the same drug. My

I am on the same drug. My doctor said it doesn't cause you to gain weight, it causes your appetite to go up so you crave sweets more. That happened to me and I gained weight but then I took control and lost a bunch and now I am at normal weight. Just get used to the cravingS and don't give in. Drink lots of water, exercise frequently, and only eat when it's meal-time and your hungry. Hope this helps!

By the way....DO NOT GO LOW CARB! Carbs are brain food and if you are epileptic you NEED CARBS. Try low fat and eat high fiber foods. That worked for me and I've kept off 40 pounds for years. Weight watchers could help you too. It's the same idea.

Re: Tegretol and Weight Gain

I don't remember a weight issue with tegretol, but I have one question? Can you be pregnant on tegratol? I was on it and they switched me before I got pregnant. I was told you should not be pregnant on it. I just wanted to let you know that I was told it was a Class D drug. Just make sure you check with your doctor. I am not one, but I just wanted to give you the heads up. Good luck!

Re: Tegretol and Weight Gain

Its a real shame about the weight gain with Tegratol as its a kinda good drug. I can honestly say that I am on both tgratol and Topirimate. iput the weight on big time. I saw a homeopath and have shifted 80% of the weight. Best thing for self asteem and weight loss. Highly reccomended good luck :-)

Re: Re: Tegretol and Weight Gain

Just like to say that I've been on Tegretol for about 10 years & was really worried for ages that it was affecting my weight (eg. putting on lots!) well about a year & a half ago I started Weight Watchers, but was concerned that I wouldn't be able to lose any weight, cos of the drugs. Well I stuck with it, its a v good & balanced diet..& at the end of last year I'd lost a total of 3 stone! I felt great & a real sense of having achieved smthg I never thought I would. Whatever you try good luck, but don't give up.. its not hopeless.

Re: Tegretol and Weight Gain

Re: Tegretol and Weight Gain

Hi! I was on Tegretol for almost 9 years when my neurologist began weaning me off so that my husband and I could try to get pregnant this summer. I did notice a great weight change (increase) while on the Tegretol. It did not seem to matter what I did, I could not get the weight off. After coming off the meds, I had another seizure and had to be placed back on medication (this time Keppra). My dr. placed me on Keppra because it is better for pregnant women than the Tegretol (you may want to talk about this with your Dr.). Since being placed on the Keppra I can see a weight decrease. I really think the increase came from the Tegretol and it was so discouraging!! Good Luck!

Re: Tegretol and Weight Gain

I was on Tegretol briefy in the 1990s and I put on weight, so I went back to my old medication, tried and true. ((hugs))

Re: Re: Tegretol and Weight Gain

Just reading all these comments.. Gaining a bit of weight is not unusual with Tegretol, but usually it is just 10-20 pounds like people here commented. Unfortunately, or fortunately in some situations, weight changes can occur with a lot of the seizure medicines, so make sure to ask your doctor about it when you are considering different drugs. If weight gain is a problem, talk to your primary care too and make sure the added weight isn't causing other health problems. Following a sensible diet to lose weight is key.. and exercise of course!
If weight loss is a problem, also make sure to talk to your primary care and neurologist.. too much weight loss can be bad for your health too!
Someone also asked about Tegretol and pregnancy - yes there does seem to be a slightly greater risk of birth defects for babies born to mothers taking tegretol during pregnancy. It's still a very small number though and for some women, the risks of tegretol during pregnancy may be worth the benefits of how well it works to control seizures in an individual. There are pregnancy registries going on now to look at risks in large numbers of women taking this and other drugs. In the meantime, here's a link to information on tegretol and an instruction sheet you can use as well.
Medicines during pregnancy
Tegretol Sheet to Download
Hope this helps,

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