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Sunday, June 29, 2008 JeffA, Community Member, asks

Q: Updated: How long after I stop Seroquel does the weight gain stop?

I am reposting this question because I wanted to clarify something about the weight gain I experienced while on Seroquel. I started gaining weight almost immediately after starting Seroquel almost three years ago, and have gained 30 pounds of fat since. The weight gain I experienced, however, was not due to any kind of increased appetite or changed eating habits. My appetite and eating habits never changed due to the Seroquel use. I exercise and weight train regularly, and always have before and after I was on the Seroquel. I can't explain the weight gain through anything I have done.


So, knowing that, here is my original question:


I was on Seroquel for almost three years for bipolar, and I recently gradually stopped with the approval of my doctor. One of the reasons, among many, that I stopped was that I could not take the weight gain anymore.


I was a Marine for 8 years and have never been overweight until I started taking medication. First I was diagnosed as simply depressed, and I was on Effexor xr for a year or so. I gained some weight with that, too.  I stopped cold turkey when I quit my job to go to school and subsequently lost my insurance. I lost the weight I had gained on the Effexor almos immediately, without much effort or diet change at all.


I have been off of Seroquel for about 2 weeks now and feel geat, and am finally able to sleep without it. I am eating better and exercising more, but I haven't lost any weight and have actually gained a couple pounds. Does anyone know if this is normal, especially since I went gradually off of it, and will my body ever get back to normal weight-loss ability wise after taking Seroquel? How long before I notice a difference in weight gain?

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Answers (11)
jnail, Community Member
7/10/08 8:44am

Hi Jeff.  Congrats to you for getting off serequel.  Two thumbs up!!  When I went off of serequel 'THE FIRST TIME', I started noticing my weight going down in the first two weeks.  However, due to me not being able to sleep-I was immediately put back on I am FAT once again, but I can function.  I'm in hopes that one day I can be off and be able to sleep. 

Vman78, Community Member
8/31/10 4:00pm

Hi I'm Vman! I'm new to this site. To my fellow marine, I'm not in the marines but I'm part of the Armed forces as well. I suffer what they call sleep apnea wich I have the machine for it, so my Psychiatrist dont want to diagnose me whith what he think is PTSD because they will kick me out in no time because of my Apnea. I have been on all kinds of medications like ambien, Klonopin,celexa and some others etc. I'm currently on seroquel because not even my Cpap ( sleep Machine) is helping to sleep because of my Antibodies disorder, they make me immune to medication in less that  72 hrs. I've been gaining weight ever since I start seroquel but it was not till I got to this website that I ot more knowledge about the medication. Not even when I had my 3 surgeries( ACL replacement, Rotator cuff and a foot surgery) I gain so much weight. It was backwards I lose over 15 pounds just laying on bed. Is crazy. i have done all kind of diets including exercise, diuretics, weight loss pills and none of them have seem to work for me. I never went pass 190 on 5'8" but it was all muscle. Ever since I got on Seroquel a month ago I gain 15 pounds (205) I'm going crazy about my weight specially the belly and I don't drink any kind of alcohol at all. I dont eat junk food it make me sick. What I can really tell you is that we know there is way more medication and naturall forms to help you sleep and get rested. But the Armed forces DR just give you an easy and quick way out. i'm not mad at them, because they are doing their job but that means we have to look out for each other. You should go back to Veteran Hospital and get yourself check if you have the chance. Because it might be the thyroid and that illness was made by them.

For the rest of you guys on the site, I just want to say thanks for the heads up. If it wasn't for you guys I would still be blind about this medication and the doctors think that is the best way out and that is very helpfull. Once again THANKS!!!!!!!!

Bullethead5150, Community Member
8/29/08 3:14pm

I went from 200 lbs to 245 lbs (6'2") in 5 months on 25 mg/day of Seroquel. My eating habits were better than normal....especially when I noticed the pounds piling up. I got on the scale 2 weeks ago and decided to slowly get off it. What a shame because it was the best medicine I have ever been on. The extra pounds were really making me self conscious though. And extra anxiety is something I do not need. Anyway I am hoping the weight will fall back off in time. I am going to hit the gym hard just in case. It is so weird how the medicine mysteriously makes you gain weight. It's not like I went to Baskin Robbins every day. Damn you Seroquel.

WestTennBipolar, Community Member
11/23/08 6:02pm

I have found if I drink a gallon of water a day, walk three miles a day, and lower my carbohydrate intake I can easily lose weight on Seroquel.

Fit size 14/16, Community Member
9/26/09 7:03pm

My situation is similar except I gained a total of 55lbs in a 2-3 yr timeframe.  I was in the Navy for 11 yrs.  I never had a weight problem until Seroquel.  I still eat healthy, work out just like I have been since age 14.  I am now 33.  I have been off seroquel for almost 1 year.  I have lost no weight.  I tried some diet pills(even though I don't think they are good to take) I tried a low calorie/starvation diet(1600 cals).  NO weight loss, I tried something different about 4 months ago.  I ate 2200 calories, which is a 500 calorie deficite for my current weight of 191.  I actually lost 3 lbs after 4 months.  I got down to 189lbs.  But measuring food for all my meals, and counting calories, and food groups proved to me more of a hassel.  bottom line is I have been eating healthy for such a long time, and exercising, that there is no way that I gained weight from anything else but the medicine.  It's a tough pill to swallow, going from a 135lb size 4/6 to a 191lb size 14/16 or 18.  I am happy that I carry my weight well, but it's is emotionally hard to cope with.  I try each day to be positive.  The good thing is even though I am considered obese by the weight/bmi CHARTS My blood pressure is optimal, my cholesterol is optimal, I have no health problems as a result of my weight.  I attribute that to eating healthy and working out.  I eat mostly natural, organic, low fat/low sodium, low cholesterol foods, I drink no sodas, or juices, just plain water, and 2 cups o' coffee.  Best I can say is we are all in this together, and we just need to keep positive and no allow the number on the scale to define us.  Did I mention I am a certified personal trainer.............

Insomnia911, Community Member
1/15/13 11:19pm

Hello and I was wondering how you and your weight is doing. I have extremely severe atypical chronic isomnia . Seroqual helped better than anything out there but was not totaly effective. I still only slept less than 2 to 4 hours in 36 hours. I gained 10 pounds on it in a blink of an eye so I worked out more and more and despite how bad I felt, I still increased my workout time to 3 hours intense working out per day. I did this and ate a 1200 cal weighed and measured diet only to gain more. It is so frustrating. I am the type that could eat a pizza and still be thin. I went off the Seroquil and my sleep stopped entirely. I am awake around the clock.I will be very frustrated if this weight does not come off. All I drink is water too and even tried the green coffee bear capsules to no avail. I am starting lamicital, but it does not help with the sleep. Any one know how to lose the weight?

Fit size 14/16, Community Member
1/18/13 8:58am

Hi.  I am actually doing well with my weight battle.  I am now down to 185lbs.  My psych. Doctor told me that all the stress I had been holding in with the constant thoughts about my weight, the obession with the weighing myself, taking measurements and keeping detailed logs was all working against me.  Ever since that day back in like May or June 2012 I threw my scale out, handed in my logs, threw out my measuring tape and just started focusing on adding more activity.  I am a bit limited because I have fibromyalgia, arthritis, hernicated disc in my back, I lack a curve on my cervical spine(neck).  But besides all that I decided to focus on what I can do.  I began with doing workouts in the swimming pool and continuing to eat a sensible diet.  Then a few months later at a Dr. appt, I got weighed and I was at 198lbs.  For the first time I felt like I really can loose weight.  Next time I got weighed I was at 193lb, and most recently I was 185lbs, and I could not believe it.  It took hard work and dedication on my part to learn to let go of stress, relaxation.  I also slowly made some changes to my diet.  I decided to watch what desserts I ate.  It was a slow process, but now I enjoy lower calorie options like weight watchers smart one's desserts, healthy choice ice cream cups.  It is comfortable now, it's part of my eating habits.  I also decided to reduce not eliminate sugars in foods like yogurts, flavored oatmeal, cereals.  I stress reduce because whatever changes one makes to their diet, must to reasonable so that you can sustain that change long term.  Remember it's not a diet, it's not a quicky intense short term workout you are after, it's a lifestyle change.  Tailor your own program to suit your needs.

I am sorry to hear that you are not sleeping well despite taking seroquel.  Has your doctor tried you on other medicatons?  One of the main drawbacks to stopping seroquel is insomnia.  It's like a double impact for you.  Has your doctor ever tried Elavil (it's an older tricyclic anti-deppressant) that some Doctors prescribe for sleep and chronic pain.  It works for me, but of course that doesn't mean it will work for you, but if your Dr. is willing to try you on it I would think it's worth a try.

Also do you drink alot of caffinated beverages or energy drinks?  Do you take any diet pills or suppliments with one or several stimulants in the ingredients?

If so you should probably start to slowly cut down on your usage of them as they can contribute to your insomnia issue.

I hope all this helps.Laughing

Insomnia911, Community Member
1/18/13 11:09am

Hey well good for you in your weight loss. Sounds like tossing the scale out for you helped along with following a good food plan. I have had extremely severe chronic isomnia that I have tried everything under the sun for and yes even elevil. Seroqual was the only thing that helped but then only some as I still slept two hour or less in 36 hours. I have been off ot it for 4 days and now I am lucky to sleep 20 minutes every 36 hours. Obviusly I do not feel good. It is too early to tell on the weight, but it seem like my weight stopped going up crazy amounts like 4 pounds in a day like when I was on Seroquel. Now it is staying the same. I have had to take off of exercising as I am so sleep deprived but I am following a 1200 calories weighed and measured food plan . Up to this point(while on Seroqual) I did 2 hours of Tae Bo per day along with another intense exercise video that used light weight and I gained weight. This is why I went off Seroqual. I have tried to many things that I now have some Chinese Herbs ordered and will see how they do.



Christi, Community Member
9/15/10 5:07am

I know this is an old postong but.. I was Dx'd with bipolar disorder, anexity disorder, post partem depression, and was give a huge cocktail of meds, Seroquel 500mg BID. Depocote 200mg at bed. Wellburtrin 100mg BID, xanax 1mg 4 times a day, melatonn .3mg at bed.


I had gastric bypass in 07' im 5'1 and weight 245 at most, after 2 yrs I got pregnant most at pregnancy I was 132.  I have been on the above cocktail for over a yr. and have gain almost 90pounds back..

Now that my stomach is strached back i cant afford another surgery. I have decided to take my self off Seroquel, and Devoquote, and take diet pills and start exercising more often now that the weather is getting cooler..


thanks alot for all the information.



Mace windu, Community Member
11/ 9/11 11:06am
Hi there. I understand how you all feel. I'm 16 years old. Been off and on few medicines for 2 years. I am 70 kg, standing at 1.80m. I am currently med free for 6 months. To be honest, it is more challenging living and sleeping without seroquel. However I feel that I am at least in control of my life and moods and can attribute my successes to my own diligence. To face the sleeping issue, I recommend you guys try natural means such as meditation , reading a boring book or listening to soothing nature sounds from your iPod. Let's face it . The main reason we have our moods can be linked to our sleep, or lack of it. Btw, before going on my first dose of lithium at the hospital, I weighed around 62 kg and sported a 4 pack. After 1 and 1/2 years, my weight ballooned to 75kg with seroquel( I stopped lithium after 3 months). 6 months ago, after my granddad passed away, I decided to stop my 400mg seroquel intake totally. Gradually, after exercise, living a balanced lifestyles and trying to maintain my moods, I maintained my weight around 70 to 75 kg range and am still physically fit. To challenge the weight issue, I recommend you guys try adopting a multiple prong approach. Firstly, you must love yourself enough to change for the better. 1. Eat 6 small meals a day instead of 3 big ones. This will jumpstart your metabolism. 2. Sip cold water and unsweetened tea throughout the day 3. Hit the gym and run if you can 4. Lifting weights boost lean muscle mass which helps you burn fat throughout the day. 5. Share your ambitions with your closest kin. They can motivate you continually when u begin to feel down and out 6. Live your life as you would want to live it! Be free and proud of your achievements. 7. Stay motivated and do not expect immediate results Hope this helped. Life is short. But you still gotta plan it. God bless all you. Mace Reply
Khaled, Community Member
6/ 3/12 3:28am

Hello everybody,

First of all 2 thumbs up for you to be able to get off Seroquel, I am Planning to do so in the near future (God's Will)


I have been on Seroquel for 4 years now, from 25 mg - 200 mg a night, i was already Obese when I started, now I gained extra 40 pounds :(


I recently started going to the Gym though my weight loss is very slow


my best regards to you all, and yes we are all in it

georgefthurman, Community Member
7/12/12 4:20am

i was on seroguel starting in 2005 and i too my self off it in 2007 but in that time frame i went 105lbs to 250lbs and i have tried every thing to shed the waght but i still got the belly fat. The exces waght has gotten to the point of casing strane on my lower back and legs. Is there any advise to hel me lose this anoying belly fat.

georgefthurman, Community Member
7/12/12 4:21am

i was on seroguel starting in 2005 and i took my self off it in 2007 but in that time frame i went 105lbs to 250lbs and i have tried every thing to shed the waght but i still got the belly fat. The exces waght has gotten to the point of casing strane on my lower back and legs. Is there any advise to hel me lose this anoying belly fat.

bendoregon, Community Member
9/ 9/12 3:32am

Hi there, gained 30 pounds in 3 months, but had better mood/anxiety management on Seroquel XR 150 mg. Doc said this weight gain is not good, and removed me from it right away. I did not realize that my sleep pattern would be so awful all of the sudden without it. I could not fall asleep, (didnt even feel tired!) until 8 am, up at 11 and still did not feel tired. I have lost a few pounds in just the one day being off it, in part because my appetite is no longer a bottomless pit. I was always hungry on seroquel, and never satisfied. Also, have had a headache since I stopped. I am going to take a sleeping pill tonight, must sleep!!! Will post again once more time has passed.

Try Again, Community Member
9/14/13 10:12pm
Hi, everyone! I am so shocked but glad that I found you all! I was diagnosed a hyperactive insomniac at the age of six. I slept about 4 hours a night until I was 30. I took 3mg. of Xanax a night for 16 years for idiopathic insomniac. Now finding out I am ADHD 2. Haven't had a drink in 18 years but I wanted to go back to A.A. They want you to have no narcotics and I wanted to comply. Two friends at A.A.told me Seroquel was helping the sleep so I asked my doc for it. She is so sweet and she will let me try anything to help me sleep. In 4 months I have gained 25 pounds and both of my friends have gained about 50! Within an hour of taking the Seroquel I get insanely hungry and would eat ridiculous amounts of food. This was after only 50 mg.per night! Know most of you are not on Seroquel for sleep, but at age 55, this weight gain is raising y blood pressure (and it will eventually do the same thing to you all too if you stay overweight too long!) I asked drug specialist doctors at an A.A. Convention what I should take and they said Trazadone. It is an anti-depressant. I am now taking 1mg. of Xanax and 100 mg. of Trazadone a night, and have slept o.k.with NO night eating at all. I went fro size 10 - 12 to size 16 in a matter of weeks - this seemed insane to me! I don't care if I DO have to take narcotics again! Medicine like this ought to be illegal without a huge warning label on the bottle "THIS WILL MAKE YOU VERY FAT!" There are different medicines for depression just like there are different medicines for sleep. For those of you who are gaining weight, why don't you print out all of the posts from this thread and take it to your doctor? I have weighed about 130 pounds since I was 18. This is not about willpower, this is about a BAD DRUG. I will check back and tell you guys how long it takes me to get back into my clothes. . .Good luck to all of you! Reply
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By JeffA, Community Member— Last Modified: 06/11/14, First Published: 06/29/08