High blood pressure medications — like other prescription drugs — cause unwanted side effects. Some of them may even interfere with your mental health and your weight. These are the most common types of medications prescribed to treat high blood pressure, what can happen if you continue to gain weight while on medication, and what you can do about it. Doctors usually first prescribe a diuretic to treat high blood pressure. These medications increase urination, which reduces blood volume and removes excess saltfrom the body. It’s especially effective for treating mild hypertension. However, most people with high blood pressure require a combination of diuretics and beta blockers — especially if diuretics alone don’t reduce blood pressure. Beta blockers work by opening up blood vessels and regulating your heart rhythm so your blood flows with less pressure through your arteries, lowering your blood pressure. More than two-thirds of American adults are overweight or obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, yet, paradoxically, many drugs prescribed for high blood pressure, diabetes and depression – conditions common to persons with weight problems – may further tip the scales against good health. “It’s a vicious cycle because patients already at risk for weight-related health conditions often receive medications that can exacerbate their problems,” said Kelly Lee, Pharm D, associate professor of clinical pharmacy and associate dean of UC San Diego Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. Here are six classes of drugs that can sabotage your waistline but don’t stop taking any prescribed medication without first talking to your physician. There are often weight-neutral alternative drugs and lifestyle choices that go a long way in fostering mental and physical well-being. “The take home message is that all weight gain can be prevented or reduced if a person is motivated to eat healthy foods and move their bodies for 30 minutes or more a day, even if it is just walking around the block,” said Candis Morello, Pharm D, professor of clinical pharmacy and associate dean for student affairs at Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. Antidepressants A 2010 study found that people with depression were at 58 percent greater risk of becoming obese. Among the antidepressants most strongly linked to clinically significant weight gain, defined as at least a 7 percent increase in body weight, include older tricyclic antidepressants, such as amitriptyline (Elavil) and nortriptyline (Pamelor), as well as newer medications, such as paroxetine (Paxil) and phenelzine (Nardil). The antidepressant mirtazapine (Remeron) is so potent at promoting weight gain that it is sometimes prescribed to underweight senior adults and AIDS patients.
When your doctor puts you on a prescription medication, reading the list of potential side effects can be daunting. While it may be tempting to ignore that fine print completely—after all, the benefits of being on the medicine will likely outweigh the possible negatives—experts agree it's important to know what you might face. "There are certain medications that are known to cause weight gain, but that doesn't mean that if you take one of them, gaining weight is inevitable," says Prudence Hall, MD, an integrative gynecologist at the Hall Center in Santa Monica, CA. "If you know the medicine you're on may cause you to pack on the pounds, you can take steps to prevent that from happening." Shilpi Agarwal, MD, a board-certified family physician in Washington, DC, agrees. "My biggest recommendation is to make sure you get an accurate starting weight before you even fill the prescription, and once you start taking it, check your weight again in 2 weeks," she says. "A lot of people gain weight without even realizing it, and if you don't catch it until you're 6 weeks in, that could mean you're up 10 or more pounds." Here are 6 types of medications that tend to cause weight gain, and what to do to try to avoid this side effect. (Lose up to 25 pounds in 2 months—and look more radiant than ever—with the new Younger in 8 Weeks plan! Metoprolol is a beta blocker used in the management of hypertension and chronic angina pectoris, or chest pain. The medication may be used alone or in conjunction with other medications. Because obesity and hypertension often occur concomitantly, metoprolol may be part of the treatment regimen. The "International Journal of Obesity" published a study about the effects of a low dose of metoprolol in conjunction with the appetite suppressant medication sibutramine in its Jan. Sibutramine possesses potential side effects of heart palpitations and hypertension, which can affect patient compliance with taking the medication. The purpose of the study was to determine metoprolol's ability to prevent these side effects. The study's conclusion was that not only did the the low dose of metoprolol diminish the side effects of sibutramine, but it also did not negatively effect the study subjects' metabolism. Sheps states that the weight gain usually happens during the first week of metoprolol therapy.
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Blood pressure drugs known as beta-blockers could be helping to fuel the obesity epidemic, by dampening the body’s ability to burn calories and fat over the long term, researchers say in a new report. Weight gain is a known side effect of beta blockers, particularly older ones such as atenolol (Tenormin) and metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol-XL). Newer versions, like carvedilol (Coreg), appear to carry less risk of added pounds. Beta-blockers are not the only medications that promote weight gain. Antidepressants, corticosteroids and some diabetes medications are among the other culprits. But with the growing problem of obesity worldwide, researchers are starting to look into the role that medications could be playing — along with the usual suspects of poor diet and sedentary lifestyle. In the new study, Australian researchers found that among more than 11,400 adults with high blood pressure and/or diabetes, those on beta-blockers weighed more, on average, and had larger waistlines. About 70% of people in the United States are overweight and, in a cruel catch-22, many of the drugs used to treat obesity-linked conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and depression can themselves cause weight gain. "Patients and doctors need to be more aware of this—it's an under-recognized driver of our obesity problem," says Lawrence Cheskin, MD, director of the Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center, in Baltimore. Here are 13 drugs that could cause you to gain weight. But don't stop taking your (possibly life-saving) medicine! Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) generally don't cause weight gain because the antidepressants boost serotonin, which helps you feel full. Paxil is one of the best anxiety treatments, but if you gain weight while using it you could talk with a doctor about switching to a more weight-neutral SSRI such as Prozac or Zoloft, says Louis Aronne, MD, director of the Comprehensive Weight Control Program at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, in New York City. Aronne is a consultant for the maker of Paxil.) Depakote is used to treat bipolar disorder and seizures, and prevent migraines. A 2007 study of epilepsy patients found that 44% of women and 24% of men gained 11 pounds or more while taking Depakote for about a year. The drug affects proteins involved in appetite and metabolism, although it's not clear why it appears to affect women more than men. Lithium, another mood stabilizer for treating bipolar disorder, is also associated with weight gain, albeit less than Depakote.
Metoprolol Succinate Side Effects by Likelihood and Severity. Numbness And Tingling; Stomach Cramps; Sun-Sensitive Skin; Taste Problems; Weight Gain. Mar 10, 2011. Weight gain is a known side effect of beta blockers, particularly older ones such as atenolol Tenormin and metoprolol Lopressor, Toprol-XL.