Health QuestionsCategory: Treatmentsnew to depakote
seamonkeypoo asked 3 years ago

I’m in a bit of a mixed state right now and my new doc has put me on Depakote. I’m a dancer and a bit eating disordered and I’m petrified this is going to make me gain weight. I finally lost the 30 lbs seroquel packed on and I can’t gain that again and be in a room full of mirrors in tights.
 
My question is, does it make you gain weight because it stimulates the appetite or does it just pack it on regardless of what you’re eating like seroquel did to me?
 

8 Answers
maggiedelena answered 3 years ago

Re: new to depakote
I have some mild eating issues, and had the same concern.  I’ve read — and I’m sorry that I can no longer remember where —  that you can gain on depakote either through increased hunger, metabolic changes, or both.  I’ve seen more patient experiences refer to hunger, though, than metabolic changes.  I also assume — for no good reason, I guess — that metabolic changes would happen at the high-dose end of the spectrum. And I know people on reasonable doses of depakote — like 1,000 mg — who are skinny.  So it doesn’t happen to everyone.
 
 
Personally, I think I have felt more hunger pangs on depakote, but for me, stomach growling is easier to ignore than the weird, almost obsessive urges I get to eat that have nothing to do with hunger. For me, I think they’re serotogenic — I know I got them a lot on Zoloft, and to a lesser extent on Lamictal.  And I haven’t noticed any increase in those on Depakote.

jupitergal answered 3 years ago

Re: new to depakote
I think it packs on the weight for both reasons. I ate a lot more first of all. I was about 130-135 pounds when I started depakote.  I had already gained a few pounds from being on lithium for about 3 weeks and not being on adderall since November 2005.  I went up to close to 150 in 5 weeks.  I was miserable.  The pdoc finally took me off it in late march early April.  It has taken until now to get back down close to the weight I was pre-depakote (and even that was 15 pounds heavier than I was went I went to the mental hospital) even by eating healthy and working out at least 3 times a week.  Its been disappointing.  For that reason, I believe that it also affects your metabolism and it also says on the crazy meds site that it does affect both your appetite and your metabolism.  I am back on adderall but so far it has not been the same effect as it was when I was on it before.  Maybe it hasn’t kicked in yet, maybe the does isn’t high enough.  I’m on it for ADHD but I think I got the prescription in part to reverse the damage Depakote did to my weight.  Sometimes I wonder if I will ever be the weight I was last year this time (120 lbs, not skinny but I was in shape and wore a small size).  I figure skate, not competively but weighing less than I did in high school made it a heck of a lot easier to pick it up again after so many years off the ice.  I wouldn’t do it again at this weight.  So I understand the need to keep the weight off for whatever type of activity is your passion.
 
It also happens depakote didn’t do it for me, mood wise.  I was flat most of the time.  Mentally, Lamictal has wound up being a better med.  maybe that’s why i have had minimal side effects.
Oh I was on 1,000 mg. of Depakote and it was more than enough to F me up.  Many will say it you find something that works, stick with it even if it makes you overweight.  But for many of us, that is the single side effect that can disrupt whatever benefits you might derive from the meds.  I read somewhere that most depressed people are also overweight.  There is a correlation between weight and depression, I don’t know which way it runs, buts its related.  Goodluck, if it makes you gain weight, you have a letigmate reason to tell your doctor to change your prescription.  If your doc gives you the old line of diet and exercise, don’t take it. Keep standing your ground until he listens to you (mine finally did) or find another doc.  You deserve to be on a med that doesn’t fuck with you physically in exchange for mental stability. Just my opinion.

mania answered 3 years ago

Re: new to depakote
Quote from maggiedelena on 24. Aug 2006 at 16:41:

I also assume — for no good reason, I guess — that metabolic changes would happen at the high-dose end of the spectrum. And I know people on reasonable doses of depakote — like 1,000 mg — who are skinny.  So it doesn’t happen to everyone.

 
Yes, and no.
 
Depakote does cause metabolic changes, at all doses.  Whether those changes will cause someone to gain weight is a crap shoot.  A person is still responsible for putting the food in their mouth.  And that food has to be of a certain type.  (i.e. celery will seldom cause your average resident of the first world to gain weight).  
 
 
Quote from jupitergal on 26. Aug 2006 at 11:36:

I think it packs on the weight for both reasons. I ate a lot more first of all. I was about 130-135 pounds when I started depakote.  I had already gained a few pounds from being on lithium for about 3 weeks and not being on adderall since November 2005.  I went up to close to 150 in 5 weeks.  I was miserable.  The pdoc finally took me off it in late march early April.  It has taken until now to get back down close to the weight I was pre-depakote (and even that was 15 pounds heavier than I was went I went to the mental hospital) even by eating healthy and working out at least 3 times a week.  Its been disappointing.  For that reason, I believe that it also affects your metabolism and it also says on the crazy meds site that it does affect both your appetite and your metabolism.  I am back on adderall but so far it has not been the same effect as it was when I was on it before.  Maybe it hasn’t kicked in yet, maybe the does isn’t high enough.  I’m on it for ADHD but I think I got the prescription in part to reverse the damage Depakote did to my weight.  Sometimes I wonder if I will ever be the weight I was last year this time (120 lbs, not skinny but I was in shape and wore a small size).  I figure skate, not competively but weighing less than I did in high school made it a heck of a lot easier to pick it up again after so many years off the ice.  I wouldn’t do it again at this weight.  So I understand the need to keep the weight off for whatever type of activity is your passion.

It also happens depakote didn’t do it for me, mood wise.  I was flat most of the time.  Mentally, Lamictal has wound up being a better med.  maybe that’s why i have had minimal side effects.
Oh I was on 1,000 mg. of Depakote and it was more than enough to F me up.  Many will say it you find something that works, stick with it even if it makes you overweight.  But for many of us, that is the single side effect that can disrupt whatever benefits you might derive from the meds.  I read somewhere that most depressed people are also overweight.  There is a correlation between weight and depression, I don’t know which way it runs, buts its related.  Goodluck, if it makes you gain weight, you have a letigmate reason to tell your doctor to change your prescription.  If your doc gives you the old line of diet and exercise, don’t take it. Keep standing your ground until he listens to you (mine finally did) or find another doc.  You deserve to be on a med that doesn’t fuck with you physically in exchange for mental stability. Just my opinion.

 
 
When I was on Depakote, a dietician determined that my body had “gone into starvation mode” (i.e. would not let go of the weight I’d gained) because I was eating too little on a daily basis for my body size.  It was a Catch-22: with Depakote, if I ate more, I gained, but if I ate what I was eating, I didn’t lose.  I had already gained 30 pounds in less than 3 months.
 
I would, however, have stayed on Depakote had it stopped my seizures.  Unfortunately, it did not.  We have yet to find that magic pill.
 
I have been off of Depakote for 4 years, and I weigh less now than when I started it (so, at least for me, that blows the “permanent metabolic damage” theory, as I was on something like 1200 or 1600mg of the crap).  The weight did not fall off when I stopped taking the drug.  I was an aerobics/pilates participant and instructor while I took it, and when I was off of it.  
 
I have, however, met both men and women who are fully functional and SKINNY (though I find that not to be a prerequisite to functionality) on Depakote.  I subscribe to the “if a medication is meant for your brain, you will not sustain horrific side effects from it” theory.  
 
I also subscribe to the “using amphetamines as speed for weight loss, even if you happen to have ADHD is drug abuse, no matter how you couch it to your doctor” theory.
 
Finally, I used to be one of those people who hated Depakote with a passion.  I mean, what could have been worse than a fat ass, a flat affect and a seizure every month the day I got my period (with a few wickedly bad simple partial seizures sprinkled throughout the month for good measure)?
 
A seizure every fucking day of my life, that’s what.
 
It really puts your life into perspective, that whole sucks worse thing.  Because when it gets right down to it?  A fat ass isn’t DEATH.  A temporarily (until you can get your dose right) flat affect isn’t the permanent dirt nap.  And you can always CHOOSE not to eat the damn Twinkie.
 
[/rant]
 
 
mania

jupitergal answered 3 years ago

Re: new to depakote
Mania, this thread is about Depakote not shit on Jupitergal for taking Adderall.  Your opinion of my taking it is of no importance to me.  I’m doing fine on it, no side effects so far.
 
As for depakote, pdoc took me off it because it wasn’t working on my brain cooties and I was getting shitty side effects.  I think my pdoc, being as old as time itself and having a M.D. and working for the county and all where they pretty much have a take it or leave it approach would be better qualified to judge the situation.  Who are you to suggest I wasn’t at the right dose?  He gave me something that wound up working BETTER than Depakote and GUESS WHAT??? Minimal side effects.  
 
I’m bipolar not epileptic.  That you would make some choices between benefits and effects does not mean they are the only options out there.   And they are guided by your particular ailments.  I’m sorry you have seizures and head pain.  Honestly I wouldn’t trade my mental interestingness for your problems.   But your choices are based upon your individual threshold for what you are willing to tolerate for the benefits. Everyone has their own. As one example, Wellbutrin made crazy, gave me panic attacks and aggravated my GAD.  EVEN IF it made me lose weight I would likely not get back on it.   Why? Because I know the side effects were not worth the benefits (in fact I derived no benefits and like Adderall it was not prescribed for weight loss).  It appears Depakote didn’t work for either of us so I’m not quite sure why you must force a disagreement with me when there doesn’t appear to be one.  
 
I don’t initiate contact with you, and yet you sniped me unprovoked.  Is that fair?  I leave you alone and I’d like if you did the same.  It isn’t even germane to the topic at hand.  I’ll let you have the last word.  I won’t respond futher.

gretl answered 3 years ago

Re: new to depakote
The topic was weight gain from Depakote, and everyone’s personal experiences are totally germane.  The thing about Adderall was our standard “just remember folks, these are HEAD meds” caution that you can pretty much expect whenever someone mentions using a drug specifically for a side effect.  Aside from that, it seems to me that everything mania posted was for general consumption, not commentary on your personal Depakote history.
[/sidetrack]
 
If anyone else has specific Depakote stories to share, please feel free!   seamonkeypoo, I hope you’re feeling better.  That’s the most important thing right now.

seamonkeypoo asked 3 years ago

I’m in a bit of a mixed state right now and my new doc has put me on Depakote. I’m a dancer and a bit eating disordered and I’m petrified this is going to make me gain weight. I finally lost the 30 lbs seroquel packed on and I can’t gain that again and be in a room full of mirrors in tights.
 
My question is, does it make you gain weight because it stimulates the appetite or does it just pack it on regardless of what you’re eating like seroquel did to me?
 

8 Answers
maggiedelena answered 3 years ago

Re: new to depakote
I have some mild eating issues, and had the same concern.  I’ve read — and I’m sorry that I can no longer remember where —  that you can gain on depakote either through increased hunger, metabolic changes, or both.  I’ve seen more patient experiences refer to hunger, though, than metabolic changes.  I also assume — for no good reason, I guess — that metabolic changes would happen at the high-dose end of the spectrum. And I know people on reasonable doses of depakote — like 1,000 mg — who are skinny.  So it doesn’t happen to everyone.
 
 
Personally, I think I have felt more hunger pangs on depakote, but for me, stomach growling is easier to ignore than the weird, almost obsessive urges I get to eat that have nothing to do with hunger. For me, I think they’re serotogenic — I know I got them a lot on Zoloft, and to a lesser extent on Lamictal.  And I haven’t noticed any increase in those on Depakote.

jupitergal answered 3 years ago

Re: new to depakote
I think it packs on the weight for both reasons. I ate a lot more first of all. I was about 130-135 pounds when I started depakote.  I had already gained a few pounds from being on lithium for about 3 weeks and not being on adderall since November 2005.  I went up to close to 150 in 5 weeks.  I was miserable.  The pdoc finally took me off it in late march early April.  It has taken until now to get back down close to the weight I was pre-depakote (and even that was 15 pounds heavier than I was went I went to the mental hospital) even by eating healthy and working out at least 3 times a week.  Its been disappointing.  For that reason, I believe that it also affects your metabolism and it also says on the crazy meds site that it does affect both your appetite and your metabolism.  I am back on adderall but so far it has not been the same effect as it was when I was on it before.  Maybe it hasn’t kicked in yet, maybe the does isn’t high enough.  I’m on it for ADHD but I think I got the prescription in part to reverse the damage Depakote did to my weight.  Sometimes I wonder if I will ever be the weight I was last year this time (120 lbs, not skinny but I was in shape and wore a small size).  I figure skate, not competively but weighing less than I did in high school made it a heck of a lot easier to pick it up again after so many years off the ice.  I wouldn’t do it again at this weight.  So I understand the need to keep the weight off for whatever type of activity is your passion.
 
It also happens depakote didn’t do it for me, mood wise.  I was flat most of the time.  Mentally, Lamictal has wound up being a better med.  maybe that’s why i have had minimal side effects.
Oh I was on 1,000 mg. of Depakote and it was more than enough to F me up.  Many will say it you find something that works, stick with it even if it makes you overweight.  But for many of us, that is the single side effect that can disrupt whatever benefits you might derive from the meds.  I read somewhere that most depressed people are also overweight.  There is a correlation between weight and depression, I don’t know which way it runs, buts its related.  Goodluck, if it makes you gain weight, you have a letigmate reason to tell your doctor to change your prescription.  If your doc gives you the old line of diet and exercise, don’t take it. Keep standing your ground until he listens to you (mine finally did) or find another doc.  You deserve to be on a med that doesn’t fuck with you physically in exchange for mental stability. Just my opinion.

mania answered 3 years ago

Re: new to depakote
Quote from maggiedelena on 24. Aug 2006 at 16:41:

I also assume — for no good reason, I guess — that metabolic changes would happen at the high-dose end of the spectrum. And I know people on reasonable doses of depakote — like 1,000 mg — who are skinny.  So it doesn’t happen to everyone.

 
Yes, and no.
 
Depakote does cause metabolic changes, at all doses.  Whether those changes will cause someone to gain weight is a crap shoot.  A person is still responsible for putting the food in their mouth.  And that food has to be of a certain type.  (i.e. celery will seldom cause your average resident of the first world to gain weight).  
 
 
Quote from jupitergal on 26. Aug 2006 at 11:36:

I think it packs on the weight for both reasons. I ate a lot more first of all. I was about 130-135 pounds when I started depakote.  I had already gained a few pounds from being on lithium for about 3 weeks and not being on adderall since November 2005.  I went up to close to 150 in 5 weeks.  I was miserable.  The pdoc finally took me off it in late march early April.  It has taken until now to get back down close to the weight I was pre-depakote (and even that was 15 pounds heavier than I was went I went to the mental hospital) even by eating healthy and working out at least 3 times a week.  Its been disappointing.  For that reason, I believe that it also affects your metabolism and it also says on the crazy meds site that it does affect both your appetite and your metabolism.  I am back on adderall but so far it has not been the same effect as it was when I was on it before.  Maybe it hasn’t kicked in yet, maybe the does isn’t high enough.  I’m on it for ADHD but I think I got the prescription in part to reverse the damage Depakote did to my weight.  Sometimes I wonder if I will ever be the weight I was last year this time (120 lbs, not skinny but I was in shape and wore a small size).  I figure skate, not competively but weighing less than I did in high school made it a heck of a lot easier to pick it up again after so many years off the ice.  I wouldn’t do it again at this weight.  So I understand the need to keep the weight off for whatever type of activity is your passion.

It also happens depakote didn’t do it for me, mood wise.  I was flat most of the time.  Mentally, Lamictal has wound up being a better med.  maybe that’s why i have had minimal side effects.
Oh I was on 1,000 mg. of Depakote and it was more than enough to F me up.  Many will say it you find something that works, stick with it even if it makes you overweight.  But for many of us, that is the single side effect that can disrupt whatever benefits you might derive from the meds.  I read somewhere that most depressed people are also overweight.  There is a correlation between weight and depression, I don’t know which way it runs, buts its related.  Goodluck, if it makes you gain weight, you have a letigmate reason to tell your doctor to change your prescription.  If your doc gives you the old line of diet and exercise, don’t take it. Keep standing your ground until he listens to you (mine finally did) or find another doc.  You deserve to be on a med that doesn’t fuck with you physically in exchange for mental stability. Just my opinion.

 
 
When I was on Depakote, a dietician determined that my body had “gone into starvation mode” (i.e. would not let go of the weight I’d gained) because I was eating too little on a daily basis for my body size.  It was a Catch-22: with Depakote, if I ate more, I gained, but if I ate what I was eating, I didn’t lose.  I had already gained 30 pounds in less than 3 months.
 
I would, however, have stayed on Depakote had it stopped my seizures.  Unfortunately, it did not.  We have yet to find that magic pill.
 
I have been off of Depakote for 4 years, and I weigh less now than when I started it (so, at least for me, that blows the “permanent metabolic damage” theory, as I was on something like 1200 or 1600mg of the crap).  The weight did not fall off when I stopped taking the drug.  I was an aerobics/pilates participant and instructor while I took it, and when I was off of it.  
 
I have, however, met both men and women who are fully functional and SKINNY (though I find that not to be a prerequisite to functionality) on Depakote.  I subscribe to the “if a medication is meant for your brain, you will not sustain horrific side effects from it” theory.  
 
I also subscribe to the “using amphetamines as speed for weight loss, even if you happen to have ADHD is drug abuse, no matter how you couch it to your doctor” theory.
 
Finally, I used to be one of those people who hated Depakote with a passion.  I mean, what could have been worse than a fat ass, a flat affect and a seizure every month the day I got my period (with a few wickedly bad simple partial seizures sprinkled throughout the month for good measure)?
 
A seizure every fucking day of my life, that’s what.
 
It really puts your life into perspective, that whole sucks worse thing.  Because when it gets right down to it?  A fat ass isn’t DEATH.  A temporarily (until you can get your dose right) flat affect isn’t the permanent dirt nap.  And you can always CHOOSE not to eat the damn Twinkie.
 
[/rant]
 
 
mania

jupitergal answered 3 years ago

Re: new to depakote
Mania, this thread is about Depakote not shit on Jupitergal for taking Adderall.  Your opinion of my taking it is of no importance to me.  I’m doing fine on it, no side effects so far.
 
As for depakote, pdoc took me off it because it wasn’t working on my brain cooties and I was getting shitty side effects.  I think my pdoc, being as old as time itself and having a M.D. and working for the county and all where they pretty much have a take it or leave it approach would be better qualified to judge the situation.  Who are you to suggest I wasn’t at the right dose?  He gave me something that wound up working BETTER than Depakote and GUESS WHAT??? Minimal side effects.  
 
I’m bipolar not epileptic.  That you would make some choices between benefits and effects does not mean they are the only options out there.   And they are guided by your particular ailments.  I’m sorry you have seizures and head pain.  Honestly I wouldn’t trade my mental interestingness for your problems.   But your choices are based upon your individual threshold for what you are willing to tolerate for the benefits. Everyone has their own. As one example, Wellbutrin made crazy, gave me panic attacks and aggravated my GAD.  EVEN IF it made me lose weight I would likely not get back on it.   Why? Because I know the side effects were not worth the benefits (in fact I derived no benefits and like Adderall it was not prescribed for weight loss).  It appears Depakote didn’t work for either of us so I’m not quite sure why you must force a disagreement with me when there doesn’t appear to be one.  
 
I don’t initiate contact with you, and yet you sniped me unprovoked.  Is that fair?  I leave you alone and I’d like if you did the same.  It isn’t even germane to the topic at hand.  I’ll let you have the last word.  I won’t respond futher.

gretl answered 3 years ago

Re: new to depakote
The topic was weight gain from Depakote, and everyone’s personal experiences are totally germane.  The thing about Adderall was our standard “just remember folks, these are HEAD meds” caution that you can pretty much expect whenever someone mentions using a drug specifically for a side effect.  Aside from that, it seems to me that everything mania posted was for general consumption, not commentary on your personal Depakote history.
[/sidetrack]
 
If anyone else has specific Depakote stories to share, please feel free!   seamonkeypoo, I hope you’re feeling better.  That’s the most important thing right now.