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 paroxetine weight gain 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. There are strategies for keeping off the pounds. 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. 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. Although Prozac, an SSRI, is generally associated with weight loss, it can have the opposite effect in the long term. Cheskin says the reason could be that patients develop tolerance to the satiety effect. Remeron is an antidepressant that enhances serotonin and norepinephrine, which are linked to weight loss. Yet the antihistamine activity of this drug may tip the scales toward weight gain.

This side effect can be a good thing, however. Remeron is sometimes given to elderly people who are underweight to improve their appetite, Roerig says. These drugs, used for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, have potent antihistamine activity and inhibit serotonin, which may trigger weight gain. Oral corticosteroids, such as Deltasone, are more potent than inhaled forms and carry a higher risk of weight gain, particularly with long-term use. Higher doses, such as those for asthma and inflammatory bowel disease, are more likely to have this effect than lower doses, such as those for rheumatoid arthritis.

It can be hard to counteract the side effects of long-term steroid use, but exercise, diet, and, in some cases, taking metformin can help, Dr. When the first-generation antipsychotic Thorazine entered the market in 1954, it was clear that it could cause weight gain. James Roerig, associate professor of clinical neuroscience at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences, in Fargo. These drugs may cause less weight gain than Zyprexa and Clozaril.