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Are there drugs to treat bipolar disorder that do not cause weight gain?

While any of the medications can cause weight gain, some are much less likely to do so. These include Trileptal, Lamictal, Abilify, and Latuda.

Answered by Thomas Jensen MD

While some of the drugs most commonly prescribed for bipolar disease cause weight gain, others are much less likely to have this side effect. According to the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, weight gain is not a common side effect for the following medications approved for bipolar disorder by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration:

  • lamotrigine
  • ziprasidone
  • aripiprazole
  • carbamazepine
  • fluoxetine and olanzapine
  • oxcarbazepine
  • gabapentin
  • topiramate
  • zonisamide
  • trifluoperazine
  • haloperidol
  • thioridazine
The medications used to treat bipolar, such as lithium, Seroquel, and Lamictal, to name a few, can cause weight gain.  However, once your bipolar is under control, you may find that you can more easily lose weight and keep it off.  Sleeping regularly and exercising will help tremendously.  Before starting an exercise routine, you need to clear it with your doctor. Weight loss medication, even if FDA approved, is not going to do everything by itself.  A healthy diet is important, and it can be as easy as incorporating a few more fruits and vegetables into your day.

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