Does Abilify Cause Weight Gain?

Many people wonder, does Abilify cause weight gain? There are many side effects when taking any antidepressant and, unfortunately, weight gain can be one of them. The APA, or American Psychiatric Association, recognizes the potential of gaining weight when being treated with psychotropic drugs and it's documented as a popular side effect in most of the literature. However, with that in mind, the side effects you experience may be completely different than the side effects someone else experiences.  

In studies, it was determined that those taking Abilify were more likely to gain versus those who took a placebo. For those with clinical or major depressive disorder, 5% of those studied gained more than 7% of their body weight when taking the medication as opposed to 1% in those that took the placebo.

With Bipolar Disorder, 13% of those studied gained more than 7% of their body weight, compared to 0% in those taking the placebo.

In a 52 week study of those with Schizophrenia, 8% - 30% of the participants gained more than 7% of their base weight depending on their BMI. The lower their BMI, the higher the percentage of what they gained. This study compares to a 26 week study where 1% to 6.8% of the participants gained more than 7% again, depending on their BMI.

So, does Abilify cause weight gain? Yes, it does. However, how much will depend on the individual and it can be controlled. Remember, being heavy or obese can cause diabetes so it is important to monitor your weight when taking any medications. And, take extra precautions to control or minimize the weight gain by eating a healthy diet complete with whole grains, lean meats / poultry / fish, eggs, fruits and vegetables. Also, minimize process foods and foods high in sodium, saturated fats/trans fats, cholesterol and sodium.

I also recommend getting regular, daily exercise – at least 20 minutes a day. Choose an activity that you will enjoy so you stick with it.

Also, it is important to note that this is just one of the many Abilify side effects. Some are mild and some are more severe and should be understood and not overlooked.

Abilify medication should be thoroughly researched so you understand all of the aspects of taking this medication including:

  • Abilify Dosage

  • Abilify Withdrawal

  • Abilify Drug Interactions

  • Abilify and Pregnancy

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