What exactly is the reason Abilify causes weight gain?

Can someone please explain why exactly Abilify causes weight gain?
I see some people saying they have gained 2-3 pounds the next day but I think it’s impossible to gain 2-3 pounds of fat in one day? So could that initial quick weight gain be a result of water retention?

I just want to understand why exactly Abilify causes weight gain and if it’s something I can truly avoid.
Is it because it increases appetite and you eat more therefore you gain weight or is it something you really can’t control like Abilify somehow causes you to just gain fat?

Also if it is avoidable, does it mean that weight loss is impossible?

Please can someone give me an in depth clear answer to my questions. I really need information because my appointment with the doc is tomorrow and I’m thinking about asking to be put on Abilify for depression on a low dose (2mg)

I took Abilify and gained 24 kilos. I took myself off it before I turned into a whale. That was in the day before they stopped marketing it as weight neutral.

I had no weight problems before I touched that drug- and lost weight after I stopped it- without even trying.

I read about it, and am sure it’s to do with activating the H1 receptor in the brain.

I take Haldol, the typicals are less likely to cause weight gain. It doesn’t touch the H1 receptor like the atypicals do. But the typicals are more associated with EPS. So nothing comes for free in the world of antipsychotics.

You could try perphenazine- it’s an older drug but milder than Haldol. I gained no weight on it.


I could be wrong but i think that that stuff causes depression.

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but what about activating the H1 receptor in the brain causes weight gain? Does the activation increase appetite therefore making you eat more?

Like I want to know is Abilify weight gain because people eat more or is it something like the body just starts magically creating fat or storing it?

really? I thought it helps depression Abilify + antidepressant combo

Abilify made me feel depressed. And fat.

Yes, I think the H1 activation makes you eat more, but for some reason it made me gain weight even when I strictly controlled my diet.

Check abilifys own website- it’s now marketed foremost as an add-on antidepressant. But if it works for you, just stick to it :slight_smile:

well like i said that i could be wrong.

I dont take meds myself so I prolly shouldnt be talking.

Im just hanging out here…

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Abilify would increase my appetite beyond belief if I didn’t do the following:

  • take a bcomplex once a day containing only 100% of daily rda b vitamins.

I.e. This product stops me gaining weight on abilify :


Edit: I take abilify at noon, take the bcomplex at 6pm. If I take them together there’s a bit of an interaction.

My doc still keeps saying that Abilify is weight neutral.

2-3 pounds can be lost and gained in a day due to water weight, I wouldn’t attribute that to the Abilify. Abilify is the antipsychotic with the least connection to weight gain. If anything I would say what could cause weight gain from it is in some people (like myself) it causes extreme hunger. But the hunger is due to it lowering your B vitamins, so take a B complex supplement and you’ll be fine. Worked for me and others.

Weight gain is listed as a side effect on their own site. They say it is one of the meds least likely, but I know many that have gained weight on it. But we are all different.
I know from experience that even with a controlled diet and exercise, I still put on weight.

thermodynamics… eat more gain weight
do less… gain weight…

Now motivation and metabolism complicate it a bit… but when your body temperature raises it’s using energy…

avoid sugar

As for the 2 or 3 lbs. in one day, yes it is water retention. We used to bundle up in sweat suits in wrestling in high school and sweat out as much weight as we could to lose weight. You can gain and lose surprising amounts of weight like that. As for further weight gain - It seems to me that some of these med’s hit some of us with a diabolical combination of increased appetite and decreased metabolism. I’ve gained weight on some ap’s without eating that much, so it was probably my metabolism that caused it.

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I think with these meds, everyone’s metabolism will react differently, to the point where it’s impossible to say everyone will react the same. I don’t put weight on Haldol, in fact I am losing it. I know that a few do put weight on it though. So with Abilify, I guess if you lose or gain, that’s your own personal experience :slight_smile:

That’s very true, in more ways than one. With me, and I think the great majority of other sz’s, the antipsychotics caused a general weakening of the body. However, there is this one guy who is taking the same med’s as me, and he’s a body builder. Go figure.

Always wondered - how much sodium/salt is in our tablets? I mean the pills aren’t purely the active med. there is a ‘packing’ material. Could this make us bloat up by retaining water?

I think it does something to your metabolism too not just your appetite and the way you store fat chamges.http://mentalhealthdaily.com/2015/01/29/abilify-and-weight-gain-causes-contributing-factors/

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great resource! thank you for this.

I’m thinking my metabolism is shot, from both abilify and from yo-yoing my weight up and down for years trying to lose the weight the antipsychotics caused.

I didn’t know abilify can cause blood sugar to spike…good to know!!

It releases ampk which makes your metabolism slow down but you also have increased appetite. The increased appetite alone doesmt explain the rapid weight gain from abilify. Basically it messes with hormones by bitting the d2 receptor and h1 receptor