Does Methadone Cause Excessive Weight Gain?
Posted: September 5, 2016, 12:50 PM

Posts: 8
Joined: September 5, 2016

Hi everyone!

So I have been on methadone maintenance for a little over 2 years now. I'm weaning off 10% a month now. I maintained at 90 mg for almost 2 years and now I'm at 75 mg as of this week. When I first started methadone maintenance I was at 145 lbs and within 8 months I gained 45 lbs out of no where. Thankfully, methadone saved my life and I have been clean ever since I started. But I really believe that methadone has caused my drastic weight gain. Has anyone ever experienced this kind of health issue with their methadone use? I don't eat excessively and my diet hasn't been different than before I was on methadone. Do you think when I'm completely off methadone in 7 months, I will start loosing weight easier? Is methadone blocking my body from loosing weight normally?
Posted: September 5, 2016, 2:32 PM

Posts: 2616
Joined: January 4, 2008

Definitely does weight gain...side effect...excersize and eating right can control it. .but all I wanted was chocolate. makes you a bit lazier...but small price to pay considering...I was on 9 years...saved my miserable addict life...but ya...gained off now 4's not like its melting away or anything. ..excersize helps on both sides...
Posted: September 7, 2016, 5:16 PM

Posts: 243
Joined: August 18, 2016

I think most of us on methadone gain weight not from the actual medication but, because we are no longer using drugs ,we start to eat compulsively. The food fills the void left by not using our drug of choice. If we are honest, most of us are eating much more than we did in active addiction. The cravings for drugs now translate to sugar cravings. Both substances release that dopamine we all like to feel!

I also gained weight on methadone and I am aware I am using food to distract myself from thoughts of using. I'm ok with that for now...drugs almost ruined my life, but I don't think pound cake has the same power! LOL
Posted: September 26, 2016, 3:43 PM

I weighed 125 lbs when I started on Methadone, by the time I got off of it I weighed almost 200 lbs. I'm 5'2", so 200 lbs is quite unhealthy for me. I was really depressed & had horrible self-esteem. Although I've always promoted body-positivity, I couldn't manage to be positive about my own body for myself. I couldn't look at myself in the mirror because my face was so unfamiliar. My body felt unfamiliar, I couldn't move in the ways I was used to. I had bulges of fat in uncomfortable places & it made it hard to sleep. The only clothes that fit & didn't hug my fat rolls were mens clothes, like sweatpants, basketball shorts & t-shirts. I always looked frumpy & avoided people at all costs. I missed my best friends wedding because I didn't want to be seen.
Most people I met at the clinic gained weight on Methadone. I've heard that there have been studies that say it causes weight gain, but the manufacturer claims it doesn't.
After 4 years on Methadone I gained 20 lbs. I was lucky, many people I knew gained much more in much less time. In my 4th year I got pregnant. I got up to 165 while pregnant. After I gave birth I didn't lose any weight, I gained another 30 lbs. I think it was a combination of Postpartum Depression & the Methadone that caused me to have sugar cravings, excessive sweating & low metabolism. So I shot up to 195 lbs.
About 4 months ago I switched to Suboxone. When they got me started on it, they weighed me, I was 197 lbs.
In just the first week of being on Suboxone, I felt a difference. I didn't sweat nearly as much, I didn't have sugar cravings & I felt more energetic.
I haven't started dieting or exercising, but I eat healthier & move around more because I don't crave sugar & I have more energy. I guess it might be considered dieting & exercising in comparison to when I was on Methadone, but it isn't on purpose.
Now I'm losing weight pretty quickly. In my first month off of Methadone I lost 8 lbs. In my second month I lost 10 lbs. At my 5th appointment 2 weeks ago I weighed 168 lbs. That means in 4 months I've lost almost 30 lbs.
Hopefully this continues until I'm at least back to my pre-pregnancy weight of 145.
The reason I wanted to share all of this is because when I was at 195, I looked everywhere to see if people were able to lose the weight after getting off Methadone. I found many different answers. Some people said that you have to diet & work out a lot, both of which I'm terrible at. Some said they lost a little, but not much. But many said that the weight just came right off, I really hoped I was in that group. And so far, I am.
If someone is reading this who is unhappy about their weight on Methadone, have hope. I seriously thought I'd be one of the ones that couldn't lose the weight & would be miserable for the rest of my life.
But here I am 4 months later, sorting through old clothes that fit again, being able to move my body in a way that's comfortable & natural for me, & feeling more confident every day.
Posted: October 30, 2016, 1:51 PM

Posts: 7
Joined: October 29, 2016

Methadone saved my life as well,,,and yes I have put on about 70lbs within the pastv10yrs of being on methadone. I sweat like crazy,,and even when it's 20degrees outside,,,if I start walking around the store or have to actually talk during round robin groups at my clinic. I crave sugar all nite long I wake up in the middle of the nite just wanting to put candy in my mouth,,,I guess that's my new habit.
I also can't stand to look at myself in the mirror because I hate the way I look. And that's my biggest concern. Im waiting for blood tESTs to come back to check my metabolism and all the tests to see if it's the methadone, or possibly hormones,,I had a hysterectomy in 2010 and I hope it has something to do with y I bust out in sweat everywhere I go. But Im clean and have 18 months,,of just methadone MN Im proud to say after all the hell I've put my body and brain through,,I am proud that I only have to go once a week, to my clinic and,,,,,,gf get my take homes . Thanks. and good luck to everyone on this journey.
Posted: November 1, 2016, 7:21 AM

Posts: 529
Joined: October 15, 2016

yes, mostly all of us gained weight thanks to methadone but good news is as soon as you stop you loose that extra weight. I lost 1 stone (I think that is 14 pounds) while on methadone few years ago but I had to do exercise every day for 20-30 min because when I first tried with dieting only it didnt help muh but as soon as I started with simple exercise i vent down 1 size. Today I am 143 lbs and I am still on methadone and I love cakes, chocolate, ice cream and other sweet stuff. Only change I done is asked for my methadone script to be sugar free , here in UK we have both and usually you have to ask for sugar free otherwise they will give you one with sugar ... of course taste is not great but its drinkable . If I am you I would ask for sugar free first thing when I am back at clinic , it will help trust me . Good Lukc :)
Posted: April 27, 2017, 6:24 AM

I doubled my weight on it to the point where I can no longer bear to look at myself.

I have tapered my dose down to 3.5ml from a heck of a lot and I am still not losing weight.

I hope this changes.
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