Less Weight Gain w/Paxil or Paxil CR?
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Q:  Less Weight Gain w/Paxil or Paxil CR?

I "became" bipolar 7 years ago. I was on Depakote, Paxil, Clonazepam, and Topamax for a while (after working to find the right medications and combinations). I had to stop taking the morning Topamax when I started working earlier-so the weight gain started up again. About six months ago I switched to Trileptal and feel "normal" for the first time in years. I have lost ten pounds but now seem to be in a holding pattern even with diet and exercise. I think Paxil is a good choice for me because I have not had any reoccurances of any significant mania since starting medications and I feel that anxiety was a part of me even years before becoming bipolar (I'm 48,so knew something was wrong right after "coming out" of it). I'm really concerned about weight loss and wonder if Paxil CR shows any more promise than regular Paxil.
Thank you!

Dear Ms. C' --
The Paxil representatives just told me they have data showing that the CR causes less weight gain than the original pill. These data do not appear to have been published (e.g. nothing evident on Pub Med search) or released to the public (e.g. nothing evident on a Google search). The medication has become generic due to the expiring original patent. Therefore the company has a strong incentive to find reasons why we should prefer the new CR version, so these reports are probably not to be really trusted until we can see the numbers. Personally I have no experience with this new version yet; I haven't had a strong enough reason to use it in preference to the generic.

Dr. Phelps

Published January, 2004


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