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Xanax XR and Weight Gain

In clinical studies on Xanax XR, weight gain was reported as a possible side effect of the drug in those taking it for panic disorder. Suggestions to combat this include eating a heart-healthy diet and exercising for 30 minutes a day on most days of the week. If you continue to experience weight gain with Xanax XR, your healthcare provider may recommend other lifestyle changes or suggest another anti-anxiety medication.

Xanax XR and Weight Gain: An Overview

Weight gain is a common side effect of Xanax XR® (alprazolam XR). Studies suggest that people taking the medication may be more likely to gain weight, in comparison to people not taking Xanax XR.
 

Understanding Clinical Trials

Before medications are approved in the United States, they must go through several clinical studies, where thousands of people are given a particular medicine and are then compared to a group of people not given the medicine. In these studies, the side effects are always carefully documented. As a result, it is possible to see what side effects occur, how often they appear, and how they compare to the group not taking the medicine.
 
In studies, up to 5.1 percent of people taking Xanax XR for panic disorder experienced weight gain, compared to just 4.3 percent of those not taking it.
 

Xanax XR and Weight Gain: Suggestions

If you are experiencing unexplained weight gain while taking Xanax XR, there are some things that you can do. Some suggestions include:
 
  • Eat a heart-healthy diet. This diet should include:
o Lots of fruits, vegetables, grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products
o Lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts
o Limited saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, sodium (salt), and added sugars. 
  • Get regular physical activity or exercise for at least 30 minutes a day on most days of the week.
     
If you continue to experience weight gain with Xanax XR, talk to your healthcare provider. He or she can give you other suggestions for dealing with any weight gain. Your healthcare provider may also look for other causes, such as certain types of medical conditions. He or she may also recommend other lifestyle changes or possibly switch you to another anti-anxiety medication.
 
(Click BMI Calculator to see if your weight is within a healthy range.)
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