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Prescription drugs packing on the pounds

9:01 PM, May 10, 2011   |    comments
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Shawnee Ryan has been battling Crohn's disease for 10 years.

It's an auto-immune disorder that causes inflammation of the bowels. It can flare up without any warning.

Shawnee says she was in the hospital for five days and went on prednisone. She says, "I was doing well without gaining weight for about six weeks and then it just started without any major change in what I was eating or my activity level."

Shawnee gained 12 pounds.  

Gastroenterologist Dr. Robynne Chutkan says this isn't uncommon. There are different types of drugs that can cause people to pack on extra pounds, from birth control to steroids, to anti-depressants and medications for diabetes.

Dr. Chutkan says it's typically around 5-10 pounds that people gain. We're not talking about drugs creating morbid obesity. She says it happens because certain drugs can cause hormonal changes. For example, birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy alter levels of hormones like estrogen and progesterone that are associated with water retention.

Dr. Chutkans says, "And then medically supervised, getting off the drug or swtching the drug, you should ask your doctor is there an alternative drug or something I can use that's going to be as effective for controlling my disease and not going to be associated with so much weight gain?"

Here is a list of popular medications associated with weight gain:

Avandia

Actos

Insulin

Corticosteroids

Nytol

Benadryl

Prozac

Zoloft

Paxil

Depakote

Neurontin

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