News: Common OTC Medications are Making Women Fat!

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weight gain OTC drugs

Research found that some Common OTC drugs can increase Weight Gain


Just like many prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs can increase weight by influencing factors such as appetite and fluid retention, cautions Jana Klauer, M.D.,weightloss and nutrition expert at St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital's Obesity Research Center in New York City.

Here are some common OTC drugs that can increase your Weight

Cough syrup = hidden carbs. A single dose of liquid cold formula can contain 19 carb grams. Spoonable cough and cold products can pack a surprising high-carb punch: In one analysis, a leading liquid multisymptom cold remedy was found to contain 19 grams of carbs per dose- just shy of the 20 grams many diets allot for the entire day!

Using such a product even once can shut off your body's ability to burn fat for 24 hours, says Mary Vernon, M.D., a member of the Atkins Physicians Council. Since syrups are top offenders, ask your pharmacist about alternatives that don't contain sugar.

Painkillers = water weight. Pain relievers like ibuprofen and naproxen can blunt the kidney's ability to process fluids, triggering bloat that can rapidly pack on pounds, explains Dr. Klauer. To dodge the risk, consider aspirin. A study of the effects of common OTC painkillers concluded that aspirin didn't hinder kidney function.

Allergy meds = trapped fat. Antihistamines such as diphenhydramine, found in allergy and sleep aids, can mean double trouble. They can fuel overeating by blocking appetite-controlling histamine, warns Dr. Klauer.

Also, they can boost levels of cortisol, which signals the body to produce the fat-storing hormone insulin, says Dr. Klauer. Next time your appetite soars while you're on antihistamines, discuss the options with your doctor. If you're suffering from stuffiness, for example, a decongestant may provide relief without sabotaging weight.

Is your Rx the problem? A research review in Obstetrics & Gynecology has dispelled the fear that the Pill causes major weight gain, but not all meds are off the hook. If you're mysteriously packing on pounds and taking one of the drugs below, which were identified in a Consumer Reports analysis, ask your doctor about a switch.

Medication                                                                 chance of weight gain
Tricyclic antidepressants (Elavil, Norpramin, Norfranil)     > 10%
Diabetes drugs (Diabinese, Glucotrol, Micronase)            > 10%
Corticosteroids (Cortone, Cortef, Deltasone)                   > 10%
SSRI antidepressants (Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft)                    4-10%
Osteoporosis drugs (Evista)

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