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Does Stelara Cause Weight Gain While Suppressing the Immune?

Does Stelara Cause Weight Gain While Suppressing the Immune? 

Stelara falls under the category of immunosuppressant drugs. It decreases the effects of a chemical substance causing inflammation in the body. But there is a burning question about the drug among the users.

Does Stelara cause weight gain?

does stelara cause weight gain?
Photo by Julia Larson from Pexels

This drug is used as a treatment for plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Moderate to severe Crohn’s disease is also treated by Stelara.

Adults and adolescents above 12 years are allowed to receive this treatment. It is sometimes used in combination with other drugs like methotrexate.

Generally, Stelara is found in injectable form and is administered subcutaneously. Like other immunosuppressants, stelara has side effects too. Weight gain is one of them. Stay with me to know if Stelara is causing your weight gain or there is something else. 

Table of Content

Is Weight Gaining a Side Effect of Stelara?

Weight gain is not a direct side effect of Stelara. But some side effects of Stelara can put you into a condition to gain weight. So, Stelara might cause weight gain indirectly.

So, if you know the direct side effects of stelara or other immunosuppressants, it will be easy to treat the weight gain.   

Take a look at the Stelara side effects:

Common negative impacts

  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Itchy skin
  • Vomiting
  • Redness at the injection site
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Common cold or sinus infection
  • Bronchitis

Severe negative impacts

  • Appendicitis
  • Osteomyelitis
  • Pneumonia
  • Reversible posterior leukoencephalopathy
  • Diverticulitis
  • Cholecystitis
  • Tuberculosis
  • Cellulitis
  • Enhanced danger of carcinoma

Not all the side effects mentioned here cause weight gain. Yet a few of them certainly do.

Stelara Side Effects that Can Make You Gain Weight

Here are some conditions that will make you say yes to the question ‘does stelara cause weight gain.’


Studies show that fatigue is related to weight gain.

Your body lacks energy while it’s tired. This makes you underactive naturally. Sitting idle all day makes you fat as your body starts accumulating fat.

The body does not get the opportunity to convert the consumed foods into energy. As a result of that, most parts of the calories consumed get stored.

Fatigue also makes you feel hungry. This leads to overeating and eventually obesity.

This situation might make you think that Stelara is making you fat. But Stelara itself is not doing so. It’s the stelara-induced fatigue that is leading you to obesity.

Here are few methods to fight your fatigue:

  • Take sufficient food but avoid overeating
  • Perform regular mild exercises. Even a 15-minute walk will boost your energy
  • Don’t take too much stress. This can keep your mind occupied. And also make you exhausted. A relaxed mind will help you to remain energetic.
  • Take proper naps
  • You can take talking therapy. Cognitive-behavioral therapy or counseling keeps you active.
  • Slow down your caffeine intake
  • Drink adequate water
  • Avoid drinking too much alcohol

Try these home remedies if you feel tired and exhausted. If it does not go away yet, consider consulting a doctor.  


Weight gain and depression are highly connected. A lot of research is done regarding this. They demonstrated that depressed people gain weight more than normal people.

Depression leads to the consumption of fatty and sweet foods aka, eating disorder. It makes you feel better than normal. This feeling makes you eat more sweet food. Due to this, you continue gaining weight.

Moreover, depression makes it difficult for you to hit the gym. This contributes to your weight gain.

Weight gain again causes more depression.

So, this whole situation leads to a vicious cycle. You gain weight due to depression, and obesity again leads to more depression. This condition is very hard to deal with. Medical help is required to get rid of this.

Between depression and obesity, depression is the first one to be treated. Treating depression will help you to do exercises. And this will ultimately aid in decreasing weight. Then you won’t be bothered by thinking, ‘does stelara cause weight gain or not.’

does stelara cause weight gain
Photo by Andrew Neel from Pexels

Know the ways of improving your depressed state:

  • Try to engage yourself in the things you love.
  • Don’t be too hard on yourself. Try not to judge yourself too much
  • Spend time with your family and friends
  • Follow the regular schedule of sleeping
  • Eat properly and take sufficient rest
  • Do some social activities to lift your mood.
  • Fix workable goals

Working on your depression is very significant. Continuing with your depressed state will harm you further. Talk to your doctor if the above ways do not work for you. He might give you suggestions depending upon your condition.


Frequently vomiting after having food contributes slightly to your weight gain. Vomiting makes metabolic changes in your body. This gradually accelerates your weight gain.

The body preserves energy for the functioning of the body. And also slows down your body’s metabolism. Slow metabolism leads to the accumulation of more calories.

Again, vomiting might make you feel hungrier than usual. Naturally, you will consume more food to fulfill the appetite.

So, these negative impacts of vomiting might also make you obese.

It is important to control your vomiting. Treating your vomiting problem will restrain you from gaining weight. And will also allow you to continue with your medication.

Here are the ways to prevent vomiting:

  • Drink a greater amount of liquids. But avoid drinking them altogether. Gradual intake of clear fluids will help in preventing the vomiting tendency.
  • Don’t consume too much solid food. This may initiate a nauseous feeling.
  • Take proper rest
  • If vomiting continues for 24 hours, you may become dehydrated. Consume oral rehydration solution to prevent further complications
  • If possible, discontinue the medicines in severe conditions. Talk to the doctor regarding your situation. He may give you medication to prevent vomiting.

Other than the side effects, the diseases themselves can make you gain weight. Plaque psoriasis and Crohn’s disease are known to be associated with weight gain.

Hence, you might gain weight due to the disease you are having. Stelara is not to blame here.

Know the association between them and weight gain:

Psoriasis and Weight Gain

People having skin problems have more potential to become obese. Psoriasis might be painful. It is very difficult to move your body frequently while in pain.

Also, performing any sort of exercise is more difficult. You can’t afford to wear tight-fitting clothes which you need while exercising. So, ultimately you end up avoiding working out completely.

Moreover, having a disease can make you depressed. And you might comfort yourself with food. This will contribute to your weight.

You might be taking Stelara to treat psoriasis. There are also some other ways to take care of your skin. Try them out along with having Stelara:

  • Wash the place using lukewarm water and mild soap.
  • Use skin creams for psoriasis
  • Consider using powder to reduce itchiness and moisture

Psoriasis might be the sole reason behind your obesity. Hence think twice before blaming Stelara.

Crohn’s Disease and Weight Gain

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is related to weight gain. But this is not applicable for all. Consuming healthy food is a bit tough for people with IBD.

Many had to go through intestinal surgery. At the same time, few people have a small intestinal resection. This makes it difficult for them to eat vegetables and fruits. Obstructions and blockages are common in the case of IBD patients. So, they tend to avoid them.

According to IBD patients, it is easier for them to consume processed food. They can digest them easily.

As a result of this, they prefer these foods over healthy ones. This leads to weight gain continuously. Yet keeps their disease under control.

Moreover, sick people are naturally known to have less energy. So it is difficult for them to do any exercise. You are not moving your body but eating processed foods. This can be a deadly combination.

Again, dealing with depression makes you lazy enough to stay in bed.

So, does Stelara cause weight gain? The answer is a straight no! Visit the doctor to identify your cause of weight gain. Otherwise, you might end up blaming Stelara!

So, you might be thinking that your medicine is making you gain weight. But that’s not the case. Your disease itself is responsible for your extra pounds.

Vomit and Bowel Movement Difficulty may indicate IBD


Does Stelara Cause Hair Loss?

Hair loss is not a side effect of Stelara. But this can occur due to plaque psoriasis itself.

Not every person will have hair loss with psoriasis. But some of you might face this. So, if you are one of them, consider consulting your doctor. He might suggest some medicines that will counteract this side effect.

What Foods to Avoid While on Stelara?

Generally, Stelara does not react with any kind of food. But it is better to avoid the food which causes inflammation. This may worsen your psoriasis condition.

There is one drink that might interact with Stelara. It’s alcohol!

So, consult with your doctor before you drink alcohol. Know the safe level of alcohol while you are on Stelara.

How Quickly Does Stelara Work on Psoriasis?

Stelara is comparatively new to other psoriasis drugs. Yet, it gained success in treating this disease.  

Stelara has shown effects within 24 weeks only in 20% of people. Again, 6 people out of 10 noticed 75% clearer skin than before.

But this is not fixed for everyone. Results vary in different individuals. This depends on the severity of the condition.

How Long Does Stelara Stay in Your System?

Stelara mixes with your blood after infusion. Hence it takes months to get removed from the body.

Generally, 2.5-9 months is needed for the medicine to go away completely. This is an average estimation. It varies in different people. It requires more time to get removed in people consuming it for a longer time.


Stelara works effectively for your psoriasis problem. Yet it has got some side effects. Stelara’s neurologic side effects might scare you. But they are very mild generally.      

Certainly, the advantages are more than your side effects. Moreover, some side effects might be of the disease itself.      

This article on Does Stelara cause weight gain,’  says Stelara is not responsible for obesity.  So, know the actual causes of obesity before blaming Stelara.    

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