Monday, March 31, 2014

Study Finds Metformin Most Effective Intervention for Antipsychotic-Induced Weight Gain

What is the best pharmacological strategy for countering antipsychotic-induced weight gain? By pooling the effects of 40 studies representing 19 interventions for antipsychotic-induced weight gain, researchers have found the diabetes drug Metformin to be the most effective. The study's senior scientist was Hiroyuki Uchida of Keio University School of Medicine in Tokyo. The results are published in Schizophrenia Bulletin.

"Schizophrenia is like a perfect storm for metabolic syndrome, and reduced life span is alarming," William Carpenter, M.D., director of the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center at the University of Maryland and a schizophrenia expert, told Psychiatric News. "Metabolic abnormalities are associated with the illness, then lifestyle behavioral risks are added, and finally adverse effects of many antipsychotic drugs. Uchida and colleagues provide clinicians with a comprehensive review on the role of medications to address metabolic abnormalities associated with schizophrenia."

"Obesity and associated metabolic consequences represent a serious concern in patients with schizophrenia," Deanna Kelly, Pharm.D., director and chief of the Treatment Research Program at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center, said. "Attenuation and reversal of weight gain is difficult, and behavioral modifications are challenging in this population. Accumulating evidence, as in this meta-analysis, suggests that some pharmacologic treatments may help attenuate weight gain. Metformin, despite its modest ability to attenuate weight gain, may be an important addition for many patients who are at risk for weight and related consequences."

For more information about this topic, see the American Journal of Psychiatry article, "Metformin for Weight Loss and Metabolic Control in Overweight Outpatients With Schizophrenia and Schizoaffective Disorder." More information about antipsychotic medications and their side effects can be found in American Psychiatric Publishing's "Essentials of Clinical Psychopharmacology, Third Edition."

(Image: Kletr/ )


The content of Psychiatric News does not necessarily reflect the views of APA or the editors. Unless so stated, neither Psychiatric News nor APA guarantees, warrants, or endorses information or advertising in this newspaper. Clinical opinions are not peer reviewed and thus should be independently verified.