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Reducing Weight from Antipsychotic Meds

Antipsychotic drugs, such as olanzapine (Zyprexa), risperidone (Risperdal) and quetiapine (Seroquel), are commonly used to treat psychotic disorders, bipolar and even behavioral problems related to dementia.

Unfortunately, the weight gain commonly experienced with antipsychotic treatment is an important side effect for many patients, and causes many patients to discontinue their use leading to even further problems.

A new study to be found in the April issue of Biological Psychiatry has evaluated an add-on treatment to potentially reduce treatment-associated weight gain.

In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, Dr. James Roerig and colleagues evaluated the effect of modafinil on olanzapine-associated weight gain in normal volunteer subjects.

Modafinil is a drug currently used to increase wakefulness in individuals with sleep disorders, such as narcolepsy. All of the subjects received olanzapine, and half also received modafinil treatment while the other half instead received placebo.

After three weeks, although the body mass index was increased in both groups, those receiving olanzapine/placebo showed significantly greater weight increase than those receiving olanzapine/modafinil.

Dr. Roerig notes that now that this short-term study in healthy individuals has shown promise, modafinil can now be evaluated as a “viable candidate for a larger, more complex clinical trial to determine efficacy in a patient population.”

Dr. John Krystal, Editor of Biological Psychiatry and affiliated with both Yale University School of Medicine and the VA Connecticut Healthcare System, agrees that further research is warranted.

“Psychiatrists are now working more closely with patients to manage the side effects of antipsychotic treatment. The finding that modafinil reduces weight gain may encourage more research to see whether there are other benefits associated with modafinil prescription with regards to symptoms or cognitive impairments associated with schizophrenia.”

Source: Elsevier

Reducing Weight from Antipsychotic Meds

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Reducing Weight from Antipsychotic Meds. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 11, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2009/03/27/reducing-weight-from-antipsychotic-meds/5009.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.