Weight Change and Atypical Antipsychotic Treatment in Patients With Schizophrenia

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Schizophrenic patients who have been prescribed atypical antipsychotics have a potential risk of gaining weight. The implications of weight gain for clinical care may differ depending on whether a patient is underweight or overweight at baseline. The exact mechanism for weight gain is not known, but several factors have been identified that can help predict which patients are at risk for gaining weight. These factors include better clinical outcome, increased appetite, and low baseline body mass index. In patients treated with olanzapine for up to 3 years, weight gain trended toward a plateau at approximately 36 weeks. Weight gain interventions, including behavioral modifications, show promise in controlling or reducing weight in patients treated with antipsychotics.

J Clin Psychiatry 2001;62(suppl 2):41-44