Antipsychotic-Induced Weight Gain: A Review of the Literature




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With the availability of the so-called novel antipsychotic agents, extrapyramidal symptoms are becoming decreasingly problematic for patients with schizophrenia, and simultaneously, a new symptom is emerging as a preeminent concern. This side effect is weight gain and its metabolic concomitants. This article reviews what is currently known about antipsychotic-induced weight gain, describes the magnitude of the problem, briefly touches on mechanisms of action, and addresses the correlation of interindividual variations in magnitude of weight gain. In addition, we address questions about the effects of weight gain on compliance and whether or not there is a correlation between weight gain and therapeutic efficacy. Finally, we address medical consequences of weight gain and review the literature supporting various treatment options for antipsychotic-induced weight gain. As will be seen, this is an area of research in its infancy, and much work remains to be done.

J Clin Psychiatry 2001;62(suppl 7):22-31