Aripiprazole-Induced Hyperlipidemia: An Update



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Objective: To review the literature on the metabolic side effects of aripiprazole. Three cases of aripiprazole-induced hypertriglyceridemia are also presented.

Data Sources: A search was conducted of English-language articles and abstracts (meta-analyses, randomized controlled trials, clinical trials, naturalistic open-label trials, reviews, and case reports) published up to August 31, 2014, in electronic databases (PubMed, MEDLINE).

Study Selection: Free-text and MeSH search keywords included aripiprazole, cholesterol, triglyceride, lipid profile, hyperlipidemia, and hypercholesterolemia and their differing terminations and combinations. The search was supplemented by a manual review of reference lists from the identified publications. Pediatric studies were excluded.

Data Extraction: Twenty-two articles were found and 3 aspects of the metabolic side effects of aripiprazole were reviewed: (1) the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome in mentally ill patients prior to any antipsychotic use to highlight the initial predisposition of this group of patients to develop the metabolic syndrome, (2) the prevalence of metabolic changes depending on the choice of antipsychotic (aripiprazole compared to other antipsychotics), and (3) metabolic changes reported after switching from an antipsychotic to aripiprazole.

Results: Patients with mental disorders are at high risk for developing dyslipidemia, diabetes, and the full criteria of the metabolic syndrome. Antipsychotic use exacerbates this risk, thus increasing the mortality in this population. Nevertheless, it seems that the risk for these side effects varies with each antipsychotic. Although by and large the literature supports the supposition that aripiprazole causes less metabolic effects than other antipsychotics, we report 3 cases of serious aripiprazole-related dyslipidemia in young subjects.

Conclusion: On the basis of these 3 cases, aripiprazole can cause hypertriglyceridemia. Triglyceride levels should be carefully monitored in patients with mental disorders taking aripiprazole.

Prim Care Companion CNS Disord 2016;18(4):doi:10.4088/PCC.16r01958