May 30, 2007

More Patients on Atypical Antipsychotics Should Be Monitored for Possible Metabolic Side-Effects

The good news is that most patients on atypical antipsychotics are being monitored for potential metabolic adverse side effects. The bad news is that approximately 30% still are not.

According to a group presenting at the American Psychiatric Association 2007 Annual Meeting, antipsychotic medications can have significant adverse effects on weight, girth, blood pressure, lipids, and glucose metabolism, which often lead to life-threatening diseases.

Recommended tests for monitoring potential adverse metabolic side-effects include glucose, blood pressure, girth and weight, cholesterol (total, HDL and LDL), and triglycrides.

Findings presented showed that psychiatrists check at least one measurement for metabolic side-effects more often than prescribers who are general practitioners (84.3% vs 66.3%). But still, only 56.3% of mental-healthcare practitioners have most of all the recommended tests performed.

One of the presentors, Dr. Matthews, suggested that all prescribers should be checking for these potential adverse metabolic effects from newer antipsychotic medications.

Read the article: Monitoring of Metabolic Adverse Effects From Antipsychotics Could Be Improved
Original Source: American Psychiatric Association 2007 Annual Meeting: Abstract NR517. May 19 – 24, 2007.

Related Reading:


Besides from watching ones diet and exercising how can one prevent/reduce weight gain/metabolic syndrome ?? Are any SZ medications less prone to causing this ?? Any medications one can take to reduce it ??

Posted by: Frank S at May 31, 2007 07:57 AM

Exercise and dieting really are the most effective - and safest - tools we have. But, yes - overall, some medications have less tendency to cause weight gain than others. But there may be trade-offs, and not every medication works for everyone, nor is appropriate for everyone. This really is something to discuss with your doctor, especially being aware that switching medications when you are already stable on one - carries another risk - that of relapse.

There are some medications that can be added to help prevent the weight gain to begin with - Metformin has been shown to help with that in children.

You can also go on the discussion boards to gain other people's personal experience on this topic.


Posted by: Jeanie at May 31, 2007 11:58 AM

Post a comment

Please enter this code to enable your comment -
Remember Me?
(you may use HTML tags for style)
* indicates required