• Vol. 39 No. 2, 118–121
  • 15 February 2010

Weight Gain in Asian Patients on Second-generation Antipsychotics



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Introduction: There is increasing evidence that second-generation antipsychotics are associated with weight gain. However almost all available literature has been for Caucasian populations.

Materials and Methods: A health quality improvement project was undertaken at the Institute of Mental Health/Woodbridge Hospital to monitor patients who were started on second-generation antipsychotics. This 2-year survey of 266 patients on second-generation antipsychotics closely tracked weight gain and other physical and biochemical parameters.

Results: Of the 222 patients regularly monitored, 78.4% had weight gain (mean weight gain 1.9 kg, maximum weight gain 20.1 kg). Weight gain group liability was highest for clozapine (72.4%), followed by olanzapine (66.7%) and risperidone (65%). Most of the weight gain occurred in the first 4 weeks of treatment and 95.9% of those who gained weight had done so in the first 6 months. The maximum weight gain was seen at 12 weeks for risperidone and 8 weeks for clozapine, quetiapine and olanzapine; the latter having another peak at 6 months.

Conclusion: The survey confirms that weight gain is also a problem for Asian patients treated with second-generation antipsychotics. It reinforces the need for the regular monitoring of patients and the need for psychoeducation and advice on diet and a healthy lifestyle.

Weight gain is a serious side-effect with antipsychotic medication use. There is increasing evidence that with certain second-generation antipsychotics (SGA) weight gain liability is greater than with the high potency first-generation antipsychotics (FGA).

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