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  • Metformin prevents weight gain from some antipsychotic drugs

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    Thursday, March 15, 2007 2:53 am Email this article
    Metformin prevented additional weight gain in children who had gained 10 percent or more in less than a year while taking the antipsychotic drugs Zyprexa (olanzapine), Risperdal (risperidone) or Seroquel (quetiapine) according to a study from researchers at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. Those given a placebo gained an average of 9 pounds, while those given metformin did not gain an additional weight. Subjects


    The study involved 38 children, 10- to 17-years-old, who had gained at least 10 percent in less than a year after being given the drugs.

    The children were randomly assigned to received metformin or a placebo for 4 months.



    Dose: 500 mg twice a day, increased to 850 mg twice a day

    The children were given 500 mg of metformin after dinner for the first week.

    The dose was increased to 500 mg after breakfast and dinner the second week, and further increased to 850 mg after breakfast and dinner after the second week.


    No Side Effects

    Metformin well tolerated

    Metformin was well tolerated. No adverse effects were reported.



    Conclusion: Metformin is safe and effective for treating antipsychotic-induced weight gain and insulin resistance

    “In conclusion, this placebo-controlled, double-blind study indicates that metformin is safe and effective in treating the weight gain and insulin resistance that develop in a substantial number of children and adolescents treated with atypical antipsychotics,” the authors concluded.


    Why Metformin

    Metformin preferred over other weight-reducing drugs; Merdia does not improve insulin sensitivity

    The authors noted that Meridia (sibutramine) has been used for a similar purpose, but it does not improve insulin sensitivity or blood pressure.

    Amantadine does not improve insulin sensitivity and may worsen psychosis

    They also note that amantadine has been used as well, but it also does not improve insulin sensitivity, and stimulates dopmaine receptors and, thus, could worsen a person’s psychosis.

    Topamax has side effects

    They also state the Topamax (topiramate) has been used with some success, but can have serious side effects when used for this purpose. They don’t state what the serious side effects are, and I do not have a copy of the paper right now to check and see what they are.


    Thank You

    Thank you to Todd Budreau

    Thank you to Todd Budreau who brought this study to my attention.


    Klein D, Cottingham E, Sorter M, Barton B, Morrison J. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of metformin treatment of weight gain associated with initiation of atypical antipsychotic therapy in children and adolescents. Am J Psychiatry. 2006 Dec, 163(12):2072-79.


    David Klein
    Division of Endocrinology
    Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
    ML 7012
    3333 Burnet Ave.
    Cincinnati, OH 45229, USA
    .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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