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Comment & Response
November 2017

Liraglutide for the Treatment of Antipsychotic Drug-Induced Weight Gain

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee
  • 2Department of Pharmacology, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee
JAMA Psychiatry. 2017;74(11):1172-1173. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2017.3053

To the Editor Treatment with certain antipsychotic drugs (APDs) causes weight gain, leading to metabolic syndrome and increasing cardiovascular-associated mortality. Although several pharmacologic agents and some behavioral interventions attenuate APD-elicited weight gain, the effects are modest and rarely reduce body weight to baseline levels. In JAMA Psychiatry, Larsen et al1 report that the antidiabetic agent liraglutide, a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist, reduces body weight, improves glucose tolerance, and decreases systolic blood pressure in patients with schizophrenia receiving clozapine or olanzapine, 2 APDs with high weight-gain liability. The magnitude of weight loss seen in response to liraglutide in APD-treated patients with schizophrenia was consistent with previous studies of liraglutide in patients with type 2 diabetes and in patients without diabetes and with obesity, despite administration of a relatively low dose (1.8 mg) of liraglutide. Liraglutide-elicited weight loss was somewhat greater than that reported in studies of metformin, a biguanide antidiabetic agent used to attenuate APD-elicited weight gain. Liraglutide is potentially an important addition to the therapeutic armamentarium for APD-elicited weight gain and associated metabolic and cardiovascular changes.

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