Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Most Effective Antipsychotic Drug Has Serious Health Consequences

Date:
July 16, 2006
Source:
University of Rochester Medical Center
Summary:
Patients who take clozapine, the most effective antipsychotic drug, have significantly higher rates of metabolic syndrome, according to a first-of-a-kind study by University of Rochester Medical Center researchers.

Patients who take clozapine, the most effective antipsychotic drug, have significantly higher rates of metabolic syndrome, according to a first-of-a-kind study by University of Rochester Medical Center researchers.

Metabolic syndrome is a group of conditions that increase the risk for heart disease, stroke and diabetes. The conditions include high blood pressure, excess body fat around the waist, abnormal levels of cholesterol and triglycerides and insulin resistance. Any one of the conditions increases the risk of serious disease. In combination, the risk grows greater.

More than half the clozapine patients studied had metabolic syndrome while only about 20 percent of those in a comparison group did, researchers report in the July issue of The American Journal of Psychiatry.

Patients with metabolic syndrome in this study would be expected to have a two-to-threefold increase in cardiovascular disease mortality, the Medical Center Department of Psychiatry researchers state.

“Clozapine is the last hope for many people,” said J. Steven Lamberti, M.D., associate professor of psychiatry and lead author of the journal article. “But there are long-term health implications. This study suggests that patients who need the most effective medication are between a rock and a hard place.”

The increased physical health risks must be balanced with the potential benefits of clozapine, the researchers conclude. In addition to its superior efficacy for patients resistant to conventional antipsychotic drugs, clozapine also is the only medication currently approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of suicidal behavior.

Physicians should monitor closely people who receive clozapine with regular tests for glucose and blood lipid levels, blood pressure and body weight, Lamberti said.

“We need to raise the awareness of physicians about this issue so they monitor their patients and intervene promptly when required to prevent long-term adverse health consequences,” Lamberti said.

Lamberti and his fellow researchers studied 93 patients at the Medical Center’s Department of Psychiatry who had been receiving clozapine for at least six months. The patients were weighed, measured and tested for diabetes, blood lipids and blood pressure. The researchers then compared the patients to a group of about 2,700 individuals from a national database of health information for thousands of Americans. The comparison group was matched for age, body mass, and race or ethnicity.

The researchers found that 53.8 percent of the clozapine patients had metabolic syndrome. But only 20.7 percent of the comparison group had the same syndrome.

Many studies have shown that clozapine is associated with weight gain, but this is the first study to describe clozapine’s link to metabolic syndrome.

“People with schizophrenia are known to exercise less and have poor diets,” Lamberti said. “Those factors contribute to metabolic syndrome. We can’t say how much clozapine contributes to metabolic syndrome, but we have shown the high prevalence of the syndrome in those who take clozapine.”

The National Institutes of Health initiated the Clinical Antipsychotic Trials for Intervention Effectiveness investigation to determine the comparative effectiveness of several drugs.

In one major study, the investigators compared clozapine to new antipsychotic drugs in a group of patients that had not improved with the new drugs. In April, the investigators reported that clozapine was significantly more effective than the new medications. Patients receiving clozapine were less likely to discontinue treatment than those on other drugs.

Because of the findings of this NIH-sponsored study, Lamberti expects a surge in the use of clozapine, a drug he said has been underutilized.

“With any increased use of clozapine, it becomes even more important to point out the need to closely monitor and treat patients who take the drug for metabolic syndrome and its consequences,” Lamberti said.

The Rochester study of clozapine and metabolic syndrome was supported by a grant from the Committee to Aid Research to End Schizophrenia.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Rochester Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Rochester Medical Center. "Most Effective Antipsychotic Drug Has Serious Health Consequences." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 July 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/07/060716090547.htm>.
University of Rochester Medical Center. (2006, July 16). Most Effective Antipsychotic Drug Has Serious Health Consequences. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/07/060716090547.htm
University of Rochester Medical Center. "Most Effective Antipsychotic Drug Has Serious Health Consequences." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/07/060716090547.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

Newsy (July 29, 2014) If you've been looking for love online, there's a chance somebody has been looking at how you're looking. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

Newsy (July 29, 2014) Researchers have found certain facial features can make us seem more attractive or trustworthy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

Newsy (July 25, 2014) An online quiz from a required course at Ohio State is making waves for suggesting atheists are inherently smarter than Christians. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins