Newer Antipsychotics May Boost Weight in Alzheimer’s Patients

Drugs such as olanzapine, quetiapine may also lower good cholesterol, researchers say
Drugs such as olanzapine, quetiapine may also lower 'good' cholesterol, researchers say

Newer antipsychotic drugs promote weight gain and lower levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol in Alzheimer’s patients, according to a new study of more than 400 elderly patients.

The drugs, olanzapine and quetiapine, were both associated with significant weight gain. In addition, patients who took olanzapine experienced increases in waist circumference and declines in HDL cholesterol.

The longer patients took the drugs, the more likely they were to experience significant weight gain. However, the weight gain occurred in women but not in men. Another drug, risperidone, wasn’t associated with harmful metabolic changes, according to findings from the Clinical Antipsychotic Trials of Intervention Effectiveness — Alzheimer’s Disease (CATIE-AD) study, funded by the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health.

The study was to be published online April 15 in the American Journal of Psychiatry. Read more here.