Atypical antipsychotics are very well known for causing weight gain in patients. However, patients are usually dependent on these medications for the sake of their daily function, so discontinuing treatment because of weight gain is not an option. One way to alleviate this side effect is to use a medication that would cause weight loss in conjunction with using the antipsychotic. One commonly used drug that is known to cause weight loss is metformin. This study looks into the effectiveness of metformin as a weight loss agent when used with an atypical antipsychotic, with a particular focus on South Asian patients for some reason.
The study showed that metformin is an effective weight loss agent when used with an atypical antipsychotic. Patients often lost the weight that they gained from taking the antipsychotic, but they did not lose an unsafe amount of weight. It canceled out the weight gained by taking the antipsychotic while still keeping the patient very safe in all respects.
This study shows that creative drug therapies can be used to optimize the patient experience.
de Silva VA, Dayabandara M, Wijesundara H, et al. Metformin for treatment of antipsychotic-induced weight gain in a South Asian population with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder: A double blind, randomized, placebo controlled study. J Psychopharmacol. 2015: 29(12): 1255-1261