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
Obesity is a serious problem in the United States. Obesity increases a person’s risk for a multitude of health problems, including diabetes mellitus type 2. However, it is sometimes extremely difficult for individuals to lose weight through lifestyle changes alone, especially as they get older. In this study, the use of 3.0 mg of liraglutide daily for weight loss was studied to determine whether or not it is efficient and safe.
The study was a placebo-controlled, double-blind trial that lasted 56 weeks. 3731 patients were involved. No participant had type 2 diabetes and every person had a BMI of 30 or more or a BMI of 27 or more and dyslipidemia or hypertension. Each participant received either a daily dose of 3.0 mg liraglutide or a placebo. At the end of the trial the primary end points were change in body weight and percentage of patients that lost at least 5% or 10% of their body weight. The results of the study showed that the group assigned liraglutide lost a mean of 8.4 ± 7.3 kg while the group assigned a placebo lost only 2.8 ± 6.5 kg. Additionally, participants in the liraglutide group 63.2% lost at least 5% of their body weight and 33.1% lost at least 10%. In the placebo group only 27.1% lost at least 5% and 10.6% lost at least 10%. All of the differences between the groups were statistically significant.
I found this study interesting because I was unaware of any prescription medications currently being tested to help weight loss. I believe if a medication can be determined to help weight loss without serious side effects then it should be used to help the country’s obesity problem. However, a medication cannot be the sole technique used. People on the medication should also restrict their diet and exercise regularly. Even if the medication is approved for weight loss, it should only be temporary. Patients need to learn how to maintain a healthy lifestyle so that they can eventually succeed without it and not take the medication permanently.
Pi-Sunyer X, Astrup A, Fujioka K, et al. A Randomized, Controlled Trial of 3.0 Mg of Liraglutide in Weight Management. N Engl J Med. 2015; 373(1): 11-22.
Obesity is a growing issue for many patients caused by an imbalance between consumption and expenditure of energy. With obesity, there is a higher risk for chronic disease and potentially disability. The excess lipids in fat cells can lead to production of inflammatory cytokines, insulin resistance, and potentially cause renal disease. In a study conducted by Ramalingam Sripradha and Sridhar Magadi, the primary focus how a supplement known as Garcinia Cambogia could help prevent obesity. Garcinia Cambogia contains hyroxycitruc acud which inhibits ATP-citrate lyase found in lipid formation. The study was conducted on five month old male Wistar rates. Two kinds of diets were given to the rats: standard rodent diet and a diet with 30% high fat. One group in each diet type was also given Garcinia Cambogia while the other group did not receive this.
To measure effects of the study, body weight, glucose tolerance, leptin, tumor necrosis factor-a, and renal function were measured. Results showed that there was weight gain in rats that were given a high fat diet while the group given a high fat diet and the Garcinia Cambogia had a decrease in weight gain. In the groups with a high fat diet, both higher levels of leptin (regulated food intake and energy expenditure) and weight gain were seen. The rats that had the Garcinia Cambogia along with a high fat diet had lower leptin levels and less weight gain. With Garcinia Cambogia, there were lower levels of cytokines being produced. Overall, renal function did not change dramatically but eventually the higher levels of lipids can cause renal damage. The study demonstrated that Garcinia Cambogia has potential for helping with weight gain.
This is an interesting study because many people are looking for ways to help manage weight. There are many fad diets and supplements in the market that are supposed to help. Garcinia Cambogia has some scientific evidence to support its purpose, but I wonder how results from rats would translate into humans. Even if this proves to be useful for weight management, people still need to adapt their habits and behaviors for weight loss or maintenance.
Sripradha R, Magadi S. Efficacy of Garcinia Cambogia on Body Weight, Inflammation, and Glucose Tolerance in High Fat Fed Male Wistar Rats. J Clin Diagn Res. 2015; 9(2): BF01-BF04.