Behavioral therapy to reduce weight gain during antipsychotic drug treatment

A side effect of treatment with antipsychotic drugs is increased weight, which leads many patients to stop taking their medicine. In fact, up to 80% of patients on antipsychotic medication gain a significant amount of weight.

Now, a study shows that early behavioral intervention prevents much of the weight gain associated with antipsychotic drug therapy.

How’d they do that?

Patients with psychiatric disorders were given one of three treatments: risperidone (Risperdal), haloperidol (Haldol), or olanzapine (Zyprexa), plus either early behavioral intervention (EBI) or routine care.

After 3 months the differences between the groups were significant.

  • Those receiving EBI gained about 9 pounds compared to 15 pounds in the routine care patients
  • BMI increased by 1.40 in the EBI group compared with 2.39 in the routine care patients
  • Weight gain greater than 7% occurred in 39% of EBI patients compared with 79% in the routine care patients

One more thing.

According to the researchers, “young patients displayed a good attitude toward this preventive approach, with a 100% follow-up rate and high adherence to EBI.”

9/27/06 20:48 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.