Olanzapine and risperidone effects on appetite and ghrelin in chronic schizophrenic patients.Psychiatry Res. 2012 Oct 30; 199(3):159-63.PR
Olanzapine and other second generation antipsychotics have been associated with weight gain, which may be related to changes in appetite and food intake. However, it is unclear whether changes in appetite in response to treatment with second generation antipsychotics are persistent in patients treated chronically with these medications and the extent to which changes in appetite are related to any continuing weight gain associated with long-term treatment with these drugs. In a randomized 5-month study of the effects of olanzapine and risperidone on metabolic changes in chronic schizophrenic patients, we assessed appetite changes using two scales and correlated appetite changes with weight gain and metabolic changes. There is evidence that the hormone ghrelin is related to appetite stimulation and falls during satiation after meals, and therefore, may be a physiological concomitant indicating appetite changes. We therefore, also measured ghrelin before and after a fatty meal at baseline and after 2 months of drug treatment. Neither olanzapine nor risperidone increased appetite during the 5 months of study drug treatment, and there was a trend for a decrease in appetite over time. Weight only increased slightly during treatment and changes in appetite scores were not correlated with changes in weight or changes in glucose or lipids. Fasting ghrelin did not increase in olanzapine- or risperidone-treated patients, and there were no significant changes in ghrelin responses to a fatty meal between baseline and 2 months of drug treatment, and no differences in response in olanzapine- vs. risperidone-treated patients. Our findings suggest that in chronic schizophrenic patients treated with multiple antipsychotics in the past, olanzapine or risperidone do not induce increases in appetite and appetite changes are not related to any further small drug-induced weight gain in these chronically treated patients. However, it is possible that different relationships may exist between appetite and weight changes induced by the medications in drug naive patients newly started on olanzapine or risperidone.