Effects of an educational intervention on weight gain in patients treated with antipsychotics

J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2006 Oct;26(5):462-6. doi: 10.1097/01.jcp.0000237943.57893.e6.


Background: Increasing numbers of reports have raised concerns about significant increases in weight and adiposity over both short- and long-term treatment in patients treated with antipsychotics (APs). The management of overweight and obesity in patients treated with APs has included pharmacological interventions, dietary suggestions, and behavioral strategies. Nevertheless, current evidence does not support the use of pharmacological management of this specific type of obesity, and only a limited number of studies have been published regarding prevention and treatment of weight gain with other strategies.

Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of an educational intervention (EI) that combines low-calorie diet with increased physical activity to prevent and treat weight gain in patients treated with APs.

Method: Data were from 53 subjects whose body mass index (BMI) had increased by more than 7% after starting an AP therapy and who consented to participate in a 12-week educational intervention study aimed at preventing further weight gain and, when possible, at inducing a weight loss. Weight and BMI were measured at baseline (at each of the monthly follow-up visits) and at study completion 12 weeks from entry in the study.

Results: Twenty-six patients completed the 12-week program. Completers showed a significant mean body weight decrease of 3.15 kg, with a mean BMI reduction of 1.2 (kg/m) at the end of the 3-month period.

Conclusions: Educational intervention can be an important tool for the management of weight increase in patients treated with APs. A larger prospective and controlled study is now needed to confirm our findings.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antipsychotic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Caloric Restriction
  • Exercise Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Obesity / chemically induced
  • Obesity / prevention & control
  • Obesity / therapy*
  • Patient Compliance
  • Patient Education as Topic*
  • Weight Gain / drug effects*


  • Antipsychotic Agents