Metabolic complications are commonly found in people treated with clozapine. Reviews on the management of this problem have generally drawn conclusions by grouping different types of studies involving patients treated with various different antipsychotics. We carried out a systematic review and meta-analysis of pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments for clozapine-induced obesity or metabolic syndrome. Two researchers independently searched PubMed and Embase for randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of treatments for clozapine-induced obesity or metabolic syndrome. All other types of studies were excluded. We only included RCTs where more than 50% of participants were taking clozapine. We identified 15 RCTs. Effective pharmacological treatments for clozapine-induced obesity and metabolic syndrome include metformin, aripiprazole, and Orlistat (in men only). Meta-analysis of three studies showed a robust effect of metformin in reducing body mass index and waist circumference but no effects on blood glucose, triglyceride levels, or HDL levels. In addition, there is limited evidence for combined calorie restriction and exercise as a non-pharmacological alternative for the treatment of clozapine-induced obesity, but only in an in-patient setting. Rosiglitazone, topiramate, sibutramine, phenylpropanolamine, modafinil, and atomoxetine have not shown to be beneficial, despite reports of efficacy in other populations treated with different antipsychotics. We conclude that randomised-controlled trial data support the use of metformin, aripiprazole, and Orlistat (in men only) for treating clozapine-induced obesity. Calorie restriction in combination with an exercise programme may be effective as a non-pharmacological alternative. Findings from trials in different populations should not be extrapolated to people being treated with clozapine.
Keywords: Clozapine; Meta-analysis; Metabolic syndrome; Schizophrenia; Treatment.
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