• Saleem Perwaiz Iqbal
  • Rashid AM Khan
  • Syed Ahmer


Background: Studies from the Western world have shown that antipsychotic medications inpsychiatric patients result in weight gain and other metabolic diseases. This study was undertaken toinvestigate whether any one of the five most commonly prescribed antipsychotics, (risperidone,olanzepine, trifluoperazine, quetiapine and haloperidol) could behave differently in terms of causingweight gain among patients attending the psychiatric outpatient clinics in a tertiary care hospital inKarachi, Pakistan. Methods: For this retrospective cohort study, data were collected from outpatientrecords of the Aga Khan University Hospital, from 2003 to 2007. Demographic and clinical data wereanalysed. Repeated measures ANOVA, using a linear mixed model approach was used to assess weightgain over time due to the use of antipsychotic medications. Results: A total of 124 subject records (68males and 56 females) were evaluated. One-way ANOVA revealed that the groups being prescribedwith antipsychotics were comparable with respect to age, duration of treatment and weightmeasurements. Frequencies were calculated which showed that weight increases significantly over timewith respect to the prescribed antipsychotic medications, except for risperidone. Repeated measuresANOVA using the linear mixed model approach showed that the serial weight measurements weresignificantly different across the follow up times (p<0.05). Conclusion: Four of the commonlyprescribed antipsychotic drugs do result in an increase in weight; however risperidone has no sucheffect, making it an option in treating psychiatric disorders without worrying for any gain in weight. Inview of the increased prevalence of obesity and other metabolic diseases, measures should be takentowards careful prescription of antipsychotic medications.Keywords: Schizophrenia depression weight gain obesity antipsychotics risperidone


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