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Psychotropic drugs and metabolic risk 

Psychotropic drugs and metabolic risk
Psychotropic drugs and metabolic risk

Andreas Barthel

and Michael Bauer

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date: 30 October 2020

Increased appetite and weight gain represent a significant problem related with particular antipsychotic drugs, antidepressants, mood stabilizers, and—to a lesser extent—anxiolytic drugs. Psychotropic drug-induced weight gain may contribute to obesity-related metabolic changes and pathological conditions such as dyslipidaemia, type-2-diabetes and hypertension—summarized as the metabolic syndrome—with an increased risk for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Interestingly, psychotropic drugs are also used for the treatment of diabetes-related complications. For example, antidepressants are effective for the treatment of neuropathic pain in patients with diabetic neuropathy. Therefore, it is essential to thoroughly balance potential benefits and risks in an individual patient to ensure drug safety and optimize the clinical outcome. In addition to diet and exercise, selection of psychotropic drugs and dose adjustment based on regular clinical follow-up visits is the key for the prevention and management of psychotropic drug induced weight gain in clinical practice.

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