Exenatide Not Effective for Weight Loss in Schizophrenia

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No significant difference in weight loss was observed between obese patients treated with exenatide or placebo.
No significant difference in weight loss was observed between obese patients treated with exenatide or placebo.

HealthDay News — For antipsychotic-treated obese patients with schizophrenia, glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1RAs) do not appear to promote weight loss, according to a study published online Sept. 26 in Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism.

Pelle L. Ishøy, M.D., from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, and colleagues examined the metabolic effects of the GLP-1RA exenatide once weekly in antipsychotic-treated obese patients with schizophrenia. Patients were randomized to three months of once-weekly injections of exenatide (23 patients) or placebo (22 patients). Forty patients completed the trial.

The researchers found that the exenatide and placebo groups experienced significant (P = 0.004) but similar (P = 0.98) weight losses (2.24±3.3 kg and 2.23±4.4 kg, respectively) after three months of treatment.

"Treatment with exenatide once-weekly did not promote weight loss in obese, antipsychotic-treated patients with schizophrenia compared to placebo," the authors write. "Our results could suggest that the body weight-lowering effect of GLP-1RAs involves dopaminergic signaling, but blockade of other receptor systems may also play a role. Nevertheless, anti-obesity regimens effective in the general population may not be readily implemented in antipsychotic-treated patients with schizophrenia."

Several authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies, including AstraZeneca, the manufacturer of exenatide.

Reference

Ishøy PL, Knop FK, Broberg BV, et al. Effect of GLP‐1 Receptor Agonist Treatment on Body weight in Obese Antipsychotic‐treated Patients with Schizophrenia: a Randomized, Placebo‐controlled Trial. 2016.

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