Exenatide Not Effective for Weight Loss in Schizophrenia

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.

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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.