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J Psychopharmacol. 2004 Jun;18(2):149-55.

Effects of the atypical antipsychotic olanzapine on reproductive function and weight gain in female rats.

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Bradford School of Pharmacy, University of Bradford, UK.


Sexual dysfunction is a major, although poorly understood, side-effect of treatment with antipsychotic drugs. We have recently show marked disruption of reproductive function and weight gain in female rats treated subchronically with risperidone and haloperidol. The aim of the present study was to examine further the potential relationship between reproductive dysfunction and weight gain in female rats treated with olanzapine. The effects of olanzapine on weight gain, food and water intake, intra-abdominal fat, the oestrous cycle and uterine weight were assessed in group-housed adult female hooded-Lister rats. Olanzapine (0.5-4.0 mg/kg i.p.) or vehicle was administered once daily for 21 days and body weight, food and water intake measured, with histological examination of vaginal lavage to determine the stage of the oestrous cycle. On day 22, animals were sacrificed and intra-abdominal fat, wet and dry uterine weights measured. Olanzapine induced significant weight gain with concomitant increases in food and water intake and intra-abdominal fat without an effect on the oestrous cycle, wet and dry uterine weights or plasma prolactin levels. These results confirm the ability of olanzapine to induce weight gain in female rats on unrestricted normal diet with a concomitant increase in food and water intake and increased intra-abdominal fat. These effects of olanzapine were produced in the absence of any apparent impairment in reproductive function, in contrast to the substantial disruption of oestrous and uterine atrophy previously shown in rats treated with risperidone and haloperidol.

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