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Behav Brain Res. 2006 Aug 10;171(2):225-9. Epub 2006 Jun 19.

The efficacy of mifepristone in the reduction and prevention of olanzapine-induced weight gain in rats.

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  • 1Corcept Therapeutics, Menlo Park, CA 94205, USA.


Atypical antipsychotics, such as olanzapine, have been associated with clinically significant weight gain. Changes to the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis may partially mediate this weight increase. Two experiments were conducted to test the effects of mifepristone on both mitigating and preventing olanzapine-induced weight gain. In the first experiment, adult female Sprague-Dawley rats gained significantly more weight on average when administered olanzapine for 35 days compared to vehicle controls. Subsequently, the olanzapine-treated rats were randomized to three dose levels of mifepristone (20, 60, and 200 mg/kg) in conjunction with olanzapine. Weight measurements were taken for 21 additional days. Rats receiving olanzapine plus mifepristone rapidly lost a significant portion of the weight gained during the olanzapine only phase (p = 0.0001). Rats in the 200 mg/kg dose group had significantly less abdominal fat compared to controls (p < 0.001) at study end. In the second experiment, daily mifepristone (20, 60, 200 mg/kg) initiated concomitantly with olanzapine was compared with olanzapine alone to determine if mifepristone prevented olanzapine-induced weight gain. After 21 days of treatment, mifepristone treated rats gained significantly less weight and had significantly less abdominal fat than rats administered olanzapine alone (p = 0.0002). Results suggest that mifepristone, a potent glucocorticoid antagonist, may both reduce and prevent olanzapine-induced weight gain in rats.

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