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Obesity (Silver Spring). 2010 Dec;18(12):2295-300. doi: 10.1038/oby.2010.51. Epub 2010 Mar 25.

Mifepristone reduces weight gain and improves metabolic abnormalities associated with risperidone treatment in normal men.

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Corcept Therapeutics Incorporated, Menlo Park, California, USA.


Antipsychotic medications are associated with significant weight gain, type 2 diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia, and increased cardiovascular risk. The objective of this study was to determine whether mifepristone, a glucocorticoid receptor antagonist, could prevent risperidone-induced weight gain. Using a 2:2:1 randomization scheme, 76 lean, healthy men (BMI 18-23 kg/m(2)) age 18-40 years were randomized to risperidone (n = 30), risperidone plus mifepristone (n = 30) or mifepristone (n = 16) daily for 28 days in an institutional setting. Subjects were provided food ad libitum. Body weight was measured daily. Metabolic measures were taken at study onset, midpoint, and end. Analyses of covariance indicated that the group receiving risperidone plus placebo gained significantly more weight (P < 0.001) and exhibited a significantly greater increase in waist circumference (P < 0.05) than the group receiving risperidone plus mifepristone. Significant differences were also observed for metabolic measures including fasting insulin (P < 0.001) and triglyceride levels (P < 0.05). Mifepristone attenuated increases in weight and reduced the metabolic changes induced by risperidone use, replicating results from a prior study of olanzapine-induced weight gain. These findings suggest mechanistic involvement of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in the weight and cardiometabolic side effects of antipsychotic medications. Future research should continue to test the potential of glucocorticoid antagonists to alleviate the deleterious side effects associated with use of antipsychotic medications.

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