Monday, October 27, 2008

Which came first? Who's on first? Medications and weight gain

As I mentioned in a recent post, olanzapine (Zyprexa) is strongly correlated with weight gain. It's no ordinary kind of weight gain, it's the kind that is associated with hyperlipidemia, diabetes, and even diabetic ketoacidosis. Because of this, it is a popular drug for researchers to study, with regards to its nutritional and metabolic implications. My own fact sheet lists almost 300 references with regard to these interactions.

Now, researchers are starting to look at whether or not certain genetic profiles are more likely to induce weight gain when using this drug. And it turns out, how the leptin gene is expressed may be significantly affecting how a person responds to this medication. Leptin is a hormone that helps to regulate body weight, metabolism, and even reproductive function.

What is interesting is that as I read the research, there are also studies coming out suggesting that the people who best respond to some of these medications may also be the ones who experience the most weight gain when using them. And the whammy there is that the people who experience the most weight gain when using the drugs, are the ones most likely to have low compliance with regard to using them. A medical "Who's on first?" dilemma.

It's fascinating that the brain, weight, and metabolism are all so intricately linked. It certainly means there will be plenty of information for me to blog about, way into the future.

I very much look forward to that!

Srivastava V, Deshpande SN, Nimgaonkar VL, Lerer B, Thelma B. Genetic correlates of olanzapine-induced weight gain in schizophrenia subjects from north India: role of metabolic pathway genes. Pharmacogenomics. 2008 Aug;9(8):1055-68.

Kuzman MR, Medved V, Bozina N, Hotujac L, Sain I, Bilusic H. The influence of 5-HT(2C) and MDR1 genetic polymorphisms on antipsychotic-induced weight gain in female schizophrenic patients. Psychiatry Res. 2008 Sep 30;160(3):308-15. Epub 2008 Aug 20.


mpcarlson said...

I very much look forward to looking back on your past blog posts. I just did a search on "glutathione and diabetes," as well as "glutathione and psychiatric medications," and your blog was one of the hits. Every member of my immediate family (including myself) suffers from some sort of mental illness, and my husband gained approximately 80lbs. from taking Zyprexa when it was given to him (we made a very small amount of money off of Eli Lilly for that one).

I'm interested to see what you have to say about how eating habits can affect moods and interactions with medications.

hormonewoman said...

Hello MP! I'm glad you found me! And I hope the information is useful. It so happens this week I'm working on a booklet that's an introduction to some of this information. Now that the blog is getting longer, it's a bit overwhelming to go through it in an organized fashion. The booklet will be a bedside/coffeetable introduction that will hopefully address that.

Hope to see/hear from you soon!