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Effective Anti - Psychotic Drugs Pack Health Risk

amberti said.

‘We need to raise the awareness of physicians about this issue so they monitor their patients and intervene promptly when required to prevent long-term adverse health consequences,’ Lamberti said.

Lamberti and his fellow researchers studied 93 patients at the Medical Center's Department of Psychiatry who had been receiving clozapine for at least six months. The patients were weighed, measured and tested for diabetes, blood lipids and blood pressure. The researchers then compared the patients to a group of about 2,700 individuals from a national database of health information for thousands of Americans. The comparison group was matched for age, body mass, and race or ethnicity.

The researchers found that 53.8 percent of the clozapine patients had metabolic syndrome. But only 20.7 percent of the comparison group had the same syndrome.

Many studies have shown that clozapine is associated with weight gain, but this is the first study to describe clozapine's link to metabolic syndrome.

‘People with schizophrenia are known to exercise less and have poor diets,’ Lamberti said. ‘Those factors contribute to metabolic syndrome. We can't say how much clozapine contributes to metabolic syndrome, but we have shown the high prevalence of the syndrome in those who take clozapine.’

The National Institutes of Health initiated the Clinical Antipsychotic Trials for Intervention Effectiveness investigation to determine the comparative effectiveness of several drugs.

In one major study, the investigators compared clozapine to new antipsychotic drugs in a group of patients that had not improved with the new drugs. In April, the investigators reported that clozapine was significantly more effective than the new medications. Patients receiving clozapine were less likely to discontinue treatment than those on other drugs.

Because of the findings of this NIH-sponsored study, Lamberti expects a surge
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