Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine
  Home | About Us | Editorial Board | Search | Ahead of print | Current Issue | Archives | Instructions | Contact | Advertise | Submission | Login 
Users Online: 114 
Wide layoutNarrow layoutFull screen layoutHome Print this page Email this page Small font sizeDefault font sizeIncrease font size

 Table of Contents    
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 34  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 85-86  

Successful Use of Add - On Topiramate for Antipsychotic - Induced Weight Gain

Department of Psychiatry, The Metabolic Clinic in Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Date of Web Publication15-May-2012

Correspondence Address:
Venkataram Shivakumar
Department of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Hosur Road, Bangalore, Karnataka - 560 029
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0253-7176.96168

Rights and Permissions

Antipsychotic induced weight gain is the most common and distressing side effect. This also affects the compliance toward the treatment and hence the prognosis. Non - pharmacological interventions such as exercise and diet modifications alone might not be sufficient most of the times; also ensuring compliance toward this is difficult in patients with psychiatric illness. So, the role of weight - reducing drugs become important. In this case report, we describe the use of low - dose topiramate as a weight - reducing agent, in a patient with a bipolar affective disorder - mania with psychotic symptoms, who had significant risperidone - induced weight gain.

Keywords: Antipsychotics, bipolar affective disorder, topiramate, weight gain

How to cite this article:
Shivakumar V, Jayaram N, Rao NP, Venkatasubramanian G. Successful Use of Add - On Topiramate for Antipsychotic - Induced Weight Gain. Indian J Psychol Med 2012;34:85-6

How to cite this URL:
Shivakumar V, Jayaram N, Rao NP, Venkatasubramanian G. Successful Use of Add - On Topiramate for Antipsychotic - Induced Weight Gain. Indian J Psychol Med [serial online] 2012 [cited 2020 Jun 3];34:85-6. Available from:

   Introduction Top

Weight gain is one of the commonest and most distressing side effects of antipsychotics that can add to the morbidity and mortality of the disease being treated. Weight gain can be counteracted through pharmacological and non - pharmacological interventions. Pharmacological management includes use of weight - reducing drugs. [1] Topiramate is one of the weight - reducing agents that has been used successfully in reducing antipsychotic - induced weight gain. Topiramate has been reported to reduce body weight in patients treated for seizures, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and binge - eating disorders with obesity. [2],[3],[4],[5] Studies have reported a significant body weight reduction with doses of topiramate ranging from 100 to 300 mg/day. [3] In this case report, we describe a patient of bipolar affective disorder (BPAD) mania with psychotic symptoms who showed a significant body weight reduction with very low dose of topiramate.

   Case Report Top

Ms C an 18-year-old woman, congenitally deaf and mute, educated up to high school, a case of BPAD mania with psychotic symptoms (International Classification of Diseases - 10) in remission, presented to us with a significant weight gain while on treatment with 6 mg/ day of risperidone, 200 mg/day of chlorpromazine, and 4 mg/day of trihexyphenidyl. Her parents complained of a significant weight gain of 18 kg over a span of 5 months. Then she was started on 25 mg/day of topiramate with a gradual increase in dose to 50 mg/day over 1 week. At the same time, chlorpromazine was withdrawn.

After 2 weeks of starting topiramate, her parents noticed reduction in her appetite. Within 1 month she had lost 2 kg. During this course, she also complained of amenorrhea, for which she was evaluated with serum prolactin levels and ultrasound abdomen. Her serum prolactin levels were elevated (48.3 ng/ml), and her ovaries showed features suggestive of polycystic ovarian disease (PCOD). She was started on 10 mg/day of aripiprazole. During her next follow - up, i.e., after 2 months, she showed a weight loss of 3 kg. This time she was planned to gradually reduce risperidone dose while continuing other medications (risperidone was gradually reduced and finally stopped over a period of 12 months). She was continuously monitored for weight and body mass index measurements. She showed a gradual decline in weight at a rate of 2 - 3 kg every 2 months. After 15 months of treatment with topiramate, she had lost nearly 18 kg, and had reached near pre-morbid weight without any adverse effects. Only pharmacological interventions were done, and no lifestyle or diet modifications were practiced inspite of repeated advice. Her serum prolactin levels also reduced gradually (33.07 ng/ml) after 6 months of starting aripiprazole along with regularization of menstrual cycles.

   Discussion Top

This case report suggests the usefulness of topiramate as an adjuvant in reversing the weight gain caused by antipsychotics. In this case scenario, aripiprazole, an atypical antipsychotic with additional weight - reducing property, [6] might appear to have contributed to the weight loss,; but the clinical course clearly indicates the onset of weight loss even before the start of aripiprazole. It also raises the question of whether withdrawal of chlorpromazine contributed to the weight loss. But there was no increase in appetite when she was on chlorpromazine and her appetite decreased after adding topiramate. Topiramate, in addition to its weight - reducing property, also has mood - stabilizing properties, which can be an added benefit in the management of mood disorders. [7] To summarize, our observation reports a significant weight loss with a very low dose of topiramate, i.e., 25 - 50 mg/day, in contrast to other studies. [3] Hence we conclude that topiramate can be used as a potential weight - reducing agent in patients on antipsychotics with significant weight gain.

   References Top

1.Baptista T, ElFakih Y, Uzcátegui E, Sandia I, Tálamo E, Araujo de Baptista E, et al. Pharmacological management of atypical antipsychotic - induced weight gain. CNS Drugs 2008;22:477 - 95.  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Bray GA, Hollander P, Klein S, Kushner R, Levy B, Fitchet M, et al. A 6 - month randomized, placebo - controlled, dose - ranging trial of topiramate for weight loss in obesity. Obes Res 2003;11:722 - 33.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Ko YH, Joe SH, Jung IK, Kim SH. Topiramate as an adjuvant treatment with atypical antipsychotics in schizophrenic patients experiencing weight gain. Clin Neuropharmacol 2005;28:169 - 75.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.Nickel C, Tritt K, Muehlbacher M, Pedrosa Gil F, Mitterlehner FO, Kaplan P, et al. Topiramate treatment in bulimia nervosa patients: A randomized, double - blind, placebo - controlled trial. Int J Eat Disord 2005;38:295 - 300.  Back to cited text no. 4
5.Roy Chengappa KN, Levine J, Rathore D, Parepally H, Atzert R. Long - term effects of topiramate on bipolar mood instability, weight change and glycemic control: A case-series. Eur Psychiatry 2001;16:186 - 90.  Back to cited text no. 5
6.Casey DE, Carson WH, Saha AR, Liebeskind A, Ali MW, Jody D, et al. Switching patients to aripiprazole from other antipsychotic agents: A multicenter randomized study. Psychopharmacology (Berl) 2003;166:391- 9.  Back to cited text no. 6
7.Chengappa KN, Rathore D, Levine J, Atzert R, Solai L, Parepally H, et al. Topiramate as add-on treatment for patients with bipolar mania. Bipolar Disord 1999;1:42 - 53.  Back to cited text no. 7


    Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
    Access Statistics
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

  In this article
   Case Report

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded61    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal