Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine
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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 34  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 247-254

Metabolic syndrome in patients with severe mental illness undergoing psychiatric rehabilitation receiving high dose antipsychotic medication

Consultant Psychiatrist, Rathbone Low Secure Unit, Liverpool, United Kingdom

Correspondence Address:
Bapu V Ravindranath
5 Childwall Lane, Liverpool L25 1PL
United Kingdom
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0253-7176.106021

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Background: To review evidence of chronic antipsychotic medication and the association with metabolic syndrome in mentally ill patients. This evidence was used to analyse a cohort of patients with severe mental illness and to deduce a correlation between the prevalence of metabolic syndrome and their dose regimens. Materials and Methods: Twenty-four male patients undergoing Psychiatric rehabilitation underwent a review of current medication and assessment of risk factors for metabolic syndrome. Assessment criteria was based upon National Cholesterol Education Programme expert panel on detection, evaluation and treatment of high blood cholesterol in adults (Adult Treatment Panel III) (NCEP ATP III) criteria, incorporating waist circumference, raised triglycerides, reduced high density lipoprotein, raised blood pressure and fasting blood glucose. PubMed, Nature and Science Direct databases have been used to compile the medical and scientific background on metabolic syndrome and antipsychotic medication and the effect on patients particularly on high dose. Results: Out of 24 patients, 10 patients (41.7%) were receiving high dose antipsychotics (HDA) and four were on maximum dosage limits of 100%. 8.3% (2/24) patients were receiving only one first generation antipsychotics (FGA), 37.5% (9/24) patients were receiving only one second generation antipsychotic (SGA), 45.8% patients (11/24) were receiving two or more SGA only, and only one patient was receiving two or more FGA. One patient was receiving a combination of FGA and SGA. PRN ("as needed") therapy was not included in this study as their usage was limited. Clozapine was mostly prescribed in these patients (10/24, 41.6%). Four out of the 24 patients refused blood tests therefore were excluded from the following results. In the patients evaluated, 55% (11/20) had confirmed metabolic syndrome. In these patients with metabolic syndrome, 45.4% (5/11) were on HDA and 27.3% (3/11) were on maximum British National Formulary (BNF) limits of 100% of dosage. Four out of the nine remaining patients not diagnosed with metabolic syndrome were on HDA. Conclusions: Evidence supports the association between antipsychotic medication and metabolic syndrome. The data extrapolated from this cohort of mentally ill patients demonstrates that there is an increase in risk factors for metabolic syndrome and weight gain in the majority of patients on antipsychotic medication. The data however does not support any further predisposition to metabolic syndrome in these patients taking HDA. It also cannot be assumed antipsychotic medication is independently associated with the prevalence of these abnormalities.

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