Article Text

  1. V. M. Kelly*,
  2. A. L. Hulebak*,
  3. J. Yager**,
  4. K. J. Fraser**
  1. *Department of School of Medicine
  2. **Department of Psychiatry, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM.


Purpose To determine the prevalence of obesity and night-eating syndrome (NES) in persons taking long-acting injectable antipsychotic medications.

Background Many patients taking atypical antipsychotic medications become obese. Case reports have also described that some patients taking antipsychotic and mood-stabilizing medications develop new-onset NES, a potential contributor to the development of obesity.

Methods Participants were 100 patients at the University of New Mexico Psychiatric Clinic receiving monthly or bimonthly injections of Haldol decanoate®, Prolixin decanoate®, or risperidol (Consta®). Patients' weight and height measurements were obtained, converted into a body mass index (kg/m2) score, and classified as normal weight, overweight, or obese. Medical record review included participants' mental health diagnoses, demographic information, and notation of other concurrent oral antipsychotic, antidepressant, or mood-stabilizing medications being prescribed for the patients. Patients were assessed for characteristics of NES with Stunkard's standardized NES survey. Usable self-report data were collected on 96 (96%) of the patients enrolled.

Results Participants did not exhibit a greater prevalence of obesity and overweight when compared with data reported for the general population. The prevalence of NES (n = 3; 3.13%) was less than figures that have been reported for the general population (9%). Forty-one percent of patients receiving Haldol decanoate, 24% of those receiving Prolixin decanoate, and 21% of those receiving Consta were obese; 60 patients (62.5%) were smokers.

Conclusions In this sample, neither the prevalence of obesity nor of NES is greater among patients receiving long-acting injection antipsychotic medications compared with rates reported for the general US population. Limitations of this study include small sample size, confoundance with tobacco use, socioeconomic influences on access to food and shelter, the concurrent use of other psychiatric medications, including sleeping medications, the inability on the part of some patients to accurately complete the survey secondary to illiteracy and/or active psychosis, and the lack of an actual control group.

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