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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 237-242

A retrospective study of the metabolic adverse effects of antipsychotics, antidepressants, and mood stabilizers in the psychiatry outpatient clinic of a tertiary care hospital in south India

1 Department of Pharmacology, Psychiatry, Mahatma Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute (MGMCRI), Pondicherry, India
2 Senior Pharmacovigilance Physician, Quintiles, Bangalore, India
3 Core Trainee in Psychiatry, SHO in Psychotherapy, Therapeutic Community and Unity House, London, United Kingdom

Correspondence Address:
Kingshuk Lahon
Department of Pharmacology, Mahatma Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute (MGMCRI),Pondicherry - 607 402
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2231-0738.99477

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Background: Persons with severe mental illness are at relatively greater risk of developing obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and dyslipidemia as compared to the normal population. Psychotropic medication such as antipsychotics, antidepressants, and mood stabilizers may further increase the risk in these patients. Hence, we wanted to study the prevalence and pattern of metabolic adverse effects of antipsychotics, antidepressants, and mood stabilizers. Materials and Methods: We conducted a 1-year retrospective study of case records in the outpatient clinic of the psychiatric unit of our hospital and assessed the causality, severity, and preventability of the documented metabolic adverse events. We calculated prevalence rates by descriptive methods and used standard scales for assessing the causality, severity, and preventability of the adverse drug reactions (ADR). Results: Out of 222 patients who received antipsychotics, antidepressants, or mood stabilizers, 20 patients developed metabolic ADRs (9.01%), which included weight gain, hyperglycemia, dyslipidemia, and galactorrhea. These ADRs were possible to probable, mild to moderately severe, and probably preventable as per the respective scales. Conclusions: The prevalence of metabolic ADR was low but the pattern was similar to that found in previous studies from the West. Weight gain was the most common metabolic ADR, and olanzapine was the psychotropic drug most commonly responsible for causing metabolic ADRs. Awareness and timely intervention on the part of treating physicians can help in prevention (by lifestyle modification) and management of such ADRs (by change of drug and/or using specific treatment for the metabolic derangement, e.g., oral hypoglycemic drugs for diabetes mellitus) and thus help decrease the morbidity and mortality among psychiatric patients.

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