Exenatide Did Not Promote Weight Loss in Patients With Schizophrenia

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HealthDay News -- For antipsychotic-treated obese patients with schizophrenia, glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1RAs) do not appear to promote weight loss, according to a study published online in Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism.

Pelle L. Ishøy, MD, from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, and colleagues examined the metabolic effects of the GLP-1RA exenatide once weekly in antipsychotic-treated obese patients with schizophrenia (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01794429). Patients were randomly assigned to 3 months of once-weekly injections of exenatide (23 patients) or placebo (22 patients). Forty patients completed the trial.

The researchers found that the exenatide and placebo groups experienced significant (P= .004) but similar (P= .98) weight losses (2.24±3.3 kg and 2.23±4.4 kg, respectively) after 3 months of treatment.

"Treatment with exenatide once-weekly did not promote weight loss in obese, antipsychotic-treated patients with schizophrenia compared to placebo," the researchers wrote. "Our results could suggest that the body weight-lowering effect of GLP-1RAs involves dopaminergic signaling, but blockade of other receptor systems may also play a role. Nevertheless, anti-obesity regimens effective in the general population may not be readily implemented in antipsychotic-treated patients with schizophrenia."

Disclosures: Several authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies, including AstraZeneca, the manufacturer of exenatide.


  1. Ishøy PL, Knop FK, Broberg BV, et al. Effect of GLP-1 receptor agonist treatment on body weight in obese antipsychotic-treated patients with schizophrenia: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial byline. Diabetes Obes Metab. 2016 Sep 26. doi:10.1111/dom.12795 [Epub ahead of print]
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