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Metabolic Syndrome Risk Doubles With Schizophrenia Drug

(PSYCHIATRIC TIMES) - MedPage Today Action Points

o Explain to interested patients that the antipsychotic medication clozapine is associated with increased risk for metabolic syndrome in patients with schizophrenia.

o Monitor patients who are taking Clozaril (clozapine) for body mass index, lipid levels, fasting blood glucose levels, and blood pressure.

ROCHESTER, N.Y., July 11 -- Patients taking the antipsychotic Clozaril (clozapine) for schizophrenia need to be monitored for signs of metabolic syndrome, according to investigators here.

In a study evaluating patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder taking Clozaril, more than half had metabolic syndrome symptoms, compared with only one-fifth of matched controls, said psychiatrist J. Steven Lamberti, M.D., of the University of Rochester (N.Y.) Medical Center.

"This study suggests that patients who need the most effective medication are between a rock and a hard place," Dr. Lamberti and colleagues reported in the July issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

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