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Psychiatric medication induced obesity: an aetiologic review


TL Schwartz, Department of Psychiatry, SUNY Upstate Medical University, 750 East Adams Street, Syracuse, NY 13210, USA. E-mail:


A majority of psychiatric medications are known to generate weight gain and ultimately obesity in some patients. There is much speculation about the prevalence of weight gain and the degree of weight gain during acute and longitudinal treatment, but consensus shows that weight gain is prominent. The present review looked at the aetiology and cause of weight gain associated with psychotropic use and presents hypotheses as to why patients gain weight on antipsychotics, mood stabilizers and antidepressants. It is found that most psychotropic medications induce some weight gain, and clinicians are encouraged to utilize active interventions to alleviate the weight gain in order to prevent more serious obesity related comorbidities.