Atypical antipsychotics and effects on feeding: from mice to men Journal Articles uri icon

  • Overview
  • Research
  • Identity
  • Additional Document Info
  • View All


  • RATIONALE: So-called atypical antipsychotics (AAPs) are associated with varying levels of weight gain and associated metabolic disturbances, which in patients with serious mental illness (SMI) have been linked to non-compliance and poor functional outcomes. Mechanisms underlying AAP-induced metabolic abnormalities are only partially understood. Antipsychotic-induced weight gain may occur as a result of increases in food intake and/or changes in feeding. OBJECTIVE: In this review, we examine the available human and preclinical literature addressing AAP-related changes in feeding behavior, to determine whether changes in appetite and perturbations in regulation of food intake could be contributing factors to antipsychotic-induced weight gain. RESULTS: In general, human studies point to disruption by AAPs of feeding behaviors and food consumption. In rodents, increases in cumulative food intake are mainly observed in females; however, changes in feeding microstructure or motivational aspects of food intake appear to occur independent of sex. CONCLUSIONS: The findings from this review indicate that the varying levels of AAP-related weight gain reflect changes in both appetite and feeding behaviors, which differ by type of AAP. However, inconsistencies exist among the studies (both human and rodent) that may reflect considerable differences in study design and methodology. Future studies examining underlying mechanisms of antipsychotic-induced weight gain are recommended in order to develop strategies addressing the serious metabolic side effect of AAPs.


  • Benarroch, Louise
  • Kowalchuk, Chantel
  • Wilson, Virginia
  • Teo, Celine
  • Guenette, Melanie
  • Chintoh, Araba
  • Nesarajah, Yasika
  • Taylor, Valerie
  • Selby, Peter
  • Fletcher, Paul
  • Remington, Gary J
  • Hahn, Margaret K

publication date

  • July 2016