Rene Kahn, MD: Leveling Off Weight Gain in Schizophrenia Treatment

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Investigators confirmed olanzapine and samidorphan (LYBALVI) resulted in statistically significant less weight gain compared to patients with schizophrenia between 16-39 years treated with olanzapine.

Weight gain caused by treatment can be debilitating for patients, particularly for patients with schizophrenia, often leading to a lack of treatment adherence.

However, new data confirms that olanzapine and samidorphan (LYBALVI) did result in statistically significant less increased weight gain for patients with schizophrenia between 16-39 years compared to olanzapine on its own.

The confirming data came from the ENLIGHTEN-Early study, which investigators reviewed the data from the ENLIGHTEN trial series showing that the treatment does result in statistically significant less weight gain for patients while still providing efficacy against the disease.

In an interview with HCPLive®, René S. Kahn, MD, PhD., Esther and Joseph Klingenstein Professor & Chair, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health System at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, explained how the results should be a boost for patients with schizophrenia.

“We know that certain drugs cause more weight gain than others,” Kahn said. “So the physician will be able to figure out whether this was the medication or not.”

Kahn said there is generally initial weight gain when taking the medication. However, with this medication, the weight gain can levels off.

He said there is ample data supporting this drug and they will continue to monitor longer-term use while using it in clinical practice.