Effects of Olanzapine on Lipid Abnormalities in Elderly Psychotic Patients

Yoram Barak*, Dov Aizenberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Recently concern regarding the cause or worsening of diabetes mellitus by some of the second-generation antipsychotics and their adverse affects on lipid metabolism has caused growing concern amongst physicians and patients. This study aims to assess these effects in elderly patients with schizophrenia. Methods: In a prospective 6-month follow-up study of elderly inpatients experiencing an acute psychotic exacerbation and exposed to olanzapine for the first time, patients underwent physical and psychiatric assessments including: routine laboratory tests (including serum cholesterol and triglycerides levels), and bodyweight and clinical rating scale measurement. All tests and evaluations were performed at baseline and at the end of study. Results: Twenty-one elderly patients with schizophrenia (15 women and six men) mean age 71.7 ± 8.2 years were included. All were diagnosed according to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th edition) as patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. Mean duration of olanzapine treatment was 289 days (SD ± 139) and the mean olanzapine dosage at the end of the study was 12.9 mg/day. At the end of the study, no significant change from baseline serum lipid levels were found for triglycerides (paired differences = -12.8 [SD ± 38.5], 95% CI -30.3 to +4.7, t = -1.5, df = 20, p = 0.143) or cholesterol (paired differences = -9.0 [SD ± 43.5], 95% CI = -28.8 to +10.8, t = -0.95, df = 20, p = 0.355). Conclusion: The association between olanzapine exposure and lipid abnormalities may not hold true for older patients. Larger studies with elderly patients are needed to support the present report.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)893-896
Number of pages4
JournalDrugs and Aging
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2003


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