Patients with severe mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, are at increased risk of
developing metabolic disorders including obesity, diabetes, and dyslipidemia. All of these comorbidities increase
the risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality. Different approaches, including diet and lifestyle modifications,
behavioral therapy and switching antipsychotic agents, have been proposed to manage these metabolic abnormalities.
However, these interventions may be insufficient, impractical or fail to counteract the metabolic dysregulation.
Consequently, a variety of pharmacological agents such as antidiabetic drugs, have been studied in an attempt to
reverse the weight gain and metabolic abnormalities evident in these patients. Despite a significant effect, many of
these treatments are used off-label. This qualitative review focuses on pharmacological agents that could offer significant benefits in the
management of cardio-metabolic disorders associated with serious mental illness.
Keywords: Antipsychotic-induced weight gain, bipolar disorder, cardiovascular risk, metformin, metabolic syndrome, off-label use, schizophrenia,
severe mental illness.
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