Background: Antipsychotic-induced metabolic side effects are major concerns in
psychopharmacology and clinical psychiatry. Their pathogenetic mechanisms are still not elucidated.
Methods: Herein, we review the impact of neurotransmitters on metabolic regulation, providing
insights into antipsychotic-induced metabolic side effects.
Results: Antipsychotic drugs seem to interfere with feeding behaviors and energy balance,
processes that control metabolic regulation. Reward and energy balance centers in central nervous
system constitute the central level of metabolic regulation. The peripheral level consists of skeletal
muscles, the liver, the pancreas, the adipose tissue and neuroendocrine connections. Neurotransmitter
receptors have crucial roles in metabolic regulation and they are also targets of antipsychotic drugs.
Interaction of antipsychotics with neurotransmitters could have both protective and harmful effects
Conclusion: Emerging evidence suggests that antipsychotics have different liabilities to induce
obesity, diabetes and dyslipidemia. However this diversity cannot be explained merely by
drugs’pharmacodynamic profiles, highlighting the need for further research.