A few years ago, there was a study from China on how to treat weight gain induced by medications. The Chinese study involved use of the drug, Metformin, to help reduce weight gain. Metformin is a very old antidiabetic drug and today is widely used in the treatment of Type 2 diabetics. The drug can help reduce weight and decrease glucose levels. In the Chinese study, treatment with Metformin, in addition to dietary changes and increased physical activity, reversed weight gain in some people who took antipsychotic medications. Not everyone had the same result, but overall it is claimed the drug did wonders.
There is no question that Metformin is a good antidiabetic drug and can help obese individuals lose weight. However, this Chinese study is very questionable.
Metformin is only recommended for use in Type 2 diabetics. The drug can significantly lower blood sugars. If a nondiabetic takes Metformin, he or she will develop hypoglycemia, and if not treated urgently, can go into a coma. There is no sane physician in North America who will prescribe Metformin to a nondiabetic - this is a sure invitation for a lawsuit. Therefore, results of the Chinese study should be taken with a grain of salt.
Metformin may, however, be a worthwhile option in a Type 2 diabetic who is obese and has psychosis. Other than these individuals, the drug should not be empirically prescribed for weight loss. The courageous physician who wants to prescribe Metformin to a nondiabetic should ensure that these individuals always carry a sugar drink with them all the time, have blood glucose levels checked regularly and increase his or her malpractice insurance.
So for the time being, unfortunately, there is very little in terms of medications that can help one lose weight while taking antipsychotic drugs. The safest way to reduce weight is to eat less and walk more. This may sound dull and boring, but it works better than any other weight loss therapy, and it saves you a lot of money.