Adam Simmons Discusses Weight Gain as a Cause of Nonadherence to Olanzapine

July 12, 2019

Olanzapine is an effective antipsychotic medication, but the associated weight gain is the number one cause of discontinuation, explained Adam Simmons, director of clinical program management, Alkermes, during an interview at the 175th Annual Meeting of the American Psychiatric Association in San Francisco, California. An investigational drug, ALKS 3831, aims to mitigate the weight gain associated with olanzapine.

Olanzapine is an effective antipsychotic medication, but the associated weight gain is the number one cause of discontinuation, explained Adam Simmons, director of clinical program management, Alkermes, during an interview at the 175th Annual Meeting of the American Psychiatric Association in San Francisco, California. An investigational drug, ALKS 3831, aims to mitigate the weight gain associated with olanzapine.

Transcript

Where does weight gain rank among the causes of nonadherence to olanzapine?

In terms of nonadherence, specifically related to olanzapine, there was a study that was done back when a lot of these antipsychotics first came to market called the CATIE [Clinical Antipsychotic Trials of Intervention Effectiveness] Study, and what they did in that study is they looked at all-cause discontinuation, another measure of antipsychotic adherence, and whether or not people stay on these medications. And olanzapine was the antipsychotic medication that people stayed on the longest in comparison to other second-generation antipsychotics as well as some of the first-generation antipsychotics. So it’s already established as something that people can stay on, but if you look into that data a little bit further and you look at the reasons that people discontinue olanzapine, the number one reason is because weight gain and metabolic side effects. So the thought here is that if we take a drug that’s already established and has very good efficacy and that has very good adherence and people stay on anyway, and we can remove the one reason that people typically choose to discontinue it, that people would be able to stay on the medication longer.