CINCINNATI—Researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) are studying the effectiveness of a commonly used diabetes drug for the treatment of weight gain associated with the administration of a drug that is used for treatment of individuals with certain mood disorders.
Studies suggest that olanzapine (trade name Zyprexa) is highly effective for the treatment of individuals with bipolar disorder, major depression and schizophrenia. However, weight gain and impaired glucose tolerance are significant concerns associated with olanzapine.
Researchers in UC’s department of psychiatry and behavioral neuroscience will conduct a 16-week double-blind study of exenatide (trade name Byetta), which is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as therapy in adults with type 2 diabetes. (In a double-blind study, neither the investigator nor the subject knows whether the subject receives drug or placebo.)
Mental health patients who are treated with olanzapine often report an inability to stop eating. Exenatide, the injectible study drug, has been associated with reduced food intake in healthy subjects and with weight loss in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Researchers led by Melissa DelBello, MD, an associate professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral neuroscience, will explore the effectiveness of exenatide in reducing appetite or enhancing satiety in overweight or obese adults (ages 18-55) with mental illness who are treated with olanzapine.
"Olanzapine is often very effective for people with psychiatric disorders; however, significant weight gain is a common side effect,” says DelBello. "We are investigating a possible solution to that weight gain.”
Subjects will be evaluated weekly for the first month and every other week for the remainder of the 16-week study. Adults interested in participating should call (513) 558-4295.
Eli Lilly and Company, makers of Zyprexa, and Amylin Pharmaceuticals, makers of Byetta, are providing research support for the study. DelBello has consulted in the past for Eli Lilly; she reports no conflict of interest with Amylin.