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Does Latuda cause weight gain?

Medically reviewed by Leigh Ann Anderson, PharmD. Last updated on July 21, 2020.

Official Answer

by Drugs.com

Latuda (generic name: lurasidone) has a low risk for weight gain in adults and children with schizophrenia or bipolar depression, but this can vary in individual patients. In general, Latuda caused minimal weight gain either in the short-term or the longer-term studies conducted by the manufacturer. In general, antipsychotics as a class can be associated with weight gain as a common side effect and it is often dose-related.

In children ages 10 to 17 years receiving Latuda for bipolar disorder, weight increase is listed in the product labeling as a common side effect that occurred in at least 5% (5 out of every 100) of patients in this group. However, one study noted weight gain in children 6 to 17 years as non-significant when compared to normal expected weight gain curves for this age group.

While taking Latuda, it is important that your doctor monitor you for changes in your weight over time, as weight gain can increase your risk for serious effects, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attack or stroke. Antipsychotics can also be associated with changes in lipids (such as cholesterol or LDL) and blood glucose (sugar).

Schizophrenia

Adults

In short-term (6-week) studies of Latuda in adults, the average weight gain was 0.43 kg (0.95 lb) for Latuda-treated patients compared to a loss of 0.02 kg (0.04 lb) for patients who received an inactive treatment (placebo). In other studies comparing treatment with other antipsychotics, weight gain was greater, such as with olanzapine (4.15 kg or 9.15 lb) or quetiapine (2.09 kg or 4.61 lb).

The proportion of patients with at least a 7% increase in body weight at the end of the study was 4.8% for Latuda-treated patients and 3.3% for placebo-treated patients. For example, in a 70 kg (154 lb) person, a weight gain of 7% is equal to 4.9 kg (10.8 lb).

In 52-week long, uncontrolled schizophrenia studies (primarily open-label extension studies), Latuda was associated with weight loss ranging from 0.59 kg (1.3 lbs) to 0.73 kg (1.6 lbs).

Adolescents (13-17 years)

In adolescent patients, the average weight change in short-term studies was a gain of 0.5 kg (1.1 lbs). Placebo-treated adolescents gained an average weight of 0.2 kg (0.4 lbs).

The proportion of adolescents with at least a 7% increase in body weight at the end of the study was 3.3% for Latuda-treated patients and 4.5% for placebo-treated patients.

Bipolar Depression

Adults: Monotherapy studies

When Latuda was used alone (as monotherapy) for treatment in adults with bipolar depression in short-term studies, a mean weight gain of 0.29 kg (0.64 lbs) was seen. The placebo (inactive) group lost 0.04 kg (0.09 lbs).

After 6 weeks, 2.4% of patients receiving Latuda had a weight gain of at least 7%, while the placebo group had a weight loss of 0.7% from baseline.

Patients who continued Latuda treatment up to 24 weeks had an average weight loss of 0.02 kg (0.04 lbs).

Adults: Use of Latuda with lithium or valproate

In other studies of patients with bipolar depression, Latuda was dosed from 20 to 120 mg per day and given in combination with lithium or valproate. A minimal weight gain of 0.11 kg (0.24 lbs) occurred in patients taking Latuda plus lithium or valproate, while patients receiving placebo plus lithium or valproate had a weight gain of 0.16 kg (0.35 lbs).

In longer-term, 24-week studies, patients receiving Latuda plus lithium or valproate had an average weight gain of 1.28 kg (2.8 lbs) after 24 weeks.

Bipolar depression: Children 10 to 17 years of age

The mean weight change in children 10 to 17 years of age was a gain of 0.7 kg (1.5 lb) for the Latuda group compared to a gain of 0.5 kg (1.1 lb) in the placebo group.

The proportion of patients with at least a 7% increase in body weight after 6 weeks of treatment was 4.0% for Latuda-treated patients and 5.3% for placebo-treated patients.

A long-term (104 week), open-label study enrolled 378 children with schizophrenia, bipolar depression, or autistic disorder. The mean increase in weight from the beginning of the study to Week 104 was 5.85 kg. However, when weight gain was adjusted for normal growth using z-scores, no significant differences were seen from the normal expected growth curve for weight gain.

Can I lose weight with Latuda?

Latuda may help people who have gained weight on other antipsychotic treatments lose weight.

In a study conducted by the manufacturer, 240 patients who were switched from various other antipsychotics to Latuda. The top antipsychotics that patients were switched from included: quetiapine (25.8%), risperidone (21.3%), aripiprazole (18.3%), ziprasidone (11.3%), and olanzapine (10.0%). At the end of 6 weeks, patients lost an average of 0.3 kg (0.66 lb) after the switch to Latuda.

One retrospective study found that treatment with Latuda was associated with weight loss in patients with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Patients lost an average of 0.77 kg (1.7 lb) during the 12-month follow-up period. Weight reduction was greater in a group of patients who had previously received atypical antipsychotics with a medium or high risk for weight gain.

Bottom Line

  • Studies suggest that Latuda has minimal effects on weight gain in children or adults with schizophrenia or bipolar depression over the long-term.
  • The proportion of patients with at least a 7% increase in body weight after at least 6 weeks of treatment with Latuda ranged from 2.4% to 4.8% of patients compared to 0.7% to 5.3% for patients who received a placebo (inactive) treatment.
  • If switched, Latuda may have a role in helping patients lose weight gained from other antipsychotic treatments. However, all antipsychotics can be linked with weight gain and patients should be regularly monitored for this effect throughout treatment.

This is not all the information you need to know about Latuda for safe and effective use. Review the full Latuda prescribing information here, and discuss this information with your doctor or other health care provider.

References
  • Latuda (lurasidone) [prescribing information]. Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc. December 2019. Accessed July 21, 2020 at https://www.latuda.com/LatudaPrescribingInformation.pdf
  • Meyer JM, Ng-Mak DS, Chuang CC, et al. Weight changes before and after lurasidone treatment: a real-world analysis using electronic health records. Ann Gen Psychiatry. 2017;16:36. Published 2017 Oct 17. doi:10.1186/s12991-017-0159-x

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