Skip to Content

Why does Rexulti cause weight gain?

Medically reviewed by Leigh Ann Anderson, PharmD. Last updated on Oct 19, 2020.

Official Answer

by Drugs.com

Key Points

  • Rexulti (brexpiprazole) is in a class of medicines known as atypical antipsychotics used to treat schizophrenia and depression.
  • Although effects can vary between patients, the atypical antipsychotic class is often associated with weight gain, possibly due to an increased appetite, less physical activity because of side effects like drowsiness or fatigue, and changes in metabolism.

Weight gain is one of the most commonly reported side effects of Rexulti in patients treated for either depression or schizophrenia. You and your healthcare provider should check your weight on a regular basis while taking this medicine.

Depression studies

In two 6-week long studies of adults with depression, 7% (7 out of every 100) of patients taking Rexulti plus an antidepressant reported an increase in body weight, compared with 2% of patients taking an antidepressant plus a placebo (an inactive treatment).

In studies of patients treated for depression with Rexulti, 4% of patients discontinued the treatment due to a weight increase. At the end of a one-year study, patients had gained an average of 3.1 kg (6.8 lb) from the start of the study. Results showed 30% of patients had a 7% or greater increase in body weight, while 4% had a 7% or greater decrease in body weight.

Schizophrenia studies

In studies of patients treated for schizophrenia, 0.6% of patients discontinued Rexulti treatment due to a weight increase. At the end of a one-year study, patients had gained an average of 2 kg (4.4 lb) from the start of the study. Results showed 20% of patients had a 7% or greater increase in body weight, while 10% had a 7% or greater decrease in body weight.

Rexulti may lead to other metabolic side effects that are linked with antipsychotic treatments, such as high blood sugar, type 2 diabetes, and increased lipids levels like cholesterol and triglycerides. Your doctor will monitor you for these changes.

Bottom Line

  • Rexulti (brexpiprazole) is in a class of medicines known as atypical antipsychotics used to treat schizophrenia and depression.
  • Weight gain is one of the most commonly reported side effects of Rexulti in patients treated for either depression or schizophrenia.
  • Although your results may vary, the atypical antipsychotic class is often associated with weight gain, possibly due to changes in metabolism, an increased appetite and less physical activity because of side effects like drowsiness or fatigue.

This is not all the information you need to know about Rexulti (brexpiprazole) for safe and effective use. Review the full Rexulti information here, and discuss this information and any questions you have with your doctor or other health care provider.

References
  • Rexulti (brexpiprazole) [product information]. Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. Rockville, MD. March 2020. Accessed Oct. 19, 2020 at https://www.otsuka-us.com/media/static/Rexulti-PI.pdf
  • Rexulti.com. Efficacy data for Rexulti. Accessed Oct. 19, 2020 at https://www.rexultihcp.com/sz/efficacy
  • Rexulti.com. Why Rexulti. Accessed Oct. 19, 2020 at https://www.rexulti.com/us/mdd/why-rexulti

Related Medical Questions

Drug Information

Related Support Groups