Double-blind, randomized, clinical trial of metformin as add-on treatment with clozapine in treatment of schizophrenia disorder

Paria Hebrani, Ali Akhoundpour Manteghi, Majid Nabizadeh Marvast, Elham Hessami, Kambiz Akhavan Rezayat, Fatemeh Behdani, Amir Akhavan Rezayat


Background: One of the major causes of death in schizophrenia is a metabolic syndrome. The  clozapine has the highest rate of weight gain among antipsychotics. It has been shown that metformin can promote weight loss. We aimed to investigate the effect of metformin as an adjunctive therapy with clozapine to prevent metabolic syndrome in patients with schizophrenia. Materials and Methods: A total of 37 patients consisting metformin group (19 cases) and a group of placebo consisting of 18 cases were evaluated. A brief psychiatric rating scale score (BPRS) and metabolic profi les was determined for all patients. All of the variables were also determined at 2, 8, 16, and 20 weeks after the onset of the study. Results: The mean age of the group of metformin was 47.2 ± 10.4 compared with 45.8 ± 10.2 for the group of placebo. The difference in mean waist circumference and serum level of triglyceride at baseline compared with the end of study showed a statistically significant difference between two groups (P = 0. 000). A statistically significant difference was also observed in a comparison of mean difference of weight and body mass index at baseline compared with end of study (P = 0. 000). There was a statistically significant difference of fasting blood sugar (P = 0.011) and serum high-density lipoprotein (P = 0.000) between two groups but this difference was not significant for mean BPRS scores, mean systolic and diastolic blood pressure, serum level of triiodothyronine, thyroxin and thyroid stimulating hormone, serum low-density lipoprotein and serum cholesterol. Conclusion: Metformin could be considered an adjunctive therapy with clozapine to prevent metabolic syndrome in schizophrenic patients.

Key words: Clozapine, metformin, schizophrenia

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