n African Journal of Psychiatry - Screening for metabolic syndrome-adherence to guidelines : scientific letter

Volume 14, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1994-8220



Olanzapine is a widely prescribed second generation antipsychotic (SGA) that can lead to metabolic syndrome. SGAs are not a homogeneous class, and differ from each other in many ways. The risk for metabolic syndrome is significantly higher with olanzapine than other second generation antipsychotics. It is neccessary for prescribing doctors to be aware of this risk in order to prevent it; and/or manage it appropriately. Psychiatric patients face numerous barriers with regard to access and quality of medical care. They especially receive poorer care for chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. This leads to an increased risk of premature death. Addressing the physical needs of mentally ill patients needs to be given priority. Guidelines such as those arising from the Consensus Development Conference on Antipsychotic Drugs and Obesity and Diabetes, have been formulated for monitoring metabolic status. The current study aimed to establish the extent to which metabolic and cardiovascular screening and monitoring was undertaken on patients prescribed olanzapine in a specialist psychiatric hospital setting. The hypothesis was that screening was suboptimal (i.e. less than 100%).

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