Pharmacopsychiatry 2003; 36 - 124
DOI: 10.1055/s-2003-825375

Elevation of liver enzyme levels during psychopharmacological treatment is associated with weight gain

H Himmerich 1, C Kaufmann 1, A Schuld 1, T Pollmächer 1
  • 1Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Munich, Germany

Treatment with all kinds of psychotropic agents may elevate liver enzymes and may have hepatotoxic potential. Obesity was shown to be associated with raised liver enzymes in different non-psychiatric study samples. During the present study, 67 inpatients received five weeks of psychopharmacological treatment. Patients were weighted and gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT), aspartate-amino transferase (ASAT), alanine-amino transferase (ALAT), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α and its soluble receptors (sTNF-R) p55 and p75, leptin and interleukin-6 (IL-6) levels were determined weekly from baseline to the end of the fifth week of treatment. Body mass index (BMI) changes from baseline to the end of week five correlated significantly with ALAT (adjusted R2=0.365, p<0.001) and ASAT (adjusted R2=0.186, p<0.001) changes from baseline to the end of week five. Thus, in the present study weight gain during psychopharmacological treatment was associated with elevations in liver enzyme levels, which suggests that weight gain-associated metabolic changes affect the liver.