Premarketing trials of olanzapine reported an incidence of peripheral oedema of 3%. Outpatients, who were actively receiving treatment with olanzapine, were evaluated for peripheral oedema. Twenty-eight (57%) out of 49 subjects exhibited oedema, including five (10.2%) to a severe degree. There were no significant differences regarding gender, time/dose on olanzapine, concomitant diagnoses or psychotropic medication. There was a tendency (P < 0.10) for older age and greater frequency of thyroid abnormalities in those individuals with oedema. In the oedema group, there was a positive correlation (P < 0.05) between age and severity. Our finding, far from demonstrating that olanzapine causes oedema at this frequency, suggests that there maybe patients who are vulnerable to developing this side-effect.
aUCSD Department of Psychiatry, Sun Valley Behavioral Medical Center, Irvine, California
bDepartment of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
cDepartment of Neurology and Clinical Neurophysiology, Medical School of Hannover, Germany
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Received 13 June 2002 Accepted 29 October 2002