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Can Lybalvi Help You Lose Weight?

Can Lybalvi Help You Lose Weight?
Dr. Constance Odom, MD Picture of Dr. Constance Odom, MD

Medically reviewed by

Written by our editorial team.

Last Edited 8 min read

The toll of carrying excess weight can be hard on the body and mind. It can cause great stress, especially when the weight gain is persistent and normal weight loss interventions are ineffective. The lack of results achieved from standard weight loss aids has led to professionals looking to some non-traditional classes of medication for help. Recently, an antipsychotic drug called Lybalvi has been in the spotlight as one of those non-traditional options that can potentially help accelerate fat loss processes and eliminate stagnant, stubborn fat. But does it work?

We take a more detailed look at Lybalvi to see if the product can help optimize weight loss below:

What is Lybalvi?

Lybalvi is a branded, FDA-approved prescription drug specifically created to treat mood/psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder in adults. Unlike most treatments that contain just one active ingredient, Lybalvi contains two—olanzapine and samidorphan. Olanzapine is classified as an antipsychotic drug, and samidorphan is an opioid antagonist. Antipsychotics work to combat symptoms of mental health issues, while opioid antagonists block the activation of opioid receptors to regulate abnormal brain activity. Together these ingredients form a balanced treatment that manages the symptoms of mood disorders. The treatment can be used alone or in combination with other medicines, such as lithium (Lithobid) or valproate.

How Does Lybalvi Work?

Lybalvi and weight loss is a concept that is quite impossible to understand from looking at Lybalvi at a glance, but the theory is not completely unfounded. As mentioned above, Lybalvi contains two active drugs: olanzapine and samidorphan. These ingredients predominantly affect mental processes to stop physical manifestations of mood/psychiatric disorders, which manage their symptoms. 

The exact mechanism of action (how this drug works) to treat these disorders is unknown, but there is evidence that points to the active ingredient, olanzapine, which regulates moods by affecting the neurotransmitters—dopamine and serotonin. Olanzapine's effect on these neurotransmitters could also be the primary reason behind weight loss claims. The effects of olanzapine paired with Lybalvi's second active ingredient, samidorphan, can induce weight loss in some cases. 

A clinical study in The American Journal of Psychiatry states that the olanzapine/samidorphan combination is associated with less weight gain and smaller waist circumference increases in situations where patients typically see weight gain. This proves the efficacy of the treatment and opens use up to a wider patient group, specifically those with issues such as obesity. 

How Lybalvi Could Possibly Trigger Weight Loss 

Weight/fat loss can be achieved using several approaches that affect either mental or physical capabilities. Lybalvi is a drug that firmly sits on mental manipulation. The drug encourages and manipulates the mind into feeling a specific way by influencing the function/production of core neurotransmitters. Below we look at how Lybalvi's regulating effects on the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine can support weight loss:

1. Curbing appetites and cravings

  • Serotonin

Evidence shows that serotonin influences the brain's melanocortin system, which is partly responsible for regulating our weight. The neurotransmitter activates neurons that decrease appetites while blocking others that increase appetite. Regulated serotonin levels curbs appetites, lowering calorie intakes—weight loss.

  • Dopamine

Clinical data shows that dopamine tells us when our appetites are satisfied— regulating our food consumption. Individuals who struggle with weight issues suffer from low dopamine levels, which is why they consume excessive amounts of food to get feelings of fullness/reward. Regulated dopamine levels decrease cravings, limit unhealthy eating—weight loss.

2. Burn more calories

  • Serotonin

Studies show that low serotonin levels cause the body to store excessive amounts of fat. Correcting any imbalances involving the hormone or promoting/regulating serotonin can stop the storage of fat—weight loss. 

  • Dopamine

Research shows that regulated dopamine levels promote energy and motivation, which helps users become more focused on their goal of losing weight. It gives users the boost they need to physically push themselves with exercise and diet initiatives. This boosts metabolisms, accelerating fat burning—weight loss. 

3. Reduce emotional eating

  • Serotonin and Dopamine

Imbalanced serotonin and dopamine levels lead to emotional eating, as the correct pleasure and reward signals are not sent out. Excessive calorie intake then fuel weight gain. Thus, the regulation of serotonin can stop emotional eating leading to weight loss. 

These effects are thought to be carried out specifically by the active ingredient olanzapine. However, there is some evidence that opposes these weight loss claims.

The Opposing Evidence 

Olanzapine is one of the most effective antipsychotic ingredients on the market, but its use is limited in most instances by weight gain. This is one of the primary reasons why chemists added the second active ingredient, samidorphan, to the Lybalvi formula. As an opioid receptor antagonist, samidorphan can potentially reduce the weight gain associated with olanzapine use.

A comprehensive search conducted on the PubMed archives showed extensive amounts of evidence linking samidorphan to stopping olanzapine-fueled weight gain. The PubMed data shows that adding samidorphan to the Lybalvi formula helps users extract the potent antipsychotic effects of olanzapine without experiencing weight gain. So, although olanzapine use is linked to improved/regulated serotonin and dopamine levels, the agent has flaws as a weight loss aid. 

In most instances, it might trigger weight loss, leading users to a plateau that is followed by weight gain. This brings us to the conclusion that samidorphan is the weight loss agent in the formula, but alone, samidorphan cannot produce weight-reducing effects.

Possible Side Effects of Lybalvi for Weight Loss

Side effects are adverse effects often occur at the beginning of treatment plans. It signals the body becoming used to a new agent/ingredient in the circulatory system. Mild side effects are usually not caused for concern and disappear soon after the body becomes familiar with the changes caused by a treatment. But there are cases where side effects can harm a user's health. These harmful effects are typically attributed to misuse, allergies, patient incompatibility, and more. 

Although Lybalvi may promote weight loss or prevent weight gain in individuals with psychiatric/mood disorders, there is no indication that Lybalvi can be safely consumed to aid weight loss in healthy individuals suffering from weight issues. Those who use Lybalvi and do not suffer from any conditions that fall under the psychiatric disorder category are at risk of experiencing side effects that can affect their overall health. 

These side effects include:

  • Tremors or pain

  • Speech disorder, amnesia

  • Numbness and tingling 

  • Severe dry mouth, headaches, or dizziness

  • Increased appetite, salivation, or weight gain

  • Excessive drowsiness, weakness, or lethargy

  • Unbearable heartburn, indigestion, or constipation

The Bottom Line

When it comes to medicine, we are certain that unbelievable and unexpected things are possible. So, using an antipsychotic as a weight loss agent isn't completely impossible. When you break down the function of Lybalvi's active ingredients, it becomes a bit clearer how this product may accelerate weight loss. However, there isn't enough clinical evidence supporting its efficacy and safety with weight loss. This is the main reason why we don't believe that the product can confidently supply users with effects that can support weight loss.

 

7 Sources

Nu Image Medical has strict sourcing guidelines to ensure our content is accurate and current. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We strive to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references. 

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18167425/#:~:text=Added%20to%20mood%20stabilizers%2C%20olanzapine,efficacy%20in%20bipolar%20depressive%20episodes.

https://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/doi/10.1176/appi.ajp.2020.19121279

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/obr.13210

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/12/181227111420.htm

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19444235/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3032992/#:~:text=Midbrain%20dopamine%20neurons%20are%20well,as%20aversive%20and%20alerting%20events

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32791894/


This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your physician about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Nu Image Medical may not offer the medications or services mentioned in this article.