News Update: Antipsychotics lead to weight gain in pediatric patients

November 1, 2009

Researchers have long known that treatment with second-generation antipsychotic agents is often associated with weight gain in adults. This association has now also been demonstrated in pediatric patients treated with these agents.

Researchers have long known that treatment with second-generation antipsychotic agents is often associated with weight gain in adults. This association has now also been demonstrated in pediatric patients treated with these agents for the first time.

An article in the October 28 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association reports on a study of 205 pediatric patients aged 4 to 19 years who had mood spectrum, schizophrenia spectrum, or disruptive or aggressive behavior spectrum disorders. They had not previously been treated with second-generation antipsychotic medications (including aripiprazole, olanzapine, quetiapine, and risperidone).

After a median of 10.8 weeks of treatment, patients who received olanzapine had an increase in weight of 18.7 lbs, those treated with quetiapine had a weight increase of 13.4 lbs, those treated with risperidone had a weight increase of 11.7 lbs, and those treated with aripiprazole had a weight increase of 9.7 lbs. Patients in the untreated comparison group had a weight increase of 0.4 lbs. Those patients treated with olanzapine or quetiapine also had adverse changes in total cholesterol, triglycerides, non-high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, and the triglyceride-HDL cholesterol ratio. Patients treated with risperidone had adverse changes in triglyceride levels.