October 29, 2009

Anti-Psychotic Drugs Linked To Weight Gain In Children

A new study has shown that antipsychotic drugs may be linked to weight gain in kids.

Writing in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), researchers studied the use of name-brand second-generation anti-psychotic drugs, including Abilify, Risperdal, Seroquel and Zyprexa, in 272 kids aged 4 to 19 years.

Children involved in the study had not been previously treated with anti-psychotic drugs.

"First-time second-generation antipsychotic medication use was associated with significant weight gain with each medication," researchers concluded.

"Metabolic changes varied among the 4 antipsychotic medications," they added.

Authors of the study noted that children taking the drugs for the first time saw a weight gain ranging from 9.7 pounds to 18.7 pounds after 11 weeks, depending on the drug they were given.

Additionally, they found that 15 participants who didn't take the drugs or who declined to take part in the research gained less than half a pound on average.

"We were able to show all of these agents can cause quite a bit of body weight changes and body composition changes that are not beneficial to the health," lead author Christoph Correll, medical director at Zucker Hillside Hospital in New York City, told Bloomberg.

"What we need to figure out is what are the long-term consequences in the lives of children."

Overall, 49 percent of patients had mood issues, 30 percent had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and 22 percent were diagnosed with disruptive or aggressive behavior.

"Altogether, 10 percent to 36 percent of patients transitioned to overweight or obese status within 11 weeks," researchers wrote.


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