Navigation Links
Antipsychotic Drugs Spur Dramatic Weight Gain in Kids

Researchers urge other alternatives, close monitoring of patients,,,,

TUESDAY, Oct. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Children and teens who take medicines for conditions such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and autism tend to put on a substantial amount of weight, a new study finds.

The worry is that excessive weight gain and other metabolic changes in childhood can place kids at risk for chronic health problems as adults. Some of these medicines, collectively known as "atypical antipsychotics," have been linked to increased blood-fat levels.

"We are very much afraid that this will lead to diabetes and metabolic syndrome," said study author Dr. Christoph Correll, medical director of the Recognition and Prevention program at the Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks, N.Y.

The study, reported in the Oct. 28 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, is the largest analysis of its kind, Correll said.

Jeanette M. Jerrell, a professor of neuropsychiatry at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine in Columbia, is the co-author of a similar study published last year in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.

"We found that obesity/weight gain, type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular conditions were more prevalent in the treated cohort," she noted.

Her study also found that kids taking multiple antipsychotics were at significantly higher risk for obesity/weight gain, type 2 diabetes, abnormal blood-fat levels and cardiovascular problems.

"This new study is important because it draws further attention to the safety profile of antipsychotics in young populations, and the critical need for expanding the evidence base to guide clinical decisions," she said.

Concerns about the safety of atypical antipsychotics are not new. In 2003, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ordered manufacturers of these drugs to add a warning about the risk for hyperglycemia and diabetes.

What's more, a 2008 report in The Lancet suggested that some of these drugs -- sometimes called "second-generation" antipsychotics -- may be no better than older, "first-generation" medicines. The authors concluded that each drug must be weighed individually based on its efficacy and side effects.

Correll's study was designed to assess the safety and effectiveness of the newer class of drugs in youth. His team followed 272 patients, aged 4 to 19, who were taking an antipsychotic for the first time. Patients were being treated for mood spectrum, schizophrenia spectrum or aggressive behavior spectrum disorders.

Fifteen pediatric patients who refused to participate or discontinued their antipsychotic medication within four weeks of starting served as a control group.

The study focused on four antipsychotics commonly prescribed to children: aripiprazole (Abilify), olanzapine (Zyprexa), quetiapine (Seroquel) and risperidone (Risperdal).

After nearly 11 weeks, the treated kids gained an average of 18.7 pounds on Zyprexa, 13.4 pounds on Seroquel, 11.7 pounds on Risperdal and 9.7 pounds on Abilify, while the control group gained less than half a pound. Between 10 percent and 36 percent became overweight or obese during the treatment period, according to the study.

"In these kids that we studied, there was rapid and dramatic weight gain, more than has been described before," said Correll, who is also a scientist in the Center for Psychiatric Neuroscience at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research in Manhasset, N.Y.

Use of each drug was linked to wider bellies and increased "fat mass" -- the proportion of the body comprised of fat.

The drugs had varying effects on metabolic levels. Zyprexa and Seroquel users experienced significant adverse changes in total cholesterol and trigylcerides. Risperdal use resulted in a significant increase in triglycerides. Abilify, however, appeared "metabolically neutral," Correll said.

"Some of these kids are maintained on these medications for many years if not indefinitely, so it's definitely a concern," said Ronald T. Brown, dean and professor of public health at Temple University Health Sciences Center in Philadelphia. "For children who really don't absolutely need these drugs, they need to be doing more behavioral approaches in psychotherapy."

In an accompanying editorial, Drs. Christopher K. Varley and Jon McClellan of Seattle Children's Hospital concluded that large, independently funded studies are needed to establish the long-term safety and benefit of these drugs in children.

"Until those data are available, consideration of less risky treatment interventions and scrupulous attention to metabolic parameters in children and adolescents who receive atypical antipsychotic medications are essential," they wrote.

Correll, in fact, is currently involved in a longer-term follow-up study to assess the health effects of these drugs in children over an extended period of time.

For now, he advises clinicians and families to carefully weigh the risks and benefits of the medications against the risk of the illness, and to consider other pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical options. It's also important to teach children about healthy lifestyles and to closely monitor kids' weight, lipid levels and blood glucose, he said.

More information

The National Institute of Mental Health has more on mental health medications.

SOURCES: Christoph Correll, M.D., medical director, Recognition and Prevention Program, Zucker Hillside Hospital, and scientist, Center for Psychiatric Neuroscience, Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, Manhasset, N.Y.; Jeanette M. Jerrell, Ph.D., professor, neuropsychiatry and behavioral science, University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Columbia, S.C.; Ronald T. Brown, Ph.D., dean and professor, public health, Temple University Health Sciences Center, Philadelphia; Oct. 28, 2009, Journal of the American Medical Association

Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Mylan Receives FDA Approval for Additional Strengths of the Antipsychotic Haloperidol
2. FDA Panel OKs Newer Antipsychotics for Children
3. FDA Panel OKs Antipsychotic Seroquel for Children
4. FDA Panel Mulls Newer Antipsychotics for Kids
5. Joint Statement on Atypical Antipsychotic Use in Children
6. New tool to improve patient understanding of long-acting injectable antipsychotic therapies (LAT) unveiled in April issue of Psychiatry 2009
7. Newer Antipsychotics May Boost Weight in Alzheimers Patients
8. Combating weight gain caused by antipsychotic treatments
9. Newer Antipsychotics Pose Cardiac Risk: Study
10. Antipsychotics Up Death Risk in Alzheimers Patients
11. Most Newer Antipsychotics No Better Than Older Ones, Just Different
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Apple Rehab Shelton ... staged a mock evacuation of the facility as part of a disaster drill on ... Echo Hose EMS and Shelton City Emergency Manager, as well as the Connecticut ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... , ... October 13, 2017 , ... The Visiting Nurse ... Market. Featuring a collection of specialty vendors and unique items from across the nation, ... quality-focused health and wellness services offered by the VNA. The boutique will be ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... Global Healthcare Management’s 4th Annual Kids Fun Run brought out many kids this ... by Global Healthcare Management’s CEO, Jon Letko, is aimed at getting kids excited about ... ages; it is a non-competitive, non-timed event, which is all about having fun and ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Talented host, ... lowdown on sciatica in a new episode of "Success Files," which is an ... and innovation and investigates each subject in-depth with passion and integrity. , Sciatica ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... “The Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission Field”: the story of ... Philippines. “The Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission Field” is the creation of ... taught all ages and currently teaches a class of ladies at her church, which ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/4/2017)... 2017  South Korean-based healthcare product Development Company I.M. ... on Kickstarter. The device will educate the user about ... better efficiency compared to the dated and pricey CPR ... efficacy of the compression for a more informed CPR ... to raise $5,000. ...
(Date:10/4/2017)... , Oct. 4, 2017 OBP ... self-contained, illuminating medical devices, today announced regulatory approval ... Surveillance Agency (or Agência Nacional de Vigilância Sanitária ... single-use, cordless surgical retractor with integrated LED light ... access, illumination and exposure of a tissue pocket ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... , Oct. 2, 2017  Eli Lilly and Company ... results for the third quarter of 2017 on Tuesday, ... call on that day with the investment community and ... The conference call will begin at 9 a.m. ... access a live webcast of the conference call through ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: