Antipsychotic Drugs and Significant Weight Gain in Children

Antipsychotic drugs such as Zyprexa, Abilify, Seroquel, and Risperdal have been shown to cause dramatic weight gain in children and adolescents. The new study to be published in the October 28 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association is the largest study of the relationship between childhood weight gain and the antipsychotic drugs known as atypical antipsychotics.
While the study focuses on adolescents and children, concern with these types of drugs used to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and autism has been associated with weight gain in adults for quite some time. In 2003, the FDA ordered manufacturers of these drugs to add a warning label concerning their association with hyperglycemia and diabetes. These adverse side effects now appear to be prevalent in adolescents who take the atypical antipsychotic drugs as well.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution notes that “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.”