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October 28, 2009

Implications of Marked Weight Gain Associated With Atypical Antipsychotic Medications in Children and Adolescents

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Seattle Children's Hospital, Seattle, Washington (Drs Varley and McClellan); and Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle (Dr McClellan).

JAMA. 2009;302(16):1811-1812. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.1558

The findings reported by Correll and colleagues1 in this issue of JAMA are both timely and sobering. Prior treatment-naive youth (N = 272), aged 4 to 19 years, gained substantial weight during a 12-week period of clinician's choice treatment with atypical antipsychotic medications aripiprazole, olanzapine, quetiapine, or risperidone. The mean weight gain across treatment groups ranged from 8.5 kg with olanzapine to 4.4 kg with aripiprazole. More than half gained more than 7% of their total body weight. Significant abnormalities in lipid profiles and other metabolic parameters were also noted, especially with olanzapine. Comparison patients had minimal changes in body weight and lipid levels over the same period.