Metabolic effects of antipsychotics in prepubertal children: A retrospective chart review

Tanya Ebert*, Yael Midbari, Ronen Shmilovitz, Ira Kosov, Moshe Kotler, Avraham Weizman, Anca Ram

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Objective: Antipsychotics, especially atypical ones, are in common use in children and adolescents with psychotic or affective spectrum disorders, as well as in various other psychopathologies. The adverse effects of atypical antipsychotics in children and adolescents are similar to those seen in adults, and include weight gain, elevated blood glucose levels, and hyperlipidemia. In this retrospective chart review, we compared these adverse events in children who were treated with typical, atypical, or no antipsychotic treatment. Methods: The medical charts of 72 children, 65 boys and 7 girls, were reviewed. All children were 6-13 years old (mean age 9.5±1.7 years). In total, 48 children received antipsychotic treatment, and 24 children were in the control group. Data were extracted from the medical charts, including weight, height, body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, aspartate transaminase (AST), alanine transaminase (ALT), triglycerides, total cholesterol, and glucose blood levels. We examined the values in the beginning of the antipsychotic treatment and at release from the hospital in the study group, and at admission and in the end of the drug-free period or at release from the hospital (a duration of at least 4 weeks) in the control group. Results: The average weight gain was 3.9±3.8kg in the atypical antipsychotic treatment (AAT) group, 1.1±4.4kg in the typical antipsychotic treatment (TAT) group, and 0.23±2.9kg in the control group. The average increase in BMI was 15.1±22.0 percentiles in the AAT group, 6.4±14.2 percentiles in the TAT group, and 1.6±12.5 percentiles in the control group. No statistically significant difference was found in the increase in height percentile. There were no significant differences in the rates of elevated values of serum triglycerides, cholesterol, AST, ALT, or fasting blood glucose. Conclusions: We found a significant increase in both absolute weight gain and BMI percentile following atypical antipsychotic treatment. In contrast, typical antipsychotic treatment did not affect weight gain significantly, and the same was true for the control group. In addition, the rates of elevated values of biochemical parameters (AST, ALT, total cholesterol, triglycerides, and fasting blood glucose levels) were very low at the beginning of the study, and were not significantly altered by the various treatments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)218-222
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 May 2014


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