OBJECTIVES: The aim of the study was to assess weight changes associated with certain atypical (AAP) and typical (TAP) antipsychotic drugs in patients with early-onset schizophrenia and other related psychotic disorders.
METHODS: Our retrospective study included 109 patients (52 boys, 57 girls) with a mean age of 15.8 +/- 1.6 years. The patients were evaluated based to their medical records prior to starting therapy, and then after 1, 3, and 6 weeks of treatment.
RESULTS: During the first week of treatment, the AAP group (n = 85; risperidone, olanzapine, ziprasidone, and clozapine) gained 1.5% of baseline weight whereas the TAP group (n = 24; haloperidol, perphenazine, and sulpiride) gained only 0.2% (p = 0.049). Differences in relative changes between the two groups were not significant at weeks 3 and 6. Expressed as absolute values, patients in our sample gained an average of 3.4 kg (SD 3.2) on AAP and 2.0 kg (SD 3.9) on TAP during 6 weeks of treatment (p = 0.335). Only the risperidone, olanzapine, and clozapine groups had sufficient numbers of patients to allow a comparison at the endpoint of the study (week 6). The patients gained, on average, 3.6 kg (SD 2.6) on risperidone, 4.4 kg (SD 2.5) on olanzapine, and 2.1 kg (SD 4.0) on clozapine during the six weeks of treatment (p = 0.286).
CONCLUSIONS: In our study, we did not find a difference in weight gain between the AAP and TAP groups, as large as has been described in the literature. It also seems plausible that the unique and variable weight changes associated with individual AAPs in the pediatric population are different from those observed in the adult population.