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Zyprexa, Abilify, Risperdal, and Seroquel Cause Rapid Weight Gain in Children

The four top selling atypical antipsychotic medications used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder have been linked to rapid and dangerous weight gain in children.

Results from an 11-week study done in 272 children aged between 4 and 19 years were published today in JAMA, the official journal of the American Medical Association. The four drugs used in the study were Zyprexa (Eli Lilly & Co); Abilify, (Bristol-Myers Squibb Co and Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co); Risperdal (Johnson & Johnson); and Seroquel ( AstraZeneca PLC).

The results show that Zyprexa caused the most weight gain over the course of the study – at nearly 19 lbs – a 15 percent increase. Importantly, Zyprexa was also found to significantly raise cholesterol, insulin, triglycerides and blood sugar levels, all of which can lead to the development of diabetes and heart disease.

Children taking Abilify, Risperdal, and Seroquel gained an average of between 10 and 13 pounds over the 11 weeks, and the drugs' impact on metabolic disease indicators varied.

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