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Metabolic consequences of second-generation antipsychotics in youth: appropriate monitoring and clinical management

Authors Krill R, Kumra S

Received 21 June 2014

Accepted for publication 23 July 2014

Published 26 September 2014 Volume 2014:5 Pages 171—182

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/AHMT.S49807

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3


Rebecca A Krill, Sanjiv Kumra

Department of Psychiatry, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA

Objective: To review the metabolic consequences of second-generation antipsychotics in youth and current monitoring and intervention guidelines for optimal treatment.
Background: Second-generation antipsychotics have largely replaced the use of first-generation antipsychotics in treating psychotic disorders in youth. In addition, there has been a dramatic increase in using these medications to treat a variety of nonpsychotic disorders. These medications have significant metabolic side effects, including weight gain. This raises concern, given the problem of pediatric obesity.
Materials and methods: A review of current literature looking at prescribing practices and possible reasons for the increased use of second-generation antipsychotics in children and adolescents was conducted. Review of the mechanisms for why youth may be particularly vulnerable to the metabolic consequences (particularly weight gain) was similarly completed. In addition, data supporting the efficacy, rationale, and unique side-effect profile of each individual second-generation drug were evaluated to help inform providers on when and what to prescribe, along with current monitoring practices. The current evidence base for possible interventions regarding the management of antipsychotic-induced weight gain was also evaluated.
Results and conclusion: On the basis of the literature review, there are several speculated reasons for the increase in prescriptions of second-generation antipsychotics. The choice of antipsychotic for youth should be based upon the disorder being treated along with the unique side-effect profile for the most commonly used second-generation antipsychotics. Monitoring strategies are also individualized to each antipsychotic. The current interventions recommended for antipsychotic-induced weight gain include lifestyle management, switching medication to a drug with a lower propensity for weight gain, and pharmacologic (particularly metformin) treatment.

Keywords: antipsychotics, children, youth, metabolic, weight gain

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