WEIGHT GAIN AND PSYCH MEDS
ANCHOR LEAD: WEIGHT GAIN RELATED TO CERTAIN MEDICATIONS IS ESPECIALLY TROUBLESOME FOR TEENAGERS, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Antipsychotic medications are one class of drugs used to treat conditions like bipolar disorder, but they often cause substantial weight gain. Mark Riddle, chair of child psychiatry at Johns Hopkins, says this side effect is especially hard for young people.
RIDDLE: Teenagers are often between a rock and a hard spot. If I take the medicine I gain weight, my friends make fun of me, if I don’t take the medicine I have trouble controlling my emotions and behavior. What we’re doing in our research is we’re also looking for ways to try to minimize this problem, and I think the importance of this paper is that it’s saying, gosh, there may be treatments that help in adults. We need to find out if they help in youngsters. :26
Riddle and colleagues are studying a number of interventions, either alone or in combination. He says newer medications may avoid this side effect entirely. I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.