Children Gain Weight with Antipsychotic Drugs

They gain one to one-and-a-half pounds a week


Picture of antipsychotic drug Zyprexa

IS IT my imagination or does it seem that every other week a new study pops out heralding yet another pharmaceutical drug gone haywire?

What does the Supreme Court, Tim Russert, Statins, Avandia, Acomplia, Heath Ledger, Roaccutane, Paxil, Alli and Coumadin have in common?

The answer is that they’re all involved with drugs gone haywire
, the stories about which are presented at Natural News here.  It should not be surprising that the unsuspected, sometimes powerfully debilitating side effects of pharma drugs has exploded, for society’s strategy of using drugs as panaceas has replaced good sense and healthy behavior.

For every sickness, chronic illness or desire, a pill exists or is incubating.  Negative side effects are simply collateral damage.

So, it wasn’t surprising to pick up the New York Times today and read that “young children and adolescents who take the newest generation of antipsychotic medications risk rapid weight gain and metabolic changes that could lead to diabetes, hypertension and other illnesses, according to the biggest study yet of first-time users of the drugs”. (Full story here.)

The study, scheduled to be released today in The Journal of the American Medical Association, reports that 257 young children and adolescents in New York City and Long Island added 8 to 15 percent to their weight after taking the pills for less than three months — an average of one to one-and-a-half pounds a week.

The four drugs in the study are the most popular antipsychotic medications, with combined sales of $12.7 billion in 2008.

Of the four drugs reviewed, Zyprexa, made by Eli Lilly & Company ($1.5 billion U.S. sales the first six months of 2009), showed the most severe effects on weight and metabolism. The other three are Abilify, made by Bristol-Myers Squibb ($1.9 billion sales in the same period), Seroquel made by AstraZeneca ($2.2 billion in the same period), and Risperdal made by Johnson & Johnson ($660 million, same period).

Dr. Rapoport, chief of the child psychiatry branch at the National Institute of Mental Health, said Zyprexa had been so heavily marketed that it was in widespread use before physicians began to recognize the severity of its side effects a few years ago. Zyprexa has continued selling in the range of nearly $3 billion a year in the United States even as concerns emerged about its tendency to cause patients to gain weight.

With perhaps intended sarcasm, the lead researcher of the study, Dr. Christoph U. Correll of Zucker Hillside Hospital in Queens and the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research in Manhasset, N.Y., said “People should think twice before they actually prescribe the medications.”

If you or anyone you know has a child that takes or may take one of these drugs, please read the New York Time’s article here.

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Joe Garma
 

I help people live with more vitality and strength. I'm a big believer in sustainability, and am a bit nutty about optimizing my diet, supplements, hormones and exercise. To get exclusive Updates, tips and be on your way to a stronger, more youthful body, join my weekly Newsletter. You can also find me on LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.

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