• adolescents;
  • antipsychotic drugs;
  • body mass index;
  • children;
  • growth charts;
  • obesity

Objective:  Antipsychotic drugs may contribute to weight gain in children and adolescents.

Method:  We used Medline's PubMed in the pediatric age using key words ‘weight gain’ and ‘obesity’, for each newer antipsychotic drug.

Results:  We found 21 articles linking weight gain and obesity with newer antipsychotic drugs among youths. Risperidone was the most commonly cited agent. Weight gain from olanzapine was the largest among the more commonly prescribed newer agents. All studies reported absolute weight gain. Only a few studies used the better measure of body mass index (BMI). None incorporated growth charts to allow for changes in weight and height over time because of growth.

Conclusion:  Weight gain may be a major problem when prescribing newer antipsychotic drugs in the pediatric population. Risperidone is associated with less weight gain than olanzapine. Published reports and studies have not utilized state-of-the-art techniques using BMI with readily available growth charts.