Recommendation ID
What is the most effective management strategy for preventing the development of excessive weight gain and metabolic syndrome associated with the use of antipsychotic medication in children and
young people?
Any explanatory notes
(if applicable)
The suggested programme of research would be in two parts: (1) a longitudinal cohort study (a national observational database of at least 12 months' duration) to determine the incidence and predictors of adverse physical effects of antipsychotic medication; (2) a randomised controlled trial of behavioural and/or medical approaches to reduce weight gain and the risk of metabolic syndrome associated with antipsychotic medication.
Why this is important:- Rapid weight gain associated with antipsychotic medication and poor physical health (smoking, lack of exercise) leading to type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome are major sources of morbidity and premature mortality in young people with psychosis and schizophrenia. Most evidence of adverse effects comes from short-term studies of antipsychotics (maximum 8–12 weeks). In contrast, very little is known about the longer term adverse effects of these drugs. Evidence is needed both on longer term adverse effects as well as on effective early intervention strategies that reduce these risk factors and improve physical health outcomes.

Source guidance details

Comes from guidance
Psychosis and schizophrenia in children and young people: recognition and management
Date issued
January 2013

Other details

Is this a recommendation for the use of a technology only in the context of research? No  
Is it a recommendation that suggests collection of data or the establishment of a register?   No  
Last Reviewed 30/01/2013