Atypical antipsychotics can lead to weight gain in children and adolescents, but more evidence needed about metabolic side effects

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Atypical (second-generation) antipsychotics are used to treat a variety of psychiatric conditions. Although they have fewer side effects than first-generation antipsychotics, weight gain and other metabolic problems (such as high blood pressure and diabetes) remain common side effects of taking atypical antipsychotic medication (Mind, 2012). The Mental Elf has previously blogged about a Canadian report [read the full story…]

Do interventions proven to improve cardiovascular disease outcomes work for individuals with severe mental illness?

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Individuals with severe mental illness (SMI) have shortened life expectancies compared to the general population. This is partly down to higher rates of chronic physical illness. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death among patients using mental health services. It is assumed that interventions used to reduce CVD are similarly effective in patients with [read the full story…]

Behavioural weight-loss interventions can be effective for people with serious mental illness, says new RCT

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People with serious mental illness have mortality rates 2-3 times as high as the general population. The primary cause of death is cardiovascular disease, which in turn is due to an extremely high prevalence of obesity (twice that of the overall population). Physical inactivity, unhealthy diets, and weight gain from psychotropic medication are all factors [read the full story…]

Non-pharmacological interventions can help prevent and reduce weight gain in people who take antipsychotics

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The reduced life expectancy (15-20 years less) often faced by many people with schizophrenia is frequently a result of cardiovascular disease. Lifestyle choices (smoking, lack of exercise and poor diet) can increase the risk of these diseases, but people who take antipsychotic drugs often have the additional problem of weight gain that is caused by [read the full story…]

People with learning disabilities on atypical antipsychotics can gain 10% of initial body weight over course of therapy

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Atypical antipsychotic medications, sometimes described as second generation (for example clozapine, risperidone) have been associated with a number of side effects amongst which is weight gain. The authors of this review point out that such weight gain can be significant in people with learning disabilities using such medications. Previous studies have shown that majority of people [read the full story…]