Background: Weight gain due to the use of second-generation antipsychotics is a major health care issue for adult and paediatric psychiatric patients. Little is known about long-term weight gain effects of aripiprazole compared to risperidone in children and adolescents. Objective: The primary aim of this study is to assess whether risperidone and aripiprazole are associated with different weight changes in children and adolescents during the first 12 months of treatment. Secondary aim was to assess the influence of the covariates co-medication, gender and indication on weight change. Methods: This study was a retrospective observational cohort study of in- and outpatients of a Dutch mental health organization aged £19 years on long-term treatment with risperidone or aripiprazole. Primary outcome measure was body-mass index (BMI) z-score change. Data were extracted from medical charts and analysed using linear mixed models. Results: In total, 89 risperidone patients and 42 aripiprazole patients were included in the study. At baseline, the BMI z-score of aripiprazole subjects was significantly higher than risperidone subjects ( p = 0.003). In both treatment groups BMI z-score significantly increased during 12 months of follow-up. This weight change was not significantly different in risperidone and aripiprazole users after 12 months ( p = 0.943). Covariates did not significantly influence weight change. Conclusion: This study demonstrated that there was no significant difference in weight gain between risperidone and aripiprazole users during the first year of treatment. Based on this study, aripiprazole should not be favoured over risperidone in children and adolescents because of the degree of weight gain.

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Keywords risperidone, aripiprazole, weight gain, long-term use, children and adolescents
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Journal Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology
Schoemakers, RJ, van Kesteren, C, van Rosmalen, J.M, Eussen, M., Dieleman, H.G, & Beex-Oosterhuis, M.M. (2019). No Differences in Weight Gain Between Risperidone and Aripiprazole in Children and Adolescents After 12 Months. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, 29(3), 192–196. doi:10.1089/cap.2018.0111