Second-generation antipsychotics (SGAs) are commonly used to treat children with mental health conditions (MHCs) but are associated with adverse effects including obesity, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and type 2 diabetes. The mechanisms underlying these complications are unknown, but it has been suggested that SGAs increase appetite leading to weight gain. The present objective was to perform a pilot study to investigate appetite and satiety hormones in SGA-treated (risperidone or quetiapine) and SGA-naive children with similar mental health conditions.Methods
Oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTTs) were conducted in SGA-naive (n = 18), risperidone-treated (n = 20), and quetiapine-treated (n = 16) children recruited from the British Columbia Children's Hospital Psychiatry Department. Over 5 time-points during the OGTT, appetite questionnaires using a visual analogue scale were administered, and blood was collected to measure ghrelin, peptide YY, glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide, glucagon-like protein 1, leptin, and adiponectin. Mixed model analyses were conducted to examine between-group differences.Results
The children were similar in age, psychiatric diagnosis, and global assessment of functioning scores. Body mass index z-scores were also similar between groups. Appetite was increased during the OGTT in the risperidone-treated compared with the SGA-naive group for 2 questions (“How strong is your desire to eat”; P = 0.003 and “How much food do you think you can eat”; P = 0.028). No differences in satiety hormones were observed between the 3 groups.Conclusions
Risperidone treatment in youth is associated with elevated appetite during an OGTT, with no differences in gut peptides or adipocytokines to explain risperidone's effect on appetite. Further research is needed to explore other mediators of weight gain and metabolic dysfunction in SGA-treated youth.