Weight and leptin changes among risperidone-treated youths with autism: 6-Month prospective data

Andrés Martín, Lawrence Scahill, George M. Anderson, Michael Aman, L. Eugene Arnold, James McCracken, Christopher J. McDougle, Elaine Tierney, Shirley Chuang, Benedetto Vitiello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Scopus citations


Objective: The authors examined the developmental impact and temporal characteristics of risperidone-associated weight change. Method: Weight change was measured for 63 children and adolescents with autism treated with risperidone for 6 months. Change in serum leptin levels after 2 months was examined as a predictor of final weight gain in mixed regression models that controlled for site, gender, age, and risperidone dose. Results: Age- and gender-standardized weight increased after 6 months of treatment (gross: mean=5.6 kg [SD=3.9]; standardized: mean=0.6 z [SD=0.5]) and was positively correlated with weight gained after 1 month. Change in leptin levels after 2 months of treatment (mean=-0.3 ng/ml, SD:6.2) (N=48) did not predict final weight gain. Conclusions: Chronic risperidone exposure in children with autism causes weight gain in excess of developmentally expected norms that follows a curvilinear trajectory and decelerates over time. Serum leptin change does not reliably predict risperidone-associated weight gain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1125-1127
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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