Side effects from antipsychotic drugs on kids lead to calls for new FDA review


It was just at the end of October that the Journal of the American Medical Association published a study which found that children taking the latest generation of antipsychotic drugs gain significant amounts of weight -- as much as 18.7 pounds on average in just 11 weeks. Young people taking Eli Lilly's (LLY) Zyprexa gained the most compared to those on other antipsychotics. Researchers recommended that doctors prescribing those drugs keep close tabs on their young patients' weights.

Despite that, on Friday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Zyprexa and AstraZeneca's (AZN) Seroquel for use in children. Specifically, Seroquel was approved to treat schizophrenics aged 13 to 17, and to treat the manic episodes associated with bipolar disorder in children and adolescents aged 10 to 17. The FDA has required that AstraZeneca implement a risk evaluation and mitigation strategy.Zyprexa was approved for the treatment of schizophrenia and manic or mixed episodes associated with bipolar disorder in adolescents aged 13-17 years old.