Weight Gain and ADHD Meds


"My son has bipolar disorder, and he just started taking Risperdal. I heard that this medication could cause weight gain or even diabetes. Should he stop taking it?"

Dr. Larry Silver specializes in treating children with attention deficit disorder (ADHD).

Risperdal can cause an increase in appetite. This increase, and the resulting weight gain, is often significant enough to require a different medication. Risperdal can also impact endocrine systems, with a possible outcome of Type 2 diabetes. When a doctor prescribes Risperdal, he should conduct several laboratory tests soon after starting the medication, and again every several months, to check for this possibility. Be sure to discuss this concern with your prescribing doctor.

Larry Silver, M.D., is clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown Medical Center in Washington, D.C. and director of training in child and adolescent psychiatry at Georgetown University School of Medicine. He is a former acting director and deputy director of the National Institute of Mental Health, as well as the author of Dr. Larry Silver's Advice to Parents on AD/HD and The Misunderstood Child: Understanding and Coping with Your Child's Learning Disabilities.
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