Ask the Experts

Weight Gain and Bipolar Medications

“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?”

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.

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