Media Doctor Canada
Follow us on Twitter








"Diabetes Drug Halts Weight Gain in Kids Taking Antipsychotics"


Source: CBC.CA

Published: 01 Dec 2021

Category: Other

Rating: (2½ stars)

what they said (Hover the mouse cursor over underlined words for more info)

(HealthDay News) - While increasing numbers of children and teens are being treated for psychiatric illness with medications called atypical antipsychotics, many experience significant weight gain while on these drugs - as much as a pound or more a week.

However, a new study suggests that the diabetes drug metformin may be able to put the brakes on that weight gain.

During the 16-week study period, children taking metformin along with atypical antipsychotics lost a slight amount of weight, while those given a placebo along with their psychiatric medications gained nearly 9 pounds....

The original article can be found at:

how did it rate? (more information)

Criteria Rating
Total Score 4 of 8
Availability of Treatment Not Applicable
Novelty of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Disease Mongering Satisfactory (?)
Treatment Options Not Satisfactory (?)
Costs of Treatment Not Applicable
Evidence Not Satisfactory (?)
Quantification of Benefits of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Harms of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Sources of Information Not Satisfactory (?)
Relies on Press Release Not Applicable
Quantification of harms of treatment Not Satisfactory (?)

what we said (Hover the mouse cursor over underlined words for more info)

This article presents the findings of a four-month study that measured the effects on weight gain for 39 children taking atypical antipsychotics and randomly assigned to also take metformin - the diabetes drug under study - or a placebo. The researchers found that weight gain ceased for children taking metformin, while weight gain continued for children taking the placebo.

While the study findings sound promising, one wonders if the same findings would hold true for a large-scale study with a greater sample size and over an extended period of time. Or perhaps if they had altered the dosage size for those kids taking the antipsychotics. Unfortunately no one outside the study was consulted to comment on these results and perhaps a lend a sense of caution to their interpretation. While the study investigator noted that the diabetes drug posed "no serious side effects" and the "drug was generally well-tolerated," there is no indication of what the specific side effects were and what exactly is meant by "well-tolerated."

Also of note is the lack of any mention of the potential for interactions between the study drug and the atypical antipsychotics. What might have been useful, too, would have been for the reporter to at least touch on the very controversial issues arising from using powerful antipsychotic drugs in children, an issue that has been much highlighted in the media lately.

public forum

There are currently no comments on this article.

voice your opinion in the forum

  • All comments and feedback submitted to Media Doctor are subject to editorial approval before being made viewable by the public. It may take up to a week for your comments to be approved. Additionally, no response will be given to questions posed in public comments. Media Doctor does not provide medical advice, or answers to medical questions posed by the public.
  • If you provide your email address it will not be displayed to the general public.
  • Comments may be edited by Media Doctor to remove defamatory or sensitive statements, and brand names.
  • Required fields are marked with an asterisk (*).
Name: *
Comments: *
Copyright © Media Doctor Canada