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Metabolic Monitoring of Child and Adolescent Patients on Atypical Antipsychotics by Psychiatrists and Primary Care Providers

Wakefield, Sarah MD1; Aligeti, Manish MD, MHA1; Rachamallu, Vivekananda MD1,2; Baronia, Regina MD1,*; Aynampudi, Ram MD1; Parmar, Ankit MD3; Peterson, Phyllis PA1; Masodkar, Kanak MD4

doi: 10.1097/MJT.0000000000000853
Original Investigation: PDF Only

Background: Antipsychotic drug use in children has doubled from 2001 to 2007 with concomitant increase in obesity. Second-generation antipsychotic (SGA) medication use is associated with weight gain, metabolic derangements, and blood sugar and lipid abnormalities in children. The American Psychiatric Association and the American Diabetes Association have recommended metabolic monitoring guidelines for patients using SGA.

Study Question: The study objective was to investigate and compare metabolic monitoring for SGA medications in psychiatry (PSY), and pediatrics and family medicine [primary care providers (PCP)] outpatient clinics of a university medical center.

Study Design: This is a retrospective study of 149 charts of patients newly prescribed with SGA, ages 5–18 years, from their initial visit in the outpatient clinics.

Measures and Outcomes: Compliance with recommended metabolic monitoring was evaluated for initial and subsequent clinic visits. Parameters included body mass index, waist circumference, blood pressure, fasting plasma glucose, and fasting lipid profile.

Results: Of the 149 charts, 110 patients were in PSY and 39 in PCP. The parameter most regularly monitored was body mass index (baseline: PSY 88.3%, PCP 97.4%; 12 weeks: PSY 86.4%, PCP 85.0%; and 24 weeks: PSY 91.8%, PCP 100%). Fasting plasma glucose (baseline: PSY 18.9%, PCP 25.6% and 12 weeks: PSY 8.6%, PCP 10.0%) and fasting lipid profile (baseline: PSY 12.7%, PCP 25.6% and 12 weeks: PSY 7.0%, PCP 10.0%) had low completions rates. No difference was seen in metabolic monitoring by sex or ethnic group.

Conclusions: Metabolic monitoring rate of child and adolescent patients on SGAs was low overall. No statistically significant differences were seen between psychiatry and PCP except a significantly higher rate of fasting plasma glucose level monitoring at baseline among PCP. Limitations to the study include the small sample size obtained for the period investigated and insufficient documentation in some electronic charts. Extending the period studied may increase the statistical significance of the data.

1Department of Psychiatry, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, TX;

2Department of Psychiatry, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH;

3Department of Psychiatry, Terrell State Hospital, Terrel, TX; and

4Department of Psychiatry, McLeod Medical Center, Florence, SC.

Address for correspondence: Department of Psychiatry, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, 3601 4th St, STOP 8103, Lubbock, TX 79430. E-mail:

The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.

The research was approved by the Institutional Review Board of TTUHSC, Lubbock.

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