Around 20% of Canadian children are diagnosed with a mental health disorder. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and second-generation antipsychotics (SGAs) are common treatments. Treatment with SSRIs or SGAs is associated with increased cardiometabolic complications, and risk for type 2 diabetes in children. Little is known about the metabolic effects of concurrent use of SSRIs with SGAs. Our aim was to determine if the combination of SSRI and SGA treatment was associated with cardiometabolic complications in children. Cross-sectional data were collected from children with mental health disorders (aged 5-18 years), recruited from Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at BC Children’s Hospital. Children were classified as naïve (n=242), SSRI-treated (n=123), SGA-treated (n=112), or SSRI+SGA treated (n=98). Anthropometric data and a fasting blood sample were collected. Relationships between treatment groups and cardiometabolic risk factors were determined by adjusted linear and logistic regression models. SSRI+SGA-treated children had higher waist circumference z-scores (0.91 ± 0.89 vs. 0.48 ± 0.95; P<0.05) and a greater odds of waist circumference ≥90th percentile (OR=2.63, 95% CI: 1.34, 5.18; P<0.05) compared to SSRI-treated children. SSRI+SGA-treated children had higher plasma total cholesterol (4.63 ± 0.93 vs. 4.34 ± 0.84 mmol/L; P<0.05, adjusted by age, sex, and BMI z-scores) and a greater odds of plasma total cholesterol ≥5.18 mmol/L (OR=2.36, 95% CI: 1.05, 5.30; P<0.05, adjusted by age, sex, and BMI z-scores) than SGA-treated children. No differences in plasma fasting glucose, insulin, or insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) were observed between the treatment groups. Concurrent SSRI+SGA treatment is associated with elevated waist circumference and plasma total cholesterol in children. Our findings suggest greater cardiometabolic complications in children concurrently treated with SSRIs and SGAs.


R. Thandi: None. A. M. Wiedeman: None. A. M. Devlin: None. C. Panagiotopoulos: Advisory Panel; Self; Dexcom, Inc., Speaker’s Bureau; Self; Eli Lilly and Company.


BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services

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