The Impact of Prolonged, SSRI Treatment on Serum Lipid and Glucose Levels in Youth: A Preliminary Prospective Study

August 14, 2018

Lior Schapir, Abraham Weizman, Pavel Golubchik

Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology 2018 June 6


OBJECTIVES: Treatment with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) is common and is considered safe and effective in the treatment of anxiety and depressive disorders in pediatric populations. SSRI administration, however, is associated with adverse metabolic effects. The aim of this preliminary study was to evaluate the possible influence of a 6-month SSRI treatment on metabolic parameters in children and adolescents with depressive and/or anxiety disorders.


METHODS: Metabolic parameters (glucose, cholesterol, triglycerides, low-density lipoprotein [LDL], and high-density lipoprotein [HDL]) were monitored in 22 children and adolescents (16 boys and 6 girls, aged 8-18 years) at baseline and after 6 months of SSRI treatment for depression and/or anxiety.


RESULTS: Six months of SSRI treatment did not affect serum glucose, cholesterol, or triglycerides significantly, but a tendency (p = 0.06) toward elevation in serum LDL accompanied by a parallel reduction in HDL levels was detected.


CONCLUSION: It appears that the 6-month SSRI treatment is metabolically safe in children and adolescents and does not affect the glucose or lipid profile. Long-term large-scale studies in pediatric populations focusing on the possible impact of long-term SSRI treatment (>6 months) on metabolic parameters are warranted.

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