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Effects of Medication on Appetite and Eating Habits

Some medications can affect your child or youth’s eating habits. This means your child might feel less hungry or more hungry. With some medications, weight gain is a particular concern. These medications include mood stabilizing medications (e.g. Lithium) and second generation antipsychotics (SGAs) (e.g. Olanzapine, Risperidone, etc.)

NOTE: SGAs are also sometimes known as atypical antipsychotics (AAPs).

It is important to talk to your family doctor or dietitian if you feel your child is not getting the nutrients he or she needs. Also, monitoring by your family doctor is extremely important when your child is on medications. Your doctor should take baseline measurements, such as height and weight, before your child starts the medication. Your child should then be monitored on a regular basis. In addition to medical monitoring by your doctor, as a family you can also observe and note any changes that you find concerning.

Tips for addressing appetite challenges due to medications that some families have found helpful can be found in the Tips from Families section of this module.

More information on medications can be found at:

BC Children's Hospital

This is an agency of Provincial Health Services Authority, providing provincial tertiary mental health services to the citizens of British Columbia. Programs include: Adult Tertiary Psychiatry, Geriatric Psychiatry, Forensic Psychiatric Services, Child & Adolescent Mental Health, Women’s Reproductive Mental Health, as well as the Provincial Specialized Eating Disorders Program for children and youth located at the BC Children’s Hospital.

Provincial Health Services Authority

Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) is one of six health authorities – the other five health authorities serve geographic regions of BC.

Ministry of Health

British Columbia Ministry of Health

RBC Children's Mental Health Project

RBC Children’s Mental Health Project is RBC's cornerstone “health and wellness” pillar; RBC Children’s Mental Heath Project is a multi-year philanthropic commitment to support community-based and hospital programs that reduce stigma, provide early intervention and increase public awareness about children’s mental health issues.

BC Children's Hospital Foundation

Through a wide range of fundraising events and opportunities, The BC Children's Hospital Foundation is united with its donors by a single, simple passion - to improve the health and the lives of the young people who enter BC Children's Hospital every day.