Sports, Cardiovascular, and Wellness Nutrition - A dietetic practice group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

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Psychotropic Medications and Nutrition

Learn about how to overcome the effects of medications on appetite and eating behaviors.


An Evidence-Based resource from the Disordered Eating and Eating Disorders subunit of SCAN.

Registered Dietitians (RDs) who work with people who suffer from eating disorders need to be knowledgeable about medications used in the treatment of this population, recognized as highly distressed and at high risk regarding self-harm, suicidal ideation and suicidal attempts (Moore et al, 2013). Some psychotropic medications are associated with health concerns related to weight and appetite, changes in appetite, food and nutrient interactions, and may provoke other health concerns related to recovery. RDs working in this specialty area need knowledge regarding pharmaceuticals, drug-nutrient interactions, bioavailability, neurobiology, genetics and familial health risks. Psychotherapeutic medications may result in metabolic adverse effects (impaired glucose tolerance, dyslipidemia, bone density, cardiovascular disease (Moore et al, 2013) and affect nutritional status. Among the numerous factors that influence adherence/non-adherence to medication and nutrition recommendations, fear of weight gain, fear of side effects and social stigma may influence patient behaviors and relapse risk. The information provided below is not exhaustive, but rather intended to help RDs in nutritional assessment, monitoring, and treatment, as well as support communication regarding coordination of care.

Length: 1 page, double-sided

Intended Audience: RDs, Healthcare Professionals

Key Words: Psychotropic Medications, Eating Disorders, Disordered Eating, Suicidal Ideation, Appetite, Food and Nutrient Interactions


Written by SCAN registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) to provide nutrition guidance. The key to optimal meal planning is individualization. Contact a SCAN RDN for personalized nutrition plans. Access “Find a SCAN RDN” at or by phone at 800.249.2875.

Copyright:  © 2014 Sports, Cardiovascular, and Wellness Nutrition (SCAN)