The appetite and growth stimulating properties of cyproheptadine were first reported by Lavenstein et al in 1962.1 During clinical evaluation of cyproheptadine, an antagonist of histamine and serotonin, these investigators noted significant weight gain and height increase in 28 outpatient asthmatic children. Lavenstein et al1 were unable to delineate the mechanism of these actions in their study, although no evidence of fluid retention, clinical stigmata of Cushing's syndrome, or hypothyroidism were noted.
In order to examine these observations more thoroughly, a study was undertaken in a group of chronically hospitalized asthmatic children at the Asthmatic Unit of St. Luke's Convalescent Hospital. In order to appraise the possible effect of drug induced hypoglycemia as the cause of hyperphagia and thus weight gain, all subjects were studied for the effect of this agent on carbohydrate tolerance. A separate group of children were evaluated for a change in blood glucose concentration