January 12, 2012

Do Antipsychotics Meds Cause Diabetes?

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Joseph V. Madia, MD By:

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Diabetes risk linked to some antipsychotic meds

(dailyRx News) With stability being the top priority for people taking antipsychotics, a number of health and quality of life concerns remain. One is the risk of diabetes.

A new study has indicated that, while some second-generation antipsychotics (SGAs) increase the risk of diabetes, others do not.

"Keep in contact with your psychiatrist during treatment."

Marianne Ulcickas-Yood, MPH, ScD, a research associate professor of epidemiology at the Boston University School of Public health and senior epidemiologist at the Josephine Ford Cancer Center, Henry Ford Hospital led this study.

Records for prescriptions filled at pharmacies were analyzed. The study examined how often coincidences occurred between the same individual filling a prescription for an SGA and later filling a prescription for diabetes medication thereafter.

These numbers were analyzed to determine the difference between an average American's chance of contracting diabetes in a given period of time and that of patients taking different SGA at different doses. These data were then used to determine if there were correlations between incidence of diabetes and having taken a particular SGA at a particular dose.

All patients were older than 18 years of age and were exposed to an SGA for longer than 45 days between November 1, 2002 and March 31, 2005. Out of the pool of participants analyzed, 49,946 patients were exposed to SGAs during this time.

Abilify (apiriprazole) and Geodon (ziprasidone) were not in any way linked to increased danger of diabetes. Zyprexa (olanzapine) was associated with a greater risk at both intermediate and high doses. Seroquel (quetiapine) and Risperdal (risperidone) both seemed to increase the risk of diabetes at high doses, but not at intermediate doses. The researchers caution that the study is not definitive and merits further investigation.

Several researchers involved in this study either work for or hold shares of stock in Otsuka Pharmaceutical Inc., developer of Abilify, or in Bristol-Myers Squibb, the drug's manufacturer. Additionally, the study was funded by Otsuka and Bristol-Myers Squibb.

This study was published in the journal BioMed Central Psychiatry in December 2011.

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Reviewed by: 
Joseph V. Madia, MD
Review Date: 
December 31, 2011

Last Updated:
July 8, 2013