Diabetes Risk Heightened by Atypical Antipsychotic Drugs

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The increasing number of patients suffering from Diabetes Mellitus is still continuously growing and growing in the present time. In fact, the World Health Organization states that at least 171 million people worldwide have a medical condition of diabetes, or 2.8% of the total population. Despite the medical treatments that are available, diabetes remains incurable but at least, treatable. This condition is distinct either by less or no insulin production of the pancreatic islets or there are insulin-receptor problems that don’t respond to insulin. In result, there is a high blood sugar level in the blood stream causing the triad signs which are polyuria (excessive urination), polydipsia (increased thirst) and polyphagia (increased hunger).

One of the types of diabetes is the juvenile in onset, also known as type I while the other is type II or lifestyle related. Certain causes and predisposing factors are present in this condition that plays role in the occurrence of the said disease. On the other hand, research shows that second-generation atypical antipsychotics heightened the risks of children to acquire diabetes. Susan E. Andrade, ScD, of the University of Massachusetts in Worcester, and colleagues said that through this research, they found out that the cases of children taking second generation antipsychotic medications are significantly four times higher to have DM compared to those not using the said drugs. Atypical antipsychotic drugs which include clozapine, olanzapine, risperidone, quetiapine, zotepine, amisulpride, ziprasidone and aripiprazole are being used to control psychotic problems, particularly schizophrenia. The possibility of these medications to cause metabolic problems and weight gain implies cautious use of these drugs.  However, limitations of the study consisting of fewer children using atypical antipsychotic medications than children not taking the said drug and there are also few diabetes cases found presented an indefinite result between the association of atypical antipsychotic drugs and diabetes mellitus. Among the 9,636 children ages 5 to 18 who were on second-generation antipsychotic medication starting from January 2001 to December 2008, only 57 cases of diabetes were found out.

Previous studies showed association of DM cases to atypical antipsychotic drug use, but the evidence doesn’t much support the findings. The proponents of the recent research said that a comparison group is needed so that further and more concise findings can be extracted. If proven to be true, drug safety should be imposed so as to protect the public’s welfare and prevent further harm.




  1. Be aware of drugs that potentiate diabetes.
    Eli Lilly Zyprexa Olanzapine issues linger.

    The use of powerful antipsychotic drugs has increased in children as young as three years old. Weight gain, increases in triglyceride levels and associated risks for diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The average weight gain (adults) over the 12 week study period was the highest for Zyprexa—17 pounds. You’d be hard pressed to gain that kind of weight sport-eating your way through the holidays.One in 145 adults died in clinical trials of those taking the antipsychotic drug Zyprexa.
    This was Lilly’s #1 product $5 billion per year sales,moreover Lilly also make billions more on drugs that treat diabetes.
    — Daniel Haszard Zyprexa activist and patient.

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