Antipsychotic Meds Can Cause Diabetes-Related Side Effects

Published Online: Monday, September 1, 2003

    Psychiatrists have voiced concern about diabetes-related and other metabolic adverse effects associated with atypical antipsychotic medicines, which are used to manage the symptoms of schizophrenia. These findings, the result of a nationwide survey supported by Pfizer Inc, were reported at a meeting of the American Psychiatric Association. The telephone survey randomly polled 300 psychiatrists who treat at least 8 different patients a month with schizophrenia and related disorders in the United States.

    Side effects of conventional antipsychotic drugs include movement disorders, sedation, hypotension, and anticholinergic effects such as dry mouth. Although the newer ?atypical? antipsychotics have advanced schizophrenia management, some of these agents carry different side effects, including weight gain, diabetes, diabetic ketoacidosis, and increases in cholesterol and triglycerides.

    ?The survey results show that most psychiatrists recognize that some atypical antipsychotics carry a greater risk for diabetes and related metabolic complications than others,? said Henry Nasrallah, MD, professor of psychiatry, neurology, and neuroscience and associate dean, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. ?It is imperative that psychiatrists consider these important health-related metabolic issues before selecting a treatment for their patients.?



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