Antipsychotics Linked To Increased Diabetes Risk
Children taking medication commonly prescribed to treat symptoms of autism and other developmental disabilities may be at increased risk for diabetes, according to a new study.
Researchers found that kids and teens taking so-called second-generation antipsychotics like Risperdal, Abilify and Seroquel were four times more likely to develop diabetes than those who were not taking the drugs.
And the condition came on fast, with an increased rate of occurrence appearing within one year of a child starting the drugs.
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For the study published this month in the journal Pediatrics, researchers looked at data from more than 64,000 children ages 5 to 18 enrolled in three health plans.
Among kids taking the antipsychotic drugs, they found that diabetes occurred at a rate of just over 3.23 cases per 1000 children annually. By comparison, the condition appeared in 0.76 cases per 1000 in those taking no psychiatric medication.
It’s not clear why diabetes occurred more frequently among the children taking antipsychotics, according to the study, which was led by Susan Andrade of the University of Massachusetts in Worcester. One reason for the spike, however, could be that the drugs have been linked to weight gain, which can lead to diabetes, they said.