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Antipsychotics May Increase Risk of Diabetes in Children

An August 21, 2013, article in the Wall Street Journal presented the results of a study published in the medical journal, JAMA Psychiatry, showing that the use of antipsychotics appears to increase the risk of diabetes in children. Previous studies had concluded that adults who took antipsychotic medications such as risperidone and olanzapine have an elevated risk of developing Type 2 diabetes (Antipsychotic Drugs Raise Diabetes Risk in Children, Study Finds).  

The researchers examined the medical records of thousands of Tennessee youth, focusing exclusively on youth prescribed antipsychotics for treating psychiatric disorders including bipolar disorder, autism, and behavior problems. The study’s results showed that those children treated with antipsychotics had a threefold increase in developing Type 2 diabetes compared to children who were taking other psychiatric medicines, such as anti-anxiety drugs and antidepressants.

The study revealed that the risk of a youth developing Type 2 diabetes appears within the first year of treatment and that the risk increases the longer the child takes an antipsychotic. Wayne Ray, a professor of health policy at Vanderbilt University and an author of the study said in a statement: “We need to be more cautious when starting an antipsychotic for a child or youth and think about other alternatives, perhaps trying those other alternatives first.”

Dr. Ray speculated that antipsychotic drugs increase the risk of Type 2 diabetes by promoting weight gain and insulin resistance. He advises that children should be taking the “lowest dose for the shortest period of time.”

Cerilliant provides Certified Spiking Solutions® for a wide selection of antipsychotics, their metabolites, and stable-labeled internal standards including atypical antipsychotics asenapine, aripiprazole, clozapine, 9-hydroxyrisperidone, iloperidone, lurasidone, olanzapine, quetiapine, risperidone, and ziprasidone as well as typical antipsychotics chlorpromazine, fluphenazine, haloperidol, and thioridazine. These Certified Spiking Solutions® are suitable for a wide range of GC/MS or LC/MS applications from clinical toxicology, forensic analysis, and urine drug testing to calibrator preparation and isotope dilution methods. Click on the link below to view our comprehensive listing of antipsychotic drug reference standards: 

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