November 25, 2011

2nd Generation antipsychotic drugs increase risk of diabetes in kids

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I’m blown away that there was data from over 74,000 kids between the ages of 5 to 18 to produce results for this study. Furthermore – I’m in disbelief that records show 875 prescriptions for Abilify were written for  toddlers between fall 2009 and spring 2011. Toddlers. Really?

The second generation antipsychotic drugs have been shown to increase the risk of developing diabetes in adults. Some examples of second generation antipsychotic drugs include Abilify (Bristol Myers Squibb), Seroquel (Astra Zenec), and Zyprexa (Eli Lilly). This research has linked an increased rate of diabetes among children 4 times greater than children not taking this type of antipsychotics drug.

The drugs are shown to cause weight gain. However researchers are unsure if the weight gain has any influence as to the increased risk of developing diabetes among children. This study found that children who developed diabetes did so an average of 4.5 months after starting the drug.

C-reactive protein (CRP) is a marker of inflammation and is also associated with insulin resistance, obesity and cardiovascular disease. Metabolic syndrome is a group of risk factors, including insulin resistance,  that increase the risk for type 2 diabetes among other disease. Michael J. Rieder, MD asks a good question: Do 2nd-generation antipsychotics cause metabolic syndrome?

As much as it makes sense to me that inflammation (CRP levels) should be a fairly good indicator for the risk of developing type 2 diabetes – experts still disagree with the notion. More studies are still needed to prove the association.

Same conclusion holds true for the case of second generation antipsychotic drugs increasing the risk of diabetes in kids. Studies have produced conflicting results so this may warrant further investigation.

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