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Children on Antipsychotics Have Higher Risk of Diabetes

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Jarod Cassidy4 years ago

According to the Wall Street Journal, a recent study funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, a branch of the Department of Health and Human Services, indicates that children on antipsychotic drugs are three times more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes.

About Antipsychotics

  • Federal officials have become concerned that antipsychotics, originally developed to treat diseases like schizophrenia and psychosis, are being prescribed too readily to children for behavioral problems linked to bipolar disorder and autism.
  • From 2002 to 2009, the U.S. saw a 65% increase in antipsychotic prescriptions, climbing from 2.9 million prescriptions a year to 4.8 million prescriptions year over the seven year period.
  • Many studies have linked antipsychotic drugs like Risperdal and Zyprexa to higher risks of diabetes in adults, but information was lacking in how they may influence diabetes rates in children.

Study Links Antipsychotics to Type 2 Diabetes in Children

“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.” – Wayne Ray, Vanderbilt University as published by the Wall Street Journal

  • The study looked at 43,000 children in Tennessee currently being prescribed antipsychotics for conditions for which other medication are available. These included kids with bipolar disorder and autism.
  • Children that suffered from diseases which required antipsychotics, like schizophrenia or psychosis, were excluded from the study.
  • The study found that children on the antipsychotic medications were three time more at risk of developing Type 2  diabetes than children on alternative medications.
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