Seroquel Diabetes Side Effects Increase Risk 389 Percent

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By: AboutLawsuits | Published: January 19th, 2009

According to testimony presented by an expert witness at pre-trial hearings last week, Seroquel side effects increase the risk of diabetes by nearly four times when compared with older anti-psychotic medications.

The first Seroquel lawsuit is scheduled for trial to begin next month in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, where all federal cases have been consolidated as part of a multidistrict litigation, or MDL.

The testimony was offered during hearings on AstraZeneca’s attempts to bar certain experts offered by the plaintiffs from testifying at trial.

Seroquel is a newer atypical antipsychotic which was first approved by the FDA in 1997 for treatment of schizophrenia. Use of the drug has recently been expanded to include treatment for bipolar disorders, and a new drug application is currently pending with the FDA seeking approval to market an extended release version for people with major depressive disorders.

Over 9,000 Seroquel lawsuits involving more than 15,000 plaintiffs have been filed against AstraZeneca on behalf of individuals who developed diabetes and other health problems allegedly caused by side effects of Seroquel which could result in severe weight gain.

According to Bloomberg News, testimony was presented on January 15, 2009, from endocrinologist Dr. Jennifer Marks, indicating that the risk of weight gain and diabetes from Seroquel side effects is increased 389 percent when compared to first-generation drugs in the same class.

The opinion that Seroquel causes diabetes was based on at least six studies. However, AstraZeneca claims that this is unreliable testimony and only involves a small portion of available data. They have maintained that based on the totality of the evidence, Seroquel is safe and effective.

Last month, as part of pre-trial motions filed with the Seroquel Court, internal documents from AstraZeneca were publicly disclosed which indicate that the drug maker’s own global safety officer concluded there was reasonable evidence of Seroquel diabetes side effects based on data available to the drug maker very early on after Seroquel was introduced.

The first Seroquel trial is scheduled to begin on February 2, 2009, involving a case selected by plaintiffs in the litigation. The second trial, which is scheduled to begin March 2, 2009, will be a case selected by the defendants.

The bellwether trials are supposed to be representative of issues that may be presented through out other Seroquel lawsuits pending in the ligation.

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There Are 17 Comments So Far • (Add Your Comments)

  1. When Seroquel was added to my daily regime I started gaining a pound every couple days, developed full blown Cushing’s syndrome, and was showing signs of diabetes as well as all of the other adverse reactions deemed “common”, “serious”, and “rare” and then some.

    “This is a minute selection of the scientific data available on Seroquel. ~Tony Jewell” yeah my doctors told me my symptoms could not possibly be caused by the medication because what I was describing only happened to 2% of patients on these drugs, I would burst out sobbing, and nearly scream “LOOK AT ME” “but if you happen to be in that two percent it is affecting me one hundred percent”

    this part right here really kills me:
    “They attribute Guinn’s diabetes to obesity, a family history of the disease and hypertension.”

    Kind of like the drug makers are playing a dirty nasty trick on the people that have a predisposition to weight gain and have to work extra hard at keeping it off.
    And I never had hypertension until after I was put on medication, which I also find hysterical, because the reason for the medication in the first place was stress and nervousness in my case.

  2. Any doctor that tells you that weight gain is NOT a side effect of Seroquel does not have a clue what they are talking about. My wife and myself have been on and off it for years and when I was taking the meds daily I ballooned up to 260 and my 4ft10in wife is at about 160 now and was 103 10 months ago before going on this drug. I have one problem it is the ONLY thing that helps her sleep with no nightmares.

  3. I was diagnosed with bipolar 6 months ago. I had been on other medication for the help of my very severe depression and suicidal tendencies. Due to the medication not working as well and me being hospitalised for two weeks from having a very bad manic episode, my first one. I was then put on seroquel among other drugs. Since being on it, it has helped a lot. My mood has stabilized, but the other drugs I am on are, Venlor, Lantanon, and Epitec, which obviously attribute to me being stable. However since being on seroquel I have gained weight and fighting like hell to stop it from getting worse and I have also been experiencing infrequent muscle spasms in my neck, which I know can lead to Parkinsons later on in life. So my predicament is, do I live a life of being stable from bipolar, and live a life of being fat ( and I have NEVER been a fat person) plus knowing that i could develop Parkinsons in years to come. What is worse, is that I knew about the weight gain, but I have not been informed about the diabetes and the parkinsons long term side effects. If I knew this I would have been very reluctant to take seroquel in the first place. So is this a case of us having to weigh up the pro’s and cons of taking seroquel to the pro’s and cons of not taking it. Either way you look at it, it seems which ever way you go you are staring down a gun barrel.

  4. What bothers me is that the package insert clearly states that weight gain and diabetes is a possible side effect, and yet if people take the drug and have weight gain or diabetes, they get a lawyer and sue the manufacturer! Think about it!

    If I tell you that licking the cold flagpole in my front yard could cause your tongue to stick to it, and you lick it and get stuck – is this something you can sue me for, since it’s my flagpole?

    What has this world become? 9000 lawsuits? Greedy bastards.

    (package insert snippet below)
    “High blood sugar and diabetes have been reported with SEROQUEL and medicines like it. If you have diabetes or risk factors such as obesity or a family history of diabetes, ask your doctor about checking your blood sugar before starting SEROQUEL and regularly throughout treatment. If you develop symptoms of high blood sugar or diabetes, such as excessive thirst or hunger, increased urination, or weakness, contact your doctor. Complications from diabetes can be serious and even life threatening

  5. [...] mounting concerns about Seroquel side effects, which have been shown to increase the risk for high blood-sugar levels, weight gain, diabetes and [...]

  6. “What bothers me is that the package insert clearly states that weight gain and diabetes is a possible side effect, and yet if people take the drug and have weight gain or diabetes, they get a lawyer and sue the manufacturer!”

    If this were the way that these lawsuits truly came about, then I would be inclined to agree with you. However, as a mental health provider, I can tell you that this disclaimer was NOT posted on the package and/or insert materials when Seroquel was first marketed in the USA. Furthermore, these disclaimers WERE listed during the same timespan as causing diabetes, etc on the insert/packaging for the Japanese market. Why would AstraZeneca now have this listed on their USA packaging? Butt-covering 101. Seems pretty clear cut to me.

  7. Greedy bastards are AstraZeneca. I took seroquel from 2001 to 2004. Only 25 mg at bedtime for freaking nightmares steming from my ex’s murder. I gained alot of weight and now have diabetes , am insulin dependent (2 to 5 shots per day) and suffer neuropathy. I was never warned by packing insert or the dr. at the time I took it. I am in the lawsuit . My health is now bad and had I have known this was even a possibility I would have never taken it!

  8. Well, I guess the answer becomes: Pick your poison.
    We all die at the end of life. We are mortal creatures. That is a given. The question remains, how much control do you want to have over life? Mental health is an important part of living well, just as much as normal blood sugars.

    The most important thing that only the best of healthcare providers can bring to their patients is a sense of empowerment, choice, education and dignity. Bottom line, when we are all mortal, it’s not how long we live, but how we live and what we do with our lives that underscores true wellness and health.

  9. I have been on and off seroquil for eight years,I was diagnosed as bipolar 9 years ago shortly after having my third child.My life has been hell not only because of the illness but also the medication switcharoo,I have been on all sorts of meds.I was also taking the seroquil,at the time i was still in denial that i was mentally ill so I would start the meds given to me and after awhile I would stop them,I had been doing this for years,finnaly I moved to texas and took part in a medical research program for testing lamictal for bipolar patients.After all the test and cat scans and MRI’S it was conclusive to them that I was indeed bipolar so I started taking the lamictal and of course with mania you have to have something to help you sleep so I went back on the seroquil .If it had been at all possible to take an over the counter medication to sleep I would have but when your manic tylonol pm does not put you to sleep or anything else for that matter,so I have been on the seroquil steady for the most part every once in awhile i might run out and it be a few days before I can get it but it is steady.I have noticed that I am very forgetfull ,I feel drowsy all day,my concentration sucks,I come across as a dumbass to people,I forget everyday things that I should know.I started to have problems with my right leg almost two years ago,heavyness,swelling.tightness to the point sometimes I could hardly walk..the other day at work my blood pressure went up,I got really hot and confused I started shaking and My right arm felt numb,I thought maybe I was hungry so I ate some food and I started to feel better except for my arm and thirty mins later it hit me again like a giant wave my heart started to go crazy my arm went numb and my blood pressure shot up again.I have also been experiencing fevers that get to be about 101.2.So i am waiting on my test results,I had sonagrams from head to toe and blood work and ekg’s.My heart has not been beating correctly sence that day.I told the doctor that I believe that the seroquil is the cause and she said she didn’t think it was because I was on a small dose.I looked up health risk of taking seroquil and not only can it cause diabetes,and pancreatis it can also cause cardiac aresset and sudden dealth! As long as I have been on and of this drug I never knew it could do such severe things to my body.

  10. I have been on Seroquel for over 6 years now and besides knowing that it causes weight gain, which I have had, I can’t live without it. It is the one medication that allows me to shut off my manic brain and go to sleep. I have been more stable then I have ever been on stable. Of course the side effects are a bit scary but have you ever read the inserts of all the drugs, they all basically say the same thing, in other words, half the medications we take are under the mechanism of action unknown category. Everyone’s body reacts different to the same medications, and if it helps you the way it helps me to stay stable and calm and not irritable and snappy and easy to anger then I guess, Like me, you have to consider if the BENEFITS outweigh the RISK, for YOU. For me they do. I would rather have to deal with a little extra weight and watching what I eat then to Fly off the handle all the time and yell at the husband and kids. For me, Seroquel has actually been quite a miracle. Good luck and God Bless.

  11. These darn drugs, I have depression, with BPD traits, and a phsychiatrist prescribed me Seroquel. I only took it for a month. What a drug, I felt like dying, it was awful. So along the merrygoround, never warned of this side effect, however also I took a cP which causes diabetes, now I have prediabetes – high blood pressure and high blood sugar, I take meds for HBP, but there is nothing on offer for high blood sugar to stop diabetes, seems SEROQUEL – the treatment is worse than the malady it is treating, now I take St Johns wort with vitamins, Fish oil, off cp, but looks like I”m doomed can”t sue down here, in NZ we’re the guine pigs! Can I reverse the side effects of these drugs? I will never take another prescribed depression drug, stick them all!

  12. I take three 25mg Seroquel at night for depression but I used it as a sleeping pills. It completely numbs my bladder. Had anyone else had this side effect. At the moment I am taking 4 pills as I have a kidney infection (the Dr thinks) and I can’t stop urinating so when I take my Seroquel having to urinate stops. This cannot be healthy in the long run.

    Liz, NZ

  13. I am a 36 year old male located in South Africa and have been on a combination of drugs for my Bipolar Disorder for over a year now (venlor, seqoquel, lamictin, and another which slips my mind now). Over the past few months I have struggled with a number of issues.

    1. Extreme exhaustion;
    2. Weight gain around the abdomen area;
    3. Medication failing to work;
    4. Sexual problems; and and and the list continues as I read more about the various drugs.

    I cannot believe that the doctors that prescribe these meds are allowed to practice. Do they not see the negative effects it has had on patients.

    This needs to come to an end, especially if there are so many cases of negative results coming from these drugs. If I could sue the pants off the organisations and doctors I sure will.

  14. I’ve been taking Seroquel XR for about three-months (maybe a little longer). In the last ~ 6-weeks I’ve gained more than 70+ pounds. I look like I am pregnant and I’m a male.

    The distention from my abdomen begins abruptly immediately under my rib cage. I have NEVER in my entire life ever put on weight like this. The sudden weight gain is causing sever back pains and I am having trouble walking.

    I was/am an athletic person, playing football as a tailback in both high school and college.

    Going to the doctor tomorrow..

  15. I have diabetes and use serquel xr for sleep, whici helps a lot. But
    I am having a lot of numbness in both of my feet. Has anyone else
    had this problem?

  16. I have been taking Seroquel for app. 3 years ++ and have increased the dosage over that same period to a dose of 800mg per night and the effect has started to lose its affect even at that dosage. After the start of Seroquel I was diagnosed with diabetes and it has progressively gotten worse to where I am taking two types of insulin and a pill twice. I feel that without the use of Seroquel I would never have been diagnosed with Diabetes, it does not run in my family line. Is there a way to become part of a class action suit that involves these circumstances? If so, please contact me. This drug was given to me by the Veterans hospitals in three different locations and I was never informed that this was something that could possibly happen due to taking Seroquel.

  17. I’d just like to know if I can still join the Seroquel class action suit.

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