Antipsychotic Diabetes Risk Among Children Identified in Study

The side effects of Seroquel, Risperdal, Zyprexa, Abilify and other antipsychotic drugs could increase the risk of children developing diabetes, according to the findings of a new study. 

In a study published last week in the medical journal Pediatrics, U.S. researchers indicate that giving a child under the age of 18 atypical antipsychotic drugs appears to nearly quadruple their risk of developing diabetes.

The researchers looked at data on more than 74,000 children between the ages of five and 18, finding that after just an average of 4.5 months on antidepressants, 3.23 out of every 1,000 children given the drugs were diagnosed with diabetes. That compares to 0.76 children per 1,000 diagnosed with diabetes who are not on antipsychotics.

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Scientists say that it is known that antipsychotics can cause weight gain, which can lead to diabetes. However, those involved in the study say that there appears to be more going on with these drugs than simple weight gain.

The study comes about two months after an FDA advisory panel urged the agency to closely watch the side effects of atypical antipsychotics for weight gain. The panel of experts called on the FDA to better clarify weight gain and diabetes warnings on the drugs.

The new generation of antipsychotics are being more frequently prescribed to children for a wide variety of psychological disorders, such as psychoses, autism, ADHD or bipolar disorder, even though many of them are not approved for those uses. While most of the antipsychotics were prescribed to children between 7 and 12 years of age, the medications have been prescribed to toddlers as young as two years-old.

Seroquel (quetiapine fumarate) is an atypical-antipsychotic that is a top selling drug for AstraZeneca, generating nearly $5 billion a year in sales. Originally approved by the FDA in 1997 for the treatment of schizophrenia, it has also been frequently prescribed off-label for uses that were not approved as safe and effective at the time, such as anxiety, obsessive dementia, compulsive disorders and autism. AstraZeneca reached a $520 million settlement with the Department of Justice (DOJ) over off-labeling charges last year.

AstraZeneca has also settled more than 28,000 Seroquel lawsuits filed by former users of the medication who alleged that the drug maker failed to adequately warn about the risk of diabetes from Seroquel side effects.

5 Comments

  • KellyDecember 12, 2019 at 5:07 am

    There are 2 types of diabetes, Tyoe 1 and Tyoe 2. Which are you writing about? Tere's a HUGE difference. Plus, adults can get both, not just kids.

  • JOHNJuly 6, 2013 at 2:36 am

    I WROTE A VERY DETAILED EMAIL ON THE COMPUTER 3 DAYS AGO ABOUT MY EXPERIENCE WITH TAKING ZYPREXA FOR A 10 YEAR PERIOD FROM 2001 UNTIL I WAS PARALYZED ON NOVEMBER 21,2011. I DON'T KNOW IF THAT EMAIL EVER WENT TO THE 'RIGHT PLACE' ??? ANYWAY, I WOKE UP DIZZY ON THAT DATE AND I FELL OVER A RAILING FROM A SLEEPING LOFT DOWN ON TOP OF A REFRIGERATOR, OFF A COUNTER TOP AND ONTO THE FLOOR IN FRONT OF M[Show More]I WROTE A VERY DETAILED EMAIL ON THE COMPUTER 3 DAYS AGO ABOUT MY EXPERIENCE WITH TAKING ZYPREXA FOR A 10 YEAR PERIOD FROM 2001 UNTIL I WAS PARALYZED ON NOVEMBER 21,2011. I DON'T KNOW IF THAT EMAIL EVER WENT TO THE 'RIGHT PLACE' ??? ANYWAY, I WOKE UP DIZZY ON THAT DATE AND I FELL OVER A RAILING FROM A SLEEPING LOFT DOWN ON TOP OF A REFRIGERATOR, OFF A COUNTER TOP AND ONTO THE FLOOR IN FRONT OF MY SINK, AND I LAYED THERE FOR 4 DAYS--THURS. MORNING NOV. 21, 2011 UNTIL MONDAY A.M. NOV.25, 2011. THANKFULLY I HAD A FRIEND CHECK ON ME AND CALLED THE 'RESCUE SQUAD' WHICH TRANSPORTED ME TO THE LOCAL HOSPITAL--THEY THOUGHT I HAD A 'STROKE'.. BUT COULDN'T CONFIRM THIS AND 'A WEEK LATER' I WAS TRANSPORTED TO ALBANY MEDICAL CENTER--THE VERY BEST IN THE AREA. THE FIRST WEEK THERE I WAS 'OUT OF IT' LIKE THE WEEK PRIOR IN THE LOCAL HOSPITAL. ANYWAY, I SPENT 2 WEEKS THERE BEFORE I WAS ABLE TO GO TO A 'HEALTH AND REHAB CENTER' BACK IN MY HOMETOWN. I SPENT 6 WEEKS THERE IN THE REHAB BEFORE I 'BEGGED THEM' TO RELEASE ME ON JANUARY 23, 2012--THE DAY BEFORE I TURNED 73 . MY SON PICKED ME UP ON DISCHARGE, I WAS IN A WHEELCHAIR. MY BALANCE 'WAS' AND ' STILL IS' VERY BAD...I'M AN ATHLETE, BUT LAST SUMMER I COULD NOT RUN, AND I HAVE RUN IN OVER 160 ROAD RACES IN THE LAST FEW YEARS.. OR HAVE I BEEN ABLE TO RIDE MY MOUNTAIN BIKE. I HAVE TRIED AGAIN THIS SPRING TO BIKE,--RUNNING IS 'OUT OF THE QUESTION'... ITS TO 'SCARY' WITH MY BALANCE PROBLEM TO DO EITHER. I HONESTLY DON'T KNOW IF I WILL 'EVER' BE ABLE TO RUN OR RIDE MY BIKE AGAIN ?? I HAVE BEEN TOLD THAT THERE IS A 'CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT' AGAINST 'ZYPREXA' AND ELI LILLY. DO YOU THINK THERE IS ANYTHING I CAN DO ABOUT MY EXPERIENCE OF 10 YEARS OF TAKING ZYPREXA ? ? ? SINCERELY, JOHN

  • VincentJune 24, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    Was forced to take resperdal and zyprexa now have type 1 diabetes

  • GreggJanuary 17, 2012 at 11:32 pm

    Why is Abilify being used in children? The box clearly states not for use in children under 18 for depression, why was my son put on it?

  • DanielNovember 30, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    Yes,be aware of drugs that potentiate diabetes. Eli Lilly Zyprexa Olanzapine issues linger. The use of powerful antipsychotic drugs has increased in children as young as three years old. Weight gain, increases in triglyceride levels and associated risks for diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The average weight gain (adults) over the 12 week study period was the highest for Zyprexa—17 pounds. Yo[Show More]Yes,be aware of drugs that potentiate diabetes. Eli Lilly Zyprexa Olanzapine issues linger. The use of powerful antipsychotic drugs has increased in children as young as three years old. Weight gain, increases in triglyceride levels and associated risks for diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The average weight gain (adults) over the 12 week study period was the highest for Zyprexa—17 pounds. You’d be hard pressed to gain that kind of weight sport-eating your way through the holidays.One in 145 adults died in clinical trials of those taking the antipsychotic drug Zyprexa. This was Lilly's #1 product $5 billion per year sales,moreover Lilly also make billions more on drugs that treat diabetes. --- Daniel Zyprexa activist and patient.

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