Antipsychotic drugs tied to diabetes in pregnancy
NEW YORK | Tue Jul 3, 2012 9:21pm BST
(Reuters Health) – Women who take antipsychotic medications while pregnant may have an increased risk of developing diabetes, according to a new Swedish study.
Researchers found that out of 360,000 women who gave birth over a four-year span, about four percent of those on antipsychotic drugs developed gestational diabetes. Meanwhile, only 1.7 percent of women who weren’t taking antipsychotics were diagnosed with pregnancy-related diabetes.
“It’s a very important and difficult area to study, because severe mental disorders – such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder – often require consistent medication even if a woman is pregnant. So it’s very important for us to know all the possible adverse effects from the medications,” said Dr. Robert Bodén, the study’s lead author from Uppsala University in Sweden.
Bodén and his colleagues write in the Archives of General Psychiatry that they expected to see a link between the development of gestational diabetes and olanzapine – sold under the brand name Zyprexa – and clozapine – sold as Fazaclo or Clozaril.
Those two drugs are newer antipsychotics and have been linked to weight gain, high cholesterol and increased insulin resistance, according to the authors. “We thought (gestational diabetes risk) would be more exaggerated for those treated with the two (newer drugs) but we were surprised we saw it for all antipsychotics,” said Bodén.
For their study, the researchers collected information from various databases on all women who gave birth in Sweden from mid-2005 through the end of 2009. Of those, 169 took olanzapine, clozapine or a combination of the two during pregnancy, 338 took other types of antipsychotics and 357,696 were not on any antipsychotic drugs.