Antipsychotics May Increase Diabetes Risk in Children, Adolescents

the MPR take:

Patients diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder before the age of 18 years who take antipsychotic medications are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than patients not taking these drugs, says a new study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.  Other risk factors for type 2 diabetes development in psychiatrically ill children and adolescents include female sex and older age at the time of psychiatric diagnosis. While the association between antipsychotic drugs and an increased risk of weight gain and diabetes has been established in adults, data surrounding the effect of these drugs on diabetes development in children and adolescents has been scarce.  This new data indicates that antipsychotic therapy, particularly for nonpsychotic and off-label conditions, should be used in children and adolescents only when other safer, evidence-based options have been exhausted.  The authors suggest young patients prescribed antipsychotic therapies should have regular cardiometabolic monitoring, including fasting glucose and HbA1C testing.

Antipsychotics are associated with weight gain and diabetes. The risk and rate of diabetes in children and adolescents treated with antipsychotics is unclear.