Abilify Use in Children Increased Diabetes Risk

“Atypical” antipsychotic drugs, also called second-generation antipsychotics, including Abilify, Risperdal and Zyprexa, among others, are being prescribed to children and young adults at alarming rates, while children are developing Type II diabetes at unprecedented rates. This drastic upswing in Type II diabetes in children and young adults has been blamed on many factors, but a recent study in Tennessee may explain these results.

A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) focused on the occurrence of Type II diabetes in children and young adults, ages 6 to 24 who were taking Type II antipsychotics.

The researchers reviewed the records of more than 28,000 children and found that where the children were taking one of these drugs, they had a threefold risk of developing Type II diabetes within the first year, with the risk increasing over time. This means with the passage of time and continued use of the drug, the risk for children taking these drugs continued to increase. For children ages 6 to 17, the risk was even more significant, and also increased over time of usage. The increased risk persisted for at least one year after the prescription was stopped.

Powerful antipsychotics traditionally were used to treat schizophrenia. Today, the majority of prescriptions for antipsychotic medications are used for treatment of bipoloar disorder, ADHD and mood disorders, such as depression, according to prior research.

Antipsychotics appear to increase diabetes risk by causing dramatic weight gain in children and by promoting insulin resistance, author Wayne Ray of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine said.

The boom in the use of antipsychotic medication has been particularly dramatic among children. Antipsychotic prescriptions have increased sevenfold for kids in recent years and nearly five fold for teens and young adults aged 14 to 20, according to a 2012 study from Columbia University.

The specific antipsychotic medication used with children didn’t seem to have any effect on reducing the risk of diabetes. “It may be an effect of the whole class of antipsychotics,” said Ray. The majority of participants were taking “atypical” antipsychotics.

It is important to research the side effects and risks of any medication before giving to a child. These warnings are not always listed on the labels. If your child has been diagnosed with type II diabetes after taking an “atypical” antipsychotic medication, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact one of our Gacovino Lake attorneys at 1-800-246-HURT (4878).

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