March 6, 2014 — Several studies have found an increased risk of type-2 diabetes in children on the anti-psychotic drug Risperdal (risperidone). Patients on Risperdal are at risk of developing “medically serious” weight gain, which can cause problems with blood-sugar control (hyperglycemia) and lead to the development of type-2 diabetes.
Studies linking Risperdal and diabetes include:
- “Risperidone-associated diabetes mellitus: a pharmacovigilance study” — Pharmacotherapy (2003) — Researchers identified 131 reports of hyperglycemia (high blood-sugar) associated with Risperdal.
- “Diabetes Risk Associated with Use of Olanzapine, Quetiapine, and Risperidone in Veterans Health Administration Patients with Schizophrenia” — American Journal of Epidemiology (2006) — Researchers warned that weight-gain associated with Risperdal and other anti-psychotics “may contribute to the increased risk of diabetes.”
Risperdal and Hyperglycemia
Hyperglycemia (high blood-sugar) is a risk-factor for developing type-2 diabetes. It occurs when there is too much glucose (sugar) in the bloodstream. Symptoms include frequent urination and increased thirst. If untreated, hyperglycemia can cause ketoacidosis (diabetic coma) and even death.
In November 2003, Janssen Pharmaceutica, Inc., sent doctors a “Dear Healthcare Professional” letter to inform them of the risk of hyperglycemia and type-2 diabetes from Risperdal. However, soon afterward, the FDA sent Janssen a Warning Letter after determining that the letter was “false or misleading” in violation of federal law.
“[‘Dear Healthcare Provider’ letter] minimizes the risk of hyperglycemia-related adverse events, which in extreme cases is associated with serious adverse events including ketoacidosis, hyperosmolar coma, and death, fails to recommend regular glucose control monitoring to identify diabetes mellitus as soon as possible, and misleadingly claims that Risperdal is safer than other atypical antipsychotics.”
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