Weighing in: Emergent diabetes mellitus and second-generation antipsychotics

Robert L. Dufresne, University of Rhode Island


Of all the metabolic effects of some of the atypical second-generation antipsychotics, their potential to induce glucose dysregulation has induced a storm of controversy over the past several years. The numerous published epidemiologic studies are difficult to interpret due to the high background rate of type 2 diabetes mellitus in this population, the inherent problems with analysis of observational data, and the short duration of the available studies. A plan to monitor for weight gain, hypertriglyceridemia, glucose dysregulation, and other potential adverse metabolic effects resulting from antipsychotic treatment is critical.