Risk with Anti-Psychotic Drugs Developing Gestational Diabetes Found

by Mark Benson on July 5, 2012

Antipsychotic drugs and effect on would be mothers

Researchers have found that women who ingest anti-psychotic drugs during pregnancy have an increased risk of developing gestational diabetes. The study was headed by Robert Boden, MD, PhD from the Center for Pharmacoepidemiology of the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm. Also participating in the study are colleagues from the Uppsala University at Uppsala, Sweden.

The study, to be published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, bases its premise on the use of antipsychotic drugs by women to manage severe mental conditions such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. It was initially stated that “however, the evidence concerning use of antipsychotics during pregnancy is generally lacking or weak.”

In the study conducted, the team reviewed the medical records of Swedish women that gave birth in Sweden from July 2005 to December 2009. It was found that 357,696 had no prescriptions for antipsychotics, with 169 women prescribed with olanzapine and/or clozapine with 338 being prescribed with other antipsychotics.

The researchers found, “Gestational diabetes was more than twice as common in mothers who used antipsychotics, where seven or 4.1 percent were prescribed with olanzapine and/or clozapine and 15 or 4.4 percent for those prescribed other antipsychotics than in the total population of pregnant women or 5,970 or 1.7 percent.”

Despite finding that women were more likely to deliver a smaller child for their gestational age when using antipsychotics, the risk was not statistically significant after adjusting for maternal factors.

The researchers further explained, “In conclusion, maternal use of antipsychotics during pregnancy, regardless of the drug group, is associated with an increased risk of gestational diabetes. The increased risk of giving birth to an SGA infant observed among women treated with antipsychotics during pregnancy is probably an effect of the confounding factors, such as smoking.”

Furthermore, exposure to olanzapine and/or clozapine did not increase the risk of being born large for their gestational age in terms of weight or length. The risks though were more pronounced in their head circumference.

Despite the low findings, the researchers advise, “Pregnant women treated with antipsychotics should be closely monitored for gestational diabetes and deviating fetal growth.”

It is best that the drugs being ingested, especially for pregnant women be properly coordinated to prevent any short or long term issues with the mother’s health and the baby’s very own.


The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of the DiabetesForum.com Community and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Please see your doctor before making any changes to your diabetes management plan.

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