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Schizophrenia Drugs Linked to Diabetes

Evidence Mounts That Newer Schizophrenia Medications Boost Blood Sugar

Other Schizophrenia Medications

Meanwhile, other studies have linked another of these newer schizophrenia medications -- Zyprexa -- with increased risk of diabetes, including a study in Pharmacotherapy last July. That study showed that the problem arose within six months of starting the drug. Some of these newer drugs -- and most notably, Zyprexa -- are known to cause moderate weight gain, which also boosts the risk of diabetes.

These newer schizophrenia medications -- which are sometimes used to treat bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses -- are believed to prevent the muscle and nerve side effects commonly associated with the older drugs by better maintaining the balance of two brain chemicals serotonin and dopamine. Older schizophrenia medications used since the 1950s affect only dopamine.

These medications have greatly improved the lives of many people living with this potentially disabling mental condition. Researchers still need to figure out the exact relationship between diabetes and these newer schizophrenia medications. Until then, doctors and people living with schizophrenia need to keep an eye on blood sugar, weight, and other physical signs that may predict a potential problem.

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