With the proliferation of anti-psychotic drugs being prescribed to Americans today, it seems axiomatic that they would be used sparingly on children with developmental disabilities; especially those who qualify for Social Security benefits. The concern that they may create or aggravate other ailments should be considered when making prescription decisions.
In fact, a new study found that such drugs increase a child’s risk to contract diabetes. Specifically, researchers found that young people who were taking Abilify, Risperdal, Seroquel, and Zyprexa were three times as likely to have type II diabetes compared to children who did not take these medicines.
In reaching their results, researchers reviewed medical records of children aged 6 through 24 who were enrolled in Tennesee’s Medicaid program between 1996 and 2007. Nearly 29,000 were prescribed the antipsychotics previously described, while 14,000 took other drugs. They found that children taking antipsychotics were three times as likely to develop diabetes. The report did not offer specific medical reasons for the differences, but it signals an important consideration for young people with developmental disabilities.
The senior author of the study even advised that doctors should carefully consider all the available alternatives before prescribing antipsychotics because of the risks involved. For those who are eventually given these drugs, they should be closely monitored to ensure that other health risks are mitigated.
This is especially important given that many parents of such children are not aware of the health risks, and may not be certain if their benefits would cover different treatments.
Source: DisabilityScoop.com, Study finds anti-psychotics triple diabetes risk, August 27, 2013