Study suggests antipsychotic drugs during pregnancy linked to increased risk of gestational diabetes

A study that examined maternal use of antipsychotic drugs during pregnancy suggests that these medications may be linked to an increased risk of gestational diabetes, according to a report in the July issue of Archives of General Psychiatry.

Severe , such as schizophrenia and , are usually treated with continuous , "however, the evidence concerning use of antipsychotics during pregnancy is generally lacking or weak," the authors write in the study background.

Robert Bodén. M.D., Ph.D., of the Centre for Pharmacoepidemiology, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, and Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden, and colleagues used Swedish national health registers for a population-based study that also examined the effects of antipsychotic drugs during pregnancy on fetal growth.

Women who gave birth in Sweden from July 2005 through December 2009, were grouped by filled prescriptions for: (1) the antipsychotics olanzapine and/or clozapine (n=169); (2) other antipsychotics (n=338); or (3) no antipsychotics (n=357,696).

"Gestational diabetes was more than twice as common in mothers who used antipsychotics (seven mothers [4.1 percent] for group 1 and 15 [4.4 percent] for group 2) than in the total population of pregnant women (5,970 [1.7 percent])," according to the study results. The risk increase with olanzapine and/or clozapine was of similar magnitude but not statistical significance, the results indicate.

Women using antipsychotics also had an increased risk of giving birth to a small for gestational age (SGA) infant but, after adjusting for maternal factors, the risk was no longer statistically significant, according to the results.

"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 confounding factors, such as smoking," the authors comment.

The results also indicate there were no increased risks of being large for gestational age (LGA) for birth weight or birth length after exposure to olanzapine and/or clozapine, but the risk increased for head circumference.

"Pregnant women treated with should be closely monitored for and deviating fetal growth," the researchers conclude.

More information: Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2012;69[7]:715-721.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Social ties matter beyond bushfires

1 hour ago

In the first major release of findings from the Beyond Bushfires study of the aftermath of the Black Saturday bushfires, researchers from the University of Melbourne have been able to show the social element ...

Mom's prenatal hardship turns baby's genes on and off

1 hour ago

In January 1998 five days of freezing rain collapsed the electrical grid of the Canadian province of Québec. The storm left more than 3 million people without electricity for anywhere from a few hours to ...

Smoking rates high among people with psychotic illness

2 hours ago

The rate of smoking among people in Adelaide's northern suburbs who suffer from a psychotic illness is much greater than the national average and is contributing to other major health problems, according to new research from ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.