Antipsychotics increase risk of heart disease

This fact is of course obvious if one stops and thinks about the fact that antipsychotics, more appropriately called, neuroleptics (since they’re used for all sorts of things and often do not stop psychosis), cause metabolic syndrome in a very large number of users.

The fact that the drugs cause diabetes and obesity is widely known. So since diabetes and obesity often cause heart disease this is of course not surprising and is well known among those of us that look at the risks these drugs pose on a regular basis. The fact that it’s being reported explicitly in the mainstream media though, is a first.

Also known by underreported is that people on these drugs have a life-span of up to 25 years less then the rest of the population. This article refers to that as well.

Antipsychotic medications, which have raised red flags in the past, may increase the risk of heart disease in as little as a few months, a new study says.

Among the people taking these drugs are patients with schizophrenia, who tend to have shorter-than-average life spans. So the role of antipsychotics in heart disease needs to be addressed, said co-author Debra Foley, senior lecturer at the Center for Youth Mental Health at the University of Melbourne in Australia.

Researchers have already reported that newer antipsychotics are associated with an increased risk of diabetes. The Food and Drug Administration put out warnings on this danger in 2004.

According to the new study, published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, patients taking antipsychotics tended to gain weight after one month and had increases in their cholesterol levels after three to four months.

Obesity, high cholesterol, and diabetes all increase the risk of heart disease.

“This change in risk is evident early in the course of treatment, within several weeks of continuous use, but may continue to alter over several years,” Foley told Reuters Health in an email. The “risk varies depending on the specific drug taken and how long it is taken for,” she added.

About one in 100 adults in the U.S. has schizophrenia, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

But antipsychotic drugs are also given to some patients with bipolar disorder, personality disorders, or anxiety, said Dr. Karen Graham, assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. She was not involved in the study. read the rest here

Comments are closed.

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: