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Anti-Psychotic Drug A Diabetes Risk?

Aug 22, 2003 | AstraZeneca’s schizophrenia drug, the $1.2 billion-a-year seller Seroquel, has been linked to a higher incidence of diabetes, according to a report.

DATA FROM A study to be reported at a weekend medical conference in Philadelphia showed patients on Seroquel had 3.34 times as many cases of diabetes as those on older drugs, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The study of U.S. military veterans suggested Seroquel and other members of a new class of anti-psychotic drugs posed a higher risk of diabetes, but the effect was most pronounced with Seroquel.

With Johnson & Johnson’s Risperdal, the rate was 1.49 times, or 49 percent greater than that of the older drugs. For market leader Zyprexa, from Eli Lilly & Co, the diabetes effect was 27 percent higher.

AstraZeneca spokesman Steve Brown said the Anglo-Swedish company had not seen the data from the study by U.S. doctors but, to date, there was “no causal relationship established between Seroquel and diabetes”.

Max Hermann, an industry analyst at ING, said the news could benefit Lilly’s Zyprexa, since it had the lowest number of diabetes cases.

Furthermore, Lilly’s product had been associated with a higher rate of diabetes for several years and the fact that this now appears to be an effect common to the entire drug class should enhance its competitive position, he added.

What is it?How many people have it?What are the symptoms?Does it cause violent behaviors?What causes it?Can it be treated?Looking for more information?

Schizophrenia is a serious brain disease, the most chronic and disabling of the mental illnesses. The first signs of schizophrenia typically emerge in young people in their teens or 20s.

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