Life-Threatening Effects of Antipsychotic Drugs pages:255-272
Antipsychotics are associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). T2DM affects around 10% of people receiving antipsychotics. The consequences of T2DMin this population includeincreased rates of micro-and macrovascular complications, acute metabolic decompensation and premature mortality. Multiple complex mechanisms underlie the association between T2DM and antipsychotic medication use. A causative link between antipsychotics and T2DM appears to exist. The general approach to T2DM prevention and management should be similar to those for the general population, but enhanced for this high risk population. Lifestyle interventions are integral in order to reduce incident T2DM. In addition, improved uptake of opportunities to screen for T2DM will reduce the prevalence of undiagnosed diabetes. Currently people receiving antipsychotics receive poorer treatment for T2DM than the general population. Consequently, healthcare professionals in primary care, diabetes services and mental health care teams have a responsibility to ensure that people receiving antipsychotics are not disadvantaged.