Certain antipsychotics linked with increased risk of gestational diabetes

Study suggests that use of olanzapine or quetiapine during pregnancy is linked with development of gestational diabetes.

Gestational diabetes

Women who continue taking olanzapine or quetiapine during pregnancy are more likely to develop gestational diabetes than those who discontinue atypical antipsychotic medication, according to a study in the American Journal of Psychiatry (7 May 2018)[1]

The research included data on 1.5 million pregnancies of non-diabetic mothers who had received a prescription for an antipsychotic drug in the 3 months before pregnancy.

The findings showed that women who continued taking olanzapine in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy had a 61% increased risk of gestational diabetes and those who continued taking quetiapine had a 28% increased risk, compared with women who discontinued these drugs.

However, there was no association between continued use of aripiprazole, ziprasidone or risperidone and gestational diabetes.

“Further studies are needed in order to understand the potential effect of switching antipsychotic agents during pregnancy on the risk for gestational diabetes,” said the authors.

“Such information would aid treatment decisions pertaining to women for whom treatment discontinuation is not an option.”


[1] Park Y, Hernandez-Diaz S, Bateman B et al. Continuation of atypical antipsychotic medication during early pregnancy and the risk of gestational diabetes. Am J Psych 2018. doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2018.17040393

Last updated
Clinical Pharmacist, CP, July 2018, Vol 10, No 7;10(7):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2018.20205057

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