Abilify, Seroquel, Zyprexa, Risperdal. Those are some of the drugs said to make children as much as three times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.
The study spanned 12 years and JAMA Psychiatry reports the dangers began during the first year the kids took the meds and carried on almost 12 months after they stopped taking them.
Researchers think the side effects of the drugs are the biggest culprit.
"Weight gain certainly does increase the risk of type 2 diabetes," commented Dr. Wayne Ray.
Ray is a Vanderbilt professor of preventive medicine and one of the study’s authors
"Antipsychotic users certainly gain weight, including children. Antipsychotics also affect metabolism in a way that may increase the risk for type 2 diabetes. For instance, they affect insulin resistance, which is another factor in type 2 diabetes."
Ray understands the medicines are needed in some cases but his overall message to parents was very direct.
"My advice would to be very cautious about starting an antipsychotic."
Ray urged doctors and parents to look “very carefully at alternative medication, perhaps trying them first. Then, perhaps at the end of the day it may be necessary to use an antipsychotic, but you at least will have tried the safer options."