New onset diabetes and atypical antipsychotics

Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2001 Feb;11(1):25-32. doi: 10.1016/s0924-977x(00)00127-9.


As a class, the atypical antipsychotics are the first line treatment choice for the psychopharmacologic management of psychotic disorders. Emerging evidence currently suggests that at least two of the atypical antipsychotics, clozapine and olanzapine, and possibly quetiapine may be associated with the risk of new onset diabetes or serum glucose dyscontrol. Computerized Medline and Current Contents searches from years 1966 through June 2000 were undertaken to retrieve all pertinent studies and case reports of typical and atypical antipsychotics and glucose-insulin problems. Historically, both schizophrenia and the older antipsychotics medications have been reported to be associated with a similar risk for causing disruptions in serum glucose control. Additionally, diabetes has well recognized associations with a number of medical disorders such as cardiovascular disease; it is therefore worthy of attention. Hypothesized mechanisms for antipsychotic induced diabetes ranges from the antagonism of several neurotransmitter receptors to insulin resistance. A total of thirty-five cases of induced or exacerbated diabetes are presently available in the published literature; the vast majority of cases implicate clozapine (n=20) and olanzapine (n=15). In multiple cases, diabetic ketoacidosis has been the presenting symptom; daily atypical antipsychotic doses have been within acceptable ranges and were not considered to be excessive.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age of Onset
  • Antipsychotic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Antipsychotic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Diabetes Mellitus / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperglycemia / chemically induced
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychotic Disorders / complications
  • Psychotic Disorders / drug therapy


  • Antipsychotic Agents