Metabolic testing rates in 3 state Medicaid programs after FDA warnings and ADA/APA recommendations for second-generation antipsychotic drugs

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2010 Jan;67(1):17-24. doi: 10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2009.179.


Context: In 2003, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) required a warning on diabetes risk for second-generation antipsychotic (SGA) drugs. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) and American Psychiatric Association (APA) recommended glucose and lipid testing for all patients starting to receive SGA drugs.

Objective: To characterize associations between the combined warnings and recommendations and baseline metabolic testing and SGA drug selection.

Design: Interrupted time-series analysis.

Setting: California, Missouri, and Oregon. Patients A total of 109 451 individuals receiving Medicaid who began taking SGA medication and a control cohort of 203 527 patients who began taking albuterol but did not receive antipsychotic medication.

Interventions: Prewarning and postwarning trends in metabolic testing were compared using laboratory claims for the cohort collected January 1, 2002, through December 31, 2005. Changes in SGA prescribing practices were similarly evaluated.

Main outcome measures: Monthly rates of baseline serum glucose and lipid testing for SGA-treated and propensity-matched albuterol-treated patients and monthly share of new prescriptions for each SGA drug.

Results: Initial testing rates for SGA-treated patients were low (glucose, 27%; lipids, 10%). The warning was not associated with an increase in glucose testing among SGA-treated patients and was associated with only a marginal increase in lipid testing rates (1.7%; P = .02). Testing rates and trends in SGA-treated patients were not different from background rates observed in the albuterol control group. New prescriptions of olanzapine (higher metabolic risk) declined during the warning period (annual share decline, 19.9%; P < .001). New prescriptions of aripiprazole (lower metabolic risk) increased during the warning period (share increase, 12.1%; P < .001) but may be attributable to the elimination of prior authorization in California during the same time frame. Quetiapine, risperidone, and ziprasidone use were not associated with the warning.

Conclusions: In a Medicaid-receiving population, baseline glucose and lipid testing for SGA-treated patients was infrequent and showed little change following the diabetes warning and monitoring recommendations. A change in SGA drug selection consistent with intentions to reduce metabolic risk was observed.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antipsychotic Agents / adverse effects
  • Antipsychotic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Blood Glucose / analysis*
  • California
  • Child
  • Diabetes Mellitus / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus / chemically induced*
  • Drug Labeling
  • Dyslipidemias / chemically induced
  • Dyslipidemias / diagnosis
  • Female
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Humans
  • Lipids / blood*
  • Male
  • Medicaid / statistics & numerical data*
  • Mental Disorders / blood
  • Mental Disorders / drug therapy
  • Mental Disorders / metabolism
  • Middle Aged
  • Missouri
  • Psychotic Disorders / blood
  • Psychotic Disorders / drug therapy
  • Psychotic Disorders / metabolism
  • Societies, Medical
  • United States
  • United States Food and Drug Administration


  • Antipsychotic Agents
  • Blood Glucose
  • Lipids