The use of first and second-generation antipsychotic drugs and the potential to develop gestational diabetes mellitus among perinatal patients with psychosis

Schizophr Res. 2023 Apr:254:22-26. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2023.01.030. Epub 2023 Feb 7.


There is limited knowledge about the effects of antipsychotic exposure on the development of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) in women with mental illness. Studies have demonstrated an association between antipsychotic medications and metabolic problems such as weight gain and diabetes mellitus in non-pregnant patients with psychiatric disorders. GDM increases the risk of adverse maternal outcomes, including pregnancy-induced hypertension, antepartum and postpartum haemorrhage, and caesarean delivery. The National Register of Antipsychotic Medication in Pregnancy (NRAMP) is a prospective Australian cohort study that observed women who took antipsychotics during pregnancy. Data from 205 women were extracted for the final analysis and included women who took first or second-generation antipsychotics (FGA,SGA) during the first trimester of pregnancy (at minimum) and had a diagnosis of a psychotic disorder (n = 180). The comparison (non-exposed) group (n = 25) were women with psychosis who chose not to take any antipsychotic during the first trimester (at minimum). The comparison groups were not matched, although groups were homogenous in terms of sex, age range, diagnosis and perinatal status. The results of logistic regression analysis revealed that women who were exposed to FGAs, SGAs were seven and five times, respectively, more likely to develop GDM compared to non-exposed groups. When adjusted for confounding variables such as BMI and family history of diabetes, the potential of developing GDM decreased for women taking SGAs. In conclusion, the risk of developing GDM is lower in women taking SGAs compared with women taking FDAs. In addition, family history of diabetes and BMI adds to the risk.

Keywords: Antipsychotics; Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM); Pregnancy; Psychosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antipsychotic Agents* / adverse effects
  • Australia
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diabetes, Gestational* / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Prospective Studies
  • Psychotic Disorders* / drug therapy
  • Psychotic Disorders* / epidemiology


  • Antipsychotic Agents