Anti-psychotic drugs, used to treat behavioral disorders in children, may actually be tripling their risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Those who took Abilify, Risperdal, Seroquel, and Zyprexa were three times more at risk than those who took other drugs for the same issues, USA Today reports, via a 12-year study in JAMA Psychiatry. Scarier still: The risk jumps within the first year of taking the drugs and continues up to a year after use, proving it's not just long-term use that's a problem, researchers say.
Though only 106 children and youth were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes of the 29,000 in the drug group and 14,400 in the control group, the heightened risk is still a big deal, the Business Standard reports. What's behind it? Weight gain (an added 20 to 30 pounds), changes in metabolism, and increased insulin resistance—all side effects of anti-psychotics, the most common prescription for mood, attention, and behavioral disorders in children. "My advice would be to be very cautious about starting an anti-psychotic," the study lead says, adding if an alternative is available, use it. (Read more antipsychotic drugs stories.)