March 6, 2014 — Risperdal (risperidone), a powerful anti-psychotic drug, has been associated with an increased risk of type-2 diabetes and hyperglycemia (high blood-sugar) in children and adults. Risperdal can lead to the development of “medically serious” weight gain, which predisposes patients to diabetes.
Studies linking Risperdal and diabetes / hyperglycemia:
- Pharmacotherapy (2003), “Risperidone-associated diabetes mellitus: a pharmacovigilance study” — 131 cases of high blood-sugar (hyperglycemia) linked to the use of Risperdal.
- American Journal of Epidemiology (2006), “Diabetes Risk Associated with Use of Olanzapine, Quetiapine, and Risperidone in Veterans Health Administration Patients with Schizophrenia” — Study links Risperdal and weight-gain that “may contribute to the increased risk of diabetes.”
Risperdal Hyperglycemia Risk
Type-2 diabetes is a chronic metabolic disorder characterized by cellular resistance to insulin, a hormone that regulates blood-sugar levels. People with diabetes have problems with hyperglycemia, which occurs because de-sensitized cells do not absorb enough glucose (sugar) from the bloodstream. Over time, untreated diabetes can cause life-threatening complications, including ketoacidosis (diabetic coma) and death.
FDA Warning for Risperdal and Hyperglycemia
Janssen Pharmaceutica, Inc., the manufacturer of Risperdal, sent doctors a “Dear Healthcare Professional” letter in November 2003 to inform them about the risk of hyperglycemia and diabetes.
A few months later, the FDA sent Janssen a Warning Letter after determining that the letter violated federal law because it was “false or misleading.” According to the FDA:
“[‘Dear Healthcare Provider’ letter] minimizes the risk of hyperglycemia-related adverse events, which in extreme cases is associated with serious adverse events including ketoacidosis, hyperosmolar coma, and death, fails to recommend regular glucose control monitoring to identify diabetes mellitus as soon as possible, and misleadingly claims that Risperdal is safer than other atypical antipsychotics.”