Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Antipsychotic's side effects not only in elderly

As we reported last week concerning antipsychotics' negative effects in the elderly, a number of antipsychotic medications are associated with weight gain, and for some, hyperglycemia and hyperlipidemia. In the current issue of Biological Psychiatry, researchers discuss this particular concern because there is a higher cardiovascular mortality among the severely mentally ill compared to the general population.

Systemic inflammation has recently emerged as an important marker of cardiovascular risk, but the effects of antipsychotics on inflammatory markers in the blood have not been extensively studied until now. Their findings provide evidence that antipsychotic medications, particularly olanzapine (Zyprexa®, Eli Lilly and Co.) and quetiapine (Seroquel®, AstraZeneca), increase the levels of C-reactive protein, E-selectin, and intercellular adhesion molecular-1 (ICAM-1). Increased levels of C-reactive protein in particular are associated with increased risk for the development or progression of many illnesses including heart disease, and stroke.

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