(HealthDay News) — Maternal use of antipsychotic drugs during pregnancy is linked to an increased risk of gestational diabetes, according to a study published in the July issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

To investigate the effects of maternal use of antipsychotics during pregnancy on gestational diabetes and fetal growth, Robert Bodén, M.D., Ph.D., from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, and colleagues conducted a population-based cohort study involving women giving birth in Sweden from July 2005 through December 2009. Women were grouped by filled prescriptions for olanzapine and/or clozapine (169 women), other antipsychotics (338 women), or no antipsychotics (357, 696 women).

The researchers found that women exposed to other antipsychotics were at an increased risk of gestational diabetes (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.77). The risk increase in women exposed to olanzapine and/or clozapine was similar in magnitude but was not statistically significant (aOR, 1.94; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.97 to 3.91). There was an increased risk of being small for gestational age (SGA) for birth weight for infants exposed to either group of antipsychotics, but only exposure to other antipsychotics correlated with increased risks of being SGA for birth length and head circumference. After adjustment for maternal factors, none of the risk measurements remained significant. The risk for increased head circumference increased after exposure to olanzapine and/or clozapine (OR, 3.02).

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“Maternal use of antipsychotics during pregnancy, regardless of the drug group, is associated with an increased risk of gestational diabetes,” the authors write. “Pregnant women treated with antipsychotics should be closely monitored for gestational diabetes and deviating fetal growth.”

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