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Seroquel and Diabetes

While there may be a link between Seroquel and diabetes, the exact reasons for this are unclear. Weight gain is a side effect of the drug and also a risk factor for diabetes. Or, the medication may make diabetes more obvious in people for whom it has gone undiagnosed. If you are taking Seroquel and diabetes symptoms occur, such as increased thirst and urination, immediately contact your healthcare provider.

An Overview of Seroquel and Diabetes

Seroquel® (quetiapine fumarate) is a prescription medication used to treat schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. While many Seroquel side effects are merely annoying or bothersome, there are a few side effects of Seroquel that should be taken seriously. One of these serious side effects is diabetes. Newer "atypical" antipsychotic medications (such as Seroquel) seem to increase the risk of this condition. The medication may also make diabetes worse in people who already have it.

Seroquel and Diabetes Research

In clinical studies conducted before Seroquel was approved, between 1 in every 100 and 1 in every 1,000 people taking the drug developed diabetes. Since the medicine's approval, there have been several cases of extremely high blood sugar (hyperglycemia), which have led to coma or even death.
It is not entirely clear if Seroquel is the cause of these cases of diabetes, however. People with schizophrenia (whether they are taking Seroquel or not) may be at a higher risk of developing diabetes. In addition, diabetes is on the rise in the general population. These factors combined make it unclear whether there is a relationship between Seroquel and diabetes. However, studies suggest that people taking the drug may be at a higher risk of developing it.

Why Might Seroquel Cause Diabetes?

It is not entirely clear why Seroquel might lead to diabetes. Weight gain is a significant risk factor for diabetes (see Diabetes Risk Factors), and this is a common side effect of Seroquel (see Seroquel and Weight Gain). The medication may also have direct effects on blood sugar through unknown mechanisms. It also might make the condition more obvious in people with previously undiagnosed diabetes.
Type 2 Diabetes: Fact or Fiction
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