According to new research conducted by the University of Leicester, psychiatrists don't offer enough checks on metabolic complications that may arise in people treated with antipsychotic drugs.
The paper "Guideline concordant monitoring of metabolic risk in people treated with antipsychotic medication" was published in the journal Psychological Medicine this month.
Metabolic complications have often been associated with antipsychotics. Drugs like Olanzapine, used in the treatment of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, have been known to increase the risk of weight gain and impaired glucose homeostasis. Antipsychotics have also been associated with diabetes, high cholesterol and heart disease.
Yet, according to the researchers, blood pressure and triglycerides were measured in only over half of patients who were under psychiatric care. Further, cholesterol, glucose and weight checks were offered to less than half.
The paper was collated by reviewing 48 studies published in five countries between 2000 and 2011.
Antipsychotics have also become increasingly common among children. According to a 2006 MSNBC article, antipsychotic prescriptions for children rose fivefold between 1995 and 2002. Side effects reported include weight gain, sedation, increased cholesterol and hyperglycemia.