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Identifying Metabolic Risks With Antipsychotics and Monitoring and Management Strategies

J Clin Psychiatry 2007;68(7):e17

Mental health providers have an especially important responsibility to monitor the physical changes that patients have in response to medication. The current public health focus is on adiposity as a major risk factor for diabetes, coronary heart disease, insulin resistance syndrome, metabolic syndrome, and other diseases. Adiposity has an adverse effect on insulin action, which can lead to a cycle in which insulin loses its ability to stop the breakdown of fat. Because type 2 diabetes takes approximately 2 decades to develop, patients with increased BMI can be at risk for adverse effects to their physical health for many years. Because of the possibility that some antipsychotic treatments can lead to weight gain and metabolic changes and possibly to severe physical illness, regular physical checks should be made.

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