Drugs That May Cause Diabetes

In the past few years researchers have indicated that cholesterol-lowering statin drugs may increase the risk of developing Type II diabetes. However, drugs such as Lipitor, Crestor and Zocor are not the only drugs thought to cause this disease. Researchers have uncovered other drugs that also increase a patient's chance of developing Type II diabetes.

Antipsychotic medications can cause weight gain and an increase in lipids, triglycerides and glucose. These conditions can contribute to the development of Type II diabetes. These are medications prescribed for depression, bipolar disease, and schizophrenia. Drugs include Zyprexa, Risperdal, Abilify, and Geodon. Older antidepressants are also implicated. Younger patients under 40 are particularly susceptible to this side effect.

Steroids (corticosteroids) used to treat rheumatoid arthritis have been linked to an increased risk of diabetes. However, there is some possibility that it is not the steroids used to treat the joint inflammation, but the inflammation itself that is the cause. The drugs include brand names such as Advair, an inhaled steroid, as well as oral prednisone.

A type of diuretic or water pill known as a thiazide diuretic that is prescribed to treat high blood pressure or swelling has been shown to result in diabetes in some patients. Lower doses are less likely to result in increased blood sugar and diabetes.

Beta-blockers are used to treat high blood pressure and heart problems and have been shown to be linked to diabetes. These drugs include Coreg, Ideral, Toprol, Lopressor, Corgard and Tenomin.

Older contraceptives were thought to carry an increased risk for diabetes, but these drugs seemed to cause the problem mainly in women who had had gestational diabetes.

Of course, any substance that affects the pancreas' ability to produce insulin could be said to cause at least increased glucose levels if not Type 2 diabetes. Certain rat poisons, for example, have left patients who survived the exposure to the poison with insulin dependent diabetes. Some have noted that heroin addicts have an increased risk of developing Type II diabetes.

How could rat poison and beta-blockers have similar effects? Some research suggests that the reason such diverse substances are linked to the development of diabetes is that they have one thing in common: they contain chemicals that bond tight to zinc molecules, an ingredient in insulin, making it impossible for the pancreas to form insulin.

Moreover, any drug that causes weight gain can ultimately result in diabetes. Because not all patients respond in the same way to specific drugs, it is important for them to keep their doctors aware of symptoms and weight gain. In many instances, alternate drugs can be prescribed.

If you deveoped diabetes after taking one of the drugs discussed here, talk about your options with a lawyer from Elk & Elk. Contact us today.