Clozaril (clozapine) and Zyprexa (olanzapine) use has been linked to diabetes, hyperglycemia and pancreatitis. Both medications are atypical antipsychotic medications used primarily to treat schizophrenia.
The findings, based on medical research carried out at Duke University and the FDA appear in the Nov. 28, 2004 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association.
In addition a paper published last year as a Journal of Clinical Psychiatry supplement reports that the FDA has been alerted to over 140 cases of new-onset diabetes in patients taking clozapine. About three dozen cases involved the complication of ketoacidosis, a potentially fatal condition related to elevated blood sugar and acid balance of the patient's body. The same paper pointed to 19 case reports of diabetes linked to the use of olanzapine, or Zyprexa.
Further investigation found research developed between January 1993 and March 2003 that showed 11 reports of runaway blood sugar levels in patients aged 13 to 18 taking clozapine. One youth taking clozapine developed pancreatitis over a month following cessation of the drug. The patient in that case survived.
Some researchers estimate that the rate of hyperglycemia among young clozapine users is ten times greater than that seen in the general population.
Clozapine also has a well-known and potentially serious side effect that involves a tremendous fall off in the number of white blood cells, a condition known as agranulocytosis that the FDA has acknowledged for some time.
While sugar problems are noted as a possible side effect in the package labeling for Clozaril, in countries like Japan, the warning is much more pronounced and is at the start of the prescribing information. The problem for the FDA is the inability to currently determine if it is a problem with just two medications or a problem with the entire class of these atypical antipsychotic medications.
On April 11, 2005, the FDA warned that older patients with dementia who are given antipsychotic medications are far more likely to die prematurely than patients taking placebos. This warning adds to growing concerns about the safety of these widely prescribed psychiatric medications. The FDA stated that it would now require manufacturers of these drugs to post black box warnings - the most severe warning possible - on the labels of all the affected drugs.
Zyprexa and Symbyax are manufactured by Eli Lily, Riperdal is a Johnson & Johnson product, Seroquel is from Astra-Zeneca, Abilify is from Bristol-Meyers Squibb, Geodon comes from Pfizer and finally, Clorazil from Novartis are all medications affected by the published warning.
If you or a loved are taking or were taking the medication Clozaril under a physician's orders and encountered any of the health issues noted above, please complete the form below.
Register your Clozaril ComplaintIf you or a loved one has suffered from ketoacidosis, you may qualify for damages or remedies that may be awarded in a possible class action lawsuit. Please fill in our form on the right to submit your complaint and we will have a lawyer review your Clozaril complaint.
At LawyersandSettlements.com, it is our goal to keep you informed about important legal cases and settlements. We are dedicated to helping you resolve your legal complaints.