Diabetes mellitus risk for 102 drugs and drug combinations used in patients with bipolar disorder. Academic Article uri icon


  • To compare the largest set of bipolar disorder pharmacotherapies to date (102 drugs and drug combinations) for risk of diabetes mellitus (DM).The IBM MarketScan® database was used to retrospectively analyze data on 565,253 adults with bipolar disorder without prior glucose metabolism-related diagnoses. The pharmacotherapies compared were lithium, mood-stabilizing anticonvulsants, antipsychotics, and antidepressants (monotherapy and multi-class polypharmacy). Cox regression modeling included fixed pre-treatment covariates and time-varying drug exposure covariates to estimate the hazard ratio (HR) of each treatment versus "No drug".The annual incidence of new-onset diabetes during the exposure period was 3.09 % (22,951 patients). The HR of drug-dependent DM ranged from 0.79 to 2.37. One-third of the studied pharmacotherapies, including most of the antipsychotic-containing regimens, had a significantly higher risk of DM compared to "No drug". A significantly lower DM risk was associated with lithium, lamotrigine, oxcarbazepine and bupropion monotherapies, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) mono-class therapy and several drug combinations containing bupropion and an SSRI. As additional drugs were combined in more complex polypharmacy, higher HRs were consistently observed.There is an increased risk of diabetes mellitus associated with antipsychotic and psychotropic polypharmacy use in bipolar disorder. The evidence of a lower-than-baseline risk of DM with lamotrigine, oxcarbazepine, lithium, and bupropion monotherapy should be further investigated.Copyright © 2019 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

publication date

  • December 2020