UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Toxicology

Title: DVT/PE and Antipsychotics

Keywords: antipsychotics, thromboembolism (PubMed Search)

Posted: 3/24/2011 by Fermin Barrueto, MD
Click here to contact Fermin Barrueto, MD

Could this be another risk factor for DVT/PE. Maybe not yet but it is worth mention. A recent observatioal study in BMJ showed that there was  an associated increase with DVT or PE. From a database of 25,532 patients over a 3 year period of time and finding match controls, the results were:

  1. 32% overall increase risk of DVT/PE in patient who were taking antipsychotics
  2. Recent initiation of therapy within 3 months increased risk 2-fold
  3. Risk was greater with atypical antipsychotics (Odds Ratio 1.73 Atypical vs 1.23 Old)
  4. Risk was greater with lower dose than higher dose

Limitations were this is was an observational study with missing data. BMI was missing in these records and it is always difficult to tease out the multiple medications these patients are on.  Also don't have a great biological mechanism (yet). Still makes you go hmm....


Antipsychotic drugs and risk of venous thromboembolism, Parker, BMJ, 2010.