UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Toxicology

Title: DKA Deaths Due to 2nd Generation Antipsychotics

Keywords: quetiapine, olanzapine, risperidone (PubMed Search)

Posted: 5/30/2013 by Fermin Barrueto, MD (Updated: 12/4/2023)
Click here to contact Fermin Barrueto, MD

Hyperglycemia in the setting of antipsychotic use has been reported mostly with olanzapine (Zyprexa) but does occur with other antipsychotics. A recent study from the NYC medical examiner's office details 17 deaths of DKA due to antipsychotics and found that (from highest to lowest incidence) quetiapine > olanzapine > risperidone were the atypical antipsychotics found with these deaths.

Remember hyperglycemia occurs with patients on antipsychotics and can lead to hyperglycemia hyperosmolar coma or DKA. Both can be lethal.




Fatal Diabetic Ketoacidosis and Antipsychotic Medication.

Ely SF, Neitzel AR, Gill JR.

J Forensic Sci. 2012 Dec 27. doi: 10.1111/1556-4029.12044.