Conclusion

Atypical antipsychotic medications have helped to improve the lives of patients with schizophrenia by alleviating positive and negative symptoms and bringing some improvement in cognitive function. This improvement in cognitive function is helping patients to function in the home and in the workplace, thus improving the quality of patients' lives. However, the atypical antipsychotics appear to be associated with the development of glucose intolerance, new-onset diabetes mellitus, DKA, and exacerbation of existing diabetes mellitus. These disturbances in glucose metabolism have their own medical consequences, including cardiovascular disease, cerebrovascular disease, diabetic retinopathy, neuropathy, and diabetic nephropathy, all of which can lead to considerable morbidity and mortality. Thus, to minimize morbidity and mortality associated with the use of the atypical antipsychotic medications, close screening and monitoring for diabetes mellitus should become a priority for all clinicians treating schizophrenia patients receiving atypical antipsychotic therapy.

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