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Atypical Antipsychotics Linked to Blood Clot Risk in Study
Date:9/22/2010

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 22 (HealthDay News) -- People taking newer types of antipsychotic drugs, like Seroquel, may be at increased risk for developing a serious blood clot called a venous thromboembolism, British researchers say.

Although developed to treat psychiatric illnesses, these drugs are also prescribed for other conditions such as nausea, vomiting and vertigo, potentially putting many people at risk, the researchers noted.

"In a large primary care population there was an association between use of antipsychotic drugs and risk of venous thromboembolism," lead researcher Dr. Julia Hippisley-Cox, professor of clinical epidemiology and general practice at the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom, and colleagues wrote. Venous thromboembolism is the overall term for deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.

"The increased risk was more marked among new users and those prescribed atypical antipsychotic drugs," the authors added.

Besides Seroquel, atypical antipsychotics include Abilify, Solian, Lonasen and Risperdal. They belong to a class of drugs introduced in the 1990s to treat mental illness. Older antipsychotic drugs include Thorazine, Prolixin and Haldol.

"Though these findings add to the accumulating evidence of adverse health events associated with antipsychotic drugs, they should be confirmed with other data sources," Hippisley-Cox and colleagues noted.

The report is published in the Sept. 22 online edition of BMJ.

For the study, the investigators collected data on 25,532 people who developed deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism between 1996 and 2007. The group ranged in age from 16 to 100 years old.

The researchers compared their cases with 89,491 people without either condition.

The study authors found that people who took antipsychotic drugs in the two years before developing a deep vein thrombosis
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