Ask the doctor: What tests monitor the metabolic risks of antipsychotics?

Q. My daughter has schizophrenia. The psychiatrist at her mental health center prescribed an antipsychotic. I know some of these drugs increase risk of diabetes and heart disease. What sort of clinical monitoring do you advise?

A. Your question is well timed; it arrived shortly after the Archives of General Psychiatry published a study reporting that fewer than one-third of Medicaid patients being treated with second-generation antipsychotics were being monitored for early signs of diabetes or heart disease.

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