Anyone have diabetes caused by being on a medication like zyprexa?

No one in my family is diabetic and I wasn’t diabetic until about 4 years ago. I had a psychologist decide to put me on zyprexa and within 3 months of being on it I was diagnosed with diabetes. This was before Eli Lilly put the warning label on the medication. I am currently waiting to hear back from my lawyers on how much settlement money I am getting. Anyone that has been diagnosed with diabetes from a medication needs to contact a lawyer soon, this is the last year for lawsuits on most of the medications, I do know seraquel is another one that causes diabetes.

KINDA, sorta, maybe. I was put on Cymbalta - another charming Eli Lilly medication. I had asked for something after my Dad died… and Zoloft didn’t help much. I was unaware that several people in my family had been diagnosed recently with Bipolar II disorders. And you don’t give anti-depressants to Bipolar people. The Cymbalta works on not one, but TWO of the neurotransmitters in the brain at once (great huh?). So, when it didn’t work, the family medicine guy (Oh yeah, just who should be handing out this stuff, right?) doubled the dose! By the time that my cousin called me and let me know that she had been diagnosed as Bipolar & clued me in and I thought to check it out - I had gained 50 pounds in 5 months! I was incredibly depressed - had not been out of the house in ages. In getting off it - I had withdrawal seizures - it took weeks to get me off it! Turns out I had been a “mild” case of Bipolar all my life, NOW I’m a “rapid cycler” all thanks to Eli Lily’s wonder drug Cymbalta - luckily my family knew that Topomax at high doses works for us (and also curbs appetite). BUT, with the weight gain, they found my A1c was 7.3 and my blood sugar was 170 - my triglycerides were very high and I was diagnosed a Type II Diabetic. Was I headed there before the Cymbalta? Maybe - I’m not sure - but the weight gain sure as hell didn’t help a damn bit & I am not happy about it! There’s quite a few people who’ve had problems with with Lilly’s psych meds - we aren’t the only ones, Cody. Good luck pursuing a case, I think a class action is pending on some of these, too.

I already know my case is settling. My law firm contacted me last month and told me it would be settling sometime this month. So at least Eli Lilly is giving me something for waht they did

Good - I’m glad! Those drug companies should PAY! Perhaps I should talk to an attorney too, you give me motivation, good for you!

This thread really piqued my interest. My therapist thought trying SNRI would be a good idea for me. I tried few SNRIs and then settled with Cymbalta/Dulexotine. I took it for about 2 years. Taking this drug felt horrible. When I finally managed to got off of it (with extreme withdrawl symptoms), I was immediately diagnosed with Type 1 insulin dependent diabetes. I was 30 at the time and have no history of Diabetes in my very large extended family. Love to hear from anybody with more to say about this…

Sorry for everything that you have been through. I had no idea it could cause Type1. I have followed this as my special needs brother is on zyprexa. He has so many other issue that we can’t change it. He also is autistic. So it is complicated. But thank you for the information. Nancy50

I was actually on Effexor and then dulexotine not on zyprexa. Not sure if it caused my type 1 or not but it did happen same time…maybe a coincidence …but it makes me think…especially as have no family history and diagnosed at age 30 (which is not common)… I’d love to hear from anybody about this…perhaps it’s nonsense…-and it’s just me looking for something to point at.

Hello Cody

Can you pls get in touch with how it went with Eli Lilly? Eli Lilly makes the Cymbalta med that gave me T1D and ruined my life!!

It makes sense that type1 could be caused by a medication.
Mine was caused by a respiratory virus. I was still sick with it when I was diagnosed with type 1.

Any med that causes an immune response could trigger it.

Of course you would have to be genetically predisposed to it.

@cody_turner * Raises Hand* I was on 400 MG of Seroquel for a couple of months to a year until I found out i’m allergic to it. It made me SUPER ANGRY… I clocked my mother with a plastic spray bottle from across the kitchen. :frowning:

“And you don’t give anti-depressants to Bipolar people.”

uhhh… * Raises hand again* I take 75 mg of Effexor

I was on 225 I believe but the doctor thought that was what was keeping me in a agitated state so he lowered it and put me on Lithium and now i’m calm!

Diagnosed Bipolar II back in 09

Now, I’m being told i’m a special case… I guess that means I am in between a I and a II? IDK.

These meds are known to potentially cause or exacerbate T2D, not T1D, because increased insulin resistance (and associated weight gain) are a well documented side effect of some atypical antipsychotics. It should be monitored carefully in anyone on them, but isn’t always. Weight gain is also a known side effect of a number of other psych meds too (especially many mood stabilizers, though not all), so stands to reason someone at risk for T2D might get pushed over the edge if they gain a substantial amount of weight. For some folks, the benefits of these meds are worth these risks; however, I think doctors don’t always do an adequate job of explaining the risks for patients to be able to decide that.

There is on the other hand, to my knowledge, no known link between psychiatric meds and T1D. If there was any substantial risk, it would like have emerged by now (like it has for the ones that can cause insulin resistance), since these drugs are widely used. It is of course possible that it triggered it in someone, but also possible that the timing was a coincidence.

It’s seems really common on the other hand to have a significant viral infection prior to T1D diagnosis, and there’s some evidence that vaccination against infections reduces rates of T1D. It’s why I expect we will see skyrocketing numbers of T1D thanks to the current pandemic, and it will be interesting to see if vaccination for COVID is similarly linked to reduced rates (though lots of confounds in that data outside of the clinical trials).


My son has a complicated case of Tourette Syndrome and he is bipolar 2. I had him on all kinds of antipsychotics when he was a young teen, until I finally convinced a doctor to try lithium. This was in the 90’s and doctors were very unaware of so much at that time.

My son does not have diabetes. He is 33. He is on a couple of antidepressants which have helped cause significant weight gain which could push him into having type 2 diabetes. He hasn’t taken lithium or antipsychotics for many years and is doing pretty well.

I developed diabetes after about 7 months on daily high and moderate dose oral prednisone. I had no idea of the side effect of increased blood sugar, insulin resistance and beta cell destruction caused by long term use of corticosteroids, and none of my healthcare providers mentioned it or monitored me for it. Previous to that time I had never had an issue with my blood sugar, or blood pressure and I also ended up with high blood pressure as well. Previously fasting glucose, random glucose, and annual A1c had always been good. And then all of a sudden I was in the hospital with blood sugar of 514 in DKA, multiple blood clots in my lungs, and C-peptide .5. I had even lost 13 lbs over the previous month and my PCP had mentioned it and asked what I was doing and when I said, “nothing.” She didn’t investigate. Neither of the other two specialists I was seeing at the time for the asthma issue for which I was having to take the prednisone even mentioned my weight loss. :rage: (But I digress from the main points.)
The main points I was going to make:

  1. Steroids are a very common drug that can cause Steroid Induced Diabetes that can become permanent, especially if treatment was longer than 3 months, and once permanent is then often just called Type 2 Diabetes, even though it didn’t develop slowly over years from insulin resistance as normal Diabetes Type 2, and is often immediately insulin dependent to control. I gather this is the case for drug induced diabetes from other drugs as well.
  2. There are quite a few drugs that can cause one to develop diabetes, by causing insulin resistance and/or lack of insulin production, whether or not they have any other high risk factors for developing diabetes type 2. (At first doctors assumed it was just unmasking undiagnosed diabetes or pre-diabetes, or only happened to those at high risk for diabetes, but studies have proven this is not true.)

This has a good list for drug induced diabetes:

Ok I think I misunderstood. I thought you were suggesting those drugs caused type1, which is auto immune. I can definitely see that steroids can cause type 2.

My father in law took steroids and was diagnosed with type 2, but the effects went away when he stopped taking them.
And later in life it came back.

I think the drug just accelerated the time frame though.

I’ve taken steroid injections and had my sugars go crazy from it.

SNRI and SSRI caused my T1D. Worst thing is I didn’t even need the drugs only that I have been advised by doctors that they are so safe and harmless

Absolutely nobody has agreed with you on this one. You came to this forum with this belief already formed, have been looking for confirmation on this, and have absolutely not been getting it. The best anyone can tell you is that we don’t fully understand the causality of diabetes, so there’s a tiny plausible loophole of uncertainty… and you’ve taken that spec of uncertainty and used it to confirm your belief. Those comment were said with kindness to soften the blow that we find this incredibly unlikely, not to further your disbelief. So now I’m putting it BLUNTLY. Go back and read your entire original thread. What you got was kindness and empathy, not support of this notion.

What we do know is that Type 1 is a genetic condition, it’s in our broken DNA, that allows our immune system to attack ourselves. That’s the very definition of Type 1, meaning your immune system turned against you. Blame it, if you need to blame something. It’s time to stop blaming yourself, though, for taking a likely unrelated medication, and learn to live your best life with diabetes. You can’t change it, but you can learn to have an incredible life despite it. You’re the only thing standing in your way right now.

There is absolutely no credible link between Type 1 diabetes and SSRIs or SNRIs. There are other known medications which can damage the pancreas, though, which @TinaB provided a link to, and neither of those medications are on it. And consequently, they don’t cause Type 1 diabetes. Medically-induced diabetes is an entirely different classification, completely unrelated to auto-immunity.


I hear you but T1D is definitely not genetic condition. Maybe genes play a role but definitely not genetic. I have 100s of family members nobody with T1D.

T2D is more genetic

I’m sorry, but you are flat out wrong here. You would be well-served to do some research/reading on this. You don’t have to take my word for it. This is T1 diabetes 101. We know exactly the common genes that create risk factors for Type 1, and there are blood tests to see if someone is at risk for developing Type 1 based on their genome. But even if they have a generic predisposition to it, many of those people DON’T develop Type 1. It’s only a risk factor, and doesn’t come to fruition unless those genes are triggered by environmental factors.

Type 2 heredity is also only a risk factor. It still needs triggered, and it can be evaded. But the probability of that risk factor triggering is much higher than in Type 1 diabetes, hence the more obvious genetic link.

You misunderstand the difference between heredity and your own personal genome and the expression of that genome, and that misinformation has led to to the wrong conclusion.

We aren’t carbon copies of our ancestors. Genes mutate OFTEN. When our DNA is being copied, we make little reading errors, and don’t transcribe it 100% correctly. Those tiny little errors in the copying phase might lead to an entirely different genetic makeup than any of our ancestors. Similar, but different. It means your can develop genetic risk factors your ancestors didn’t have.

And even if you did have the same exact genes, it doesn’t mean they get expressed the same way. There are lots of either/or variables in our genome. We have so much DNA we don’t even use. It just lies there in wait, waiting to be activated, if it’s ever activated. For better or for worse. Our environment and physiology play a role in activating it. Even identical twins, with identical DNA, have vast differences in appearance and health conditions because those identical genomes get expressed differently. This means that the genetic risk factors for Type 1 diabetes may have been running through your family for a long time, but you’re the first to win the genetic lottery and see if actually expressed.

Your genes are are the blueprints to every protein molecule in your body, including hormones and antibodies. Our bodies are supposed to have the ability to recognize ourselves and NOT attack it programmed into our DNA. We could not possibly make the antibodies which identify our beta cells as malicious and target them for destruction unless the blueprints to do so were in our broken genes.

That tiny, little spec of uncertainty I mentioned before… It comes down to the trigger. What sets the wheels in motion for that part of our genome to activate, instead of laying quietly dormant. The leading theory is that it’s triggered by certain viruses, which basically sets out immune system into overdrive… and opening the door for the expression of those faulty, pancreas-attacking genes. The kindness and empathy people showed in not outright rejecting your theory, is because of the MINISCULE POSSIBILITY that your medications could have been that trigger. And I do mean MINISCULE, because SSRIs and SNRIs are among some of the most commonly prescribed medications there are. Antidepressants are ranked 2nd most common, right after blood pressure meds. They’re way more common than other drugs in which a link to diabetes HAS been determined. It’s a law of numbers. Given how many people have taken SSRIs and/or SNRIs, there would be countless numbers of identified cases of developing T1 after the fact. But there aren’t. It’s just a coincidence that you took the drugs.