Public Release: 

Unusual combo reduces health risk from atypical antipsychotic

Vitamin D safeguards against drug's diabetes risk

Kyoto University

Kyoto, Japan -- Atypical antipsychotics, though effective for treating disorders like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression, gives patients a heightened risk of developing new-onset diabetes. A new data mining study, however, has found a way to relieve this side effect. The study, published in Scientific Reports, shows that taking vitamin D ameliorates the risk of developing new-onset diabetes from atypical antipsychotics like quetiapine.

The consequences of developing diabetes from taking antipsychotics are dire, as they occasionally cause life-threatening conditions and sometimes even death.

Members of Shuji Kaneko's lab at Kyoto University looked for potential antidotes on the US FDA's Adverse Event Reporting (FAERS) system, which is the largest database of self-reported adverse side effects. "We found that patients who had coincidentally been prescribed vitamin D with quetiapine were less likely to have hyperglycaemia," says Kaneko. "It's unusual for vitamin D to be prescribed with quetiapine because it is typically prescribed to treat osteoporosis; in fact, there were only 1232 cases in the world where vitamin D was prescribed with quetiapine. Data mining proved helpful in locating these cases."

The team confirmed this finding with further tests on mice; the group of mice that was fed vitamin D along with quetiapine had significantly lower levels of blood sugar than those that took only quetiapine.

"Interestingly, vitamin D on its own doesn't lower diabetes risk, but it certainly defends against the insulin-lowering effects of quetiapine," elaborates lead author Takuya Nagashima. "We clarified the molecular mechanisms of how quetiapine causes hyperglycaemia using datasets in a genomics data repository. Through this we found that quetiapine reduces the amount of a key enzyme called PI3K that gets produced. Vitamin D stops quetiapine from lowering PI3K production."

"Databases like FAERS aren't just for making drug regulations; they have so much potential for side-effect relief using pre-existing drugs," says Kaneko. "There's a lot we can hope for from reverse translational research like this. "

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The paper "Prevention of antipsychotic-induced hyperglycaemia by vitamin D: a data mining prediction followed by experimental exploration of the molecular mechanism" appeared May 20, 2016 in Scientific Reports, with doi: 10.1038/srep26375

Kyoto University is one of Japan and Asia's premier research institutions, founded in 1897 and responsible for producing numerous Nobel laureates and winners of other prestigious international prizes. A broad curriculum across the arts and sciences at both undergraduate and graduate levels is complemented by numerous research centers, as well as facilities and offices around Japan and the world. For more information please see: http://www.kyoto-u.ac.jp/en

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