"James was getting blood work on a regular basis for his schizophrenia and his doctor warned us of possible diabetes; he had high blood pressure on occasion and hyperglycemia. Next, his eyesight deteriorated; James had to get his prescription renewed annually and there was a drastic change in them."
In 2004 James was diagnosed with diabetes. Now he is supposed to take four different diabetes meds daily. Supposed to because James is a paranoid schizophrenic: In 2003 he heard about a class action lawsuit against Zyprexa and that people on this drug could develop diabetes. Naturally, being a paranoid schizophrenic, he stopped taking it. But the damage was already done. " James had already taken Zyprexa for at least three years," says Gloria.
"Now he is afraid of taking his diabetes drugs because of the effect that Zyprexa had -James is certain it caused diabetes. But if he doesn't take these meds, the doctor said he won't be the same person by the end of the year—he will have a stroke or something serious will happen. That is what the doctor told him two months ago. It is a daily struggle to make sure he takes his meds. Before he took Zyprexa, James was fine.
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"I didn't know if this drug caused by Zyprexa until I talked to my son. He heard that Zyprexa had been linked to diabetes and that between five and 10 percent of people taking this drug develop diabetes. I'm not a doctor but this seems like a high percentage and I am worried.
Now I have to take medication for diabetes and watch my diet. I get tired easily. When I started taking Zyprexa, diabetes wasn't listed as a side effect but now the drug maker has added this to their labeling - I am angry.