Diabetes drug sours blood sugar health

Class of diabetes drug sours blood sugar healthPhoto used with permission from Shuttershock.com

The latest research from Taiwan finds that fluoroquinolones — a class of antibiotics commonly prescribed to diabetic patients — are out for blood, increasing the risk of high blood sugar-related issues in those who take them.

Conducted by researchers from the National Taiwan University in Taipei, the study followed the records of 78,000 patients in Taiwan from January 2006 to November 2007, utilizing claims database queries to discern specific prescription type and corresponding readmission rates. And while only 100 patients suffered from hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia due directly to fluoroquinolones, clinicians should still consider the heightened risk when sifting through such prescriptions — especially in the case of moxifloxacin.

"Our results identified moxifloxacin as the drug associated with the highest risk of hypoglycemia, followed by levofloxacin and ciprofloxacin," the study authors wrote. "Other antibiotics should be considered if dysglycemia is a concern, such as a beta lactam or macrolide.”

Specific percentage risk increase for hyperglycemia per 1,000 patients studied in the case of moxifloxacin was 6.9 percent; levofloxacin, 3.9 percent; and ciprofloxacin involved a 4 percent increase. Regarding hypoglycemia, the results were very much the same, with moxifloxacin promoting a 10 percent increase, levofloxacin with a 9.3 percent increase and ciprofloxacin with a 7.9 percent increase.

In contrast, diabetic patients taking a different class of drug (macrolides and cephalosporins) faced lower risk tallies. According to the report: “Among diabetic patients taking antibiotics in the macrolides class, the absolute risk of hyperglycemia was lower, at 1.6 per 1,000, and 2.1 per 1,000 among those taking antibiotics in the cephalosporin class; for hypoglycemia, the absolute risk per 1,000 was 3.7 for macrolides and 3.2 for cephalosporins, respectively.”

The study was published in the latest issue of the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

Photo used with permission from Shuttershock.com