August 26, 2013

Severe Blood Sugar Swings with Antibiotic


swingThe object of blood sugar control is to sustain an even keel of your glucose trends. Diabetes inherently makes the rolling hills of normal glucose a bit jagged. An antibiotic has been found to  provoke severe blood glucose swings in people with diabetes. The study was published in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

There have been case reports  that raise concern about the safety of severe dysglycemia associated with fluoroquinolone use.

Dysglycemia is abnormalities in blood glucose levels. Fluoroquinolones are  antibiotics that treat bacterial infections

This study assessed the risk of severe dysglycemia among diabetic patients who received different fluoroquinolones, between January 2006 to November 2007.

The antibiotics reviewed were: levofloxacin, ciprofloxacin, moxifloxacin, cephalosporins, and macrolides. You may be more familiar with the aforementioned drugs as Levoquin, Cipro, Avelox, Keflex, and Zithromax.

Events reported were ER visits or hospitalization for blood glucose abnormalities within 30 days following antibiotic therapy. Almost 80,000 patients were included in the study.

Elevated blood glucose or hyperglycemia was observed in 6.9 per 1,000 for Avelox and 1.6 for Zithromax. The risk of low blood sugar or hypoglycemia was 10.0 for Avelox and 3.7 for Zithromax.

Patients taking Avelox  faced a significantly higher risk of low blood glucose than those receiving Cipro. A significant increase in the risk of low blood glucose was also observed among patients receiving Avelox at the same time they were taking insulin.

Diabetics using oral fluoroquinolones faced greater risk of severe glucose abnormalities. The risk of low blood glucose varied according to the type of fluoroquinolone antibiotics, and was most commonly associated with Avelox.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a well-trained athlete or a  couch potato. Whether you’re boxing an opponent or fighting an infection, you have a greater chance of swings in your blood glucose. If you have diabetes, you should be extra cautious about this reality and check your glucose accordingly.

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