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Drug-induced hypoglycemia

  • Definition

    Drug-induced hypoglycemia is low blood sugar that results from medication.

    Causes, incidence, and risk factors

    All of the following can cause blood sugar (glucose) levels to drop:

    • Drinking alcohol
    • Getting too much activity
    • Intentionally or unintentionally overdosing on the medications used to treat diabetes
    • Missing meals

    Even when diabetes is managed very carefully, the medications used to treat diabetes can result in drug-induced hypoglycemia. The condition may also occur when someone without diabetes takes a medicine used to treat diabetes. In rare cases, non-diabetes-related medicines may cause hypoglycemia.

    Medications that can cause drug-induced hypoglycemia include:

    • Bactrim (an antibiotic)
    • Beta-blockers
    • Haloperidol
    • Insulin
    • MAO inhibitors
    • Metformin when used with sulfonylureas
    • Pentamidine
    • Quinidine
    • Quinine
    • Sulfonylureas