Common drug combo spikes blood sugar: study - Health & Families - Life and Style - The Independent

Common drug combo spikes blood sugar: study

An anti-depressant and a cholesterol lowering drug, taken together by as many as one million people in the United States, may cause a spike in blood sugar levels, researchers said Wednesday.

Paxil and the anti-cholesterol drug Pravachol do not have this effect when taken independently, said researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine, Vanderbilt University and Harvard Medical School.

The interaction was uncovered by analyzing voluntary reports of adverse events in a database maintained by the US Food and Drug Administration, and comparing that to electronic medical records held by the three medical institutions.

The study used "data-mining techniques to identify patterns of associations in large populations that would not be readily apparent to physicians treating individual patients," it said.

While none of the patients taking the combination reported having hyperglycemia as a result, researchers found 135 patients who did not have diabetes showed an average increase of 19 milligrams per deciliter in blood glucose after starting treatment.

Among 14 people with diabetes, the effect was greater - 48 mg/dl after the drug combo was begun.

The blood sugar spikes were significant enough to possibly push a person who is pre-diabetic into full blown diabetes, and to put diabetic patients' health in danger, said the study published in Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics.

Then researchers tested the drug combination in laboratory mice who were first fed a high-fat, high-calorie diet which would put them in a state considered pre-diabetic and insulin resistant.

When these pre-diabetic mice were treated with the two drugs for three weeks, their blood glucose soared from about 128 mg/dl to 193 mg/dl. Neither drug alone has such an effect.

"These kinds of drug interactions are almost certainly occurring all of the time, but, because they are not part of the approval process by the Food and Drug Administration, we can only learn about them after the drugs are on the market," said Russ Altman, professor of medicine at Stanford.

"Understanding and mitigating the effect this pair of medications has on blood sugar could allow a person with diabetes to better control his or her glucose levels, or even prevent someone who is pre-diabetic from crossing that threshold into full-blown diabetes," said Altman.

Up to 15 million people in the United States have prescriptions for the two drugs, said the study. Paxil is also known by its generic name, paroxetine, and Pravachol is pravastatin.

The drugs do not currently carry warning against combinations that may increase blood sugar.

"By extrapolating from the electronic medical records at Stanford and elsewhere, we can predict that between 500,000 and one million people are taking them simultaneously," Altman said.

ksh/rl

 

News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
Arts and Entertainment
Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel are bringing Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street to the London Coliseum
theatre

Returning to the stage after 20 years makes actress feel 'nauseous'

News
peopleThe Times of India said actress should treat it as a 'compliment'
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Property
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
property
News
The programme sees four specialists creating what they believe are three perfect couples, based on scientific matchmaking. The couples will not meet until they walk down the aisle together
tvUK wedding show jilted
Arts and Entertainment
US pop diva Jennifer Lopez sang “Happy Birthday” to Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, president of Turkmenistan
musicCorporate gigs become key source of musicians' income
Arts and Entertainment
You've been framed: Henri Matisse's colourful cut-outs at Tate Modern
artWhat makes a smash-hit art show
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig believed to be donning skis as 007 for first time
Student
The Guildhall School of Music and Drama is to offer a BA degree in Performance and Creative Enterprise

Undergraduates will be able to study beatboxing and performance poetry at one of Europe’s leading conservatoires for the first time, after the Guildhall School of Music and Drama revealed plans for a “groundbreaking” degree course.

Sport
Mikel Arteta pictured during Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal
champions league
Voices
Yes supporters gather outside the Usher Hall, which is hosting a Night for Scotland in Edinburgh
voicesBen Judah: Is there a third option for England and Scotland that keeps everyone happy?
Arts and Entertainment
Pulp-fiction lover: Jarvis Cocker
booksJarvis Cocker on Richard Brautigan
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    IT Systems Manager

    £40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...

    IT Application Support Engineer - Immediate Start

    £28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Software Application Support Analyst - Imm...

    SEN Teaching Assistant Runcorn

    £50 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: SEN Teaching Assistant EBD , Septemb...

    SEN Teaching Assistant

    £50 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: SEN Teaching Assistant We are curr...

    Day In a Page

    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week