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1: Ann Pharmacother. 2001 Nov;35(11):1371-4. Related Articles, Links
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Sertraline-induced hypoglycemia.

Pollak PT, Mukherjee SD, Fraser AD.

Department of Medicine, College of Pharmacy, Dalhousie University, Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

OBJECTIVE: To report a case of hypoglycemia that occurred in a patient treated with the selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitor, sertraline. CASE SUMMARY: An 82-year-old white woman with mild cardiovascular disease and no history of glucose intolerance was seen in the emergency department for a presyncopal episode associated with a blood glucose of 32 mg/dL as measured by the ambulance attendant. She had similar symptoms the day before. Despite repeated administration of oral and intravenous glucose, the patient had recurrent episodes of hypoglycemia and was hospitalized for four days. She had started taking sertraline 50 mg once daily for mild depression 25 days prior to presentation. Other medications included furosemide 20 mg/d, ramipril 5 mg/d, clopidogrel 75 mg/d, nitroglycerin patch 0.4 mg/h, and lorazepam 1 mg taken occasionally for agitation. She had never been prescribed any oral hypoglycemic agents. Serum sertraline and desmethylsertraline concentrations measured two, three, and four days after discontinuing sertraline were within the expected range, but the rate of decline was consistent with a moderately prolonged half-life. DISCUSSiON: Sertraline has been shown to blunt postprandial hyperglycemia in rats and to potentiate the hypoglycemic effects of sulfonylurea agents in humans. It has not been reported to cause hypoglycemia independently, but in this case, a nondiabetic patient experienced multiple episodes of hypoglycemia that resolved after discontinuation of sertraline. CONCLUSIONS: This report and another implicating fluoxetine in a case of hypoglycemia suggest that healthcare professionals should consider these medications among the possible causes of hypoglycemia occurring in patients receiving selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors.

Publication Types:
  • Case Reports

PMID: 11724085 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]