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How does diazoxide (Proglycem) cause hyperglycemia?

Medically reviewed by Melisa Puckey, BPharm. Last updated on July 5, 2020.

How does diazoxide cause hyperglycemia (high blood sugar levels)?

Official Answer

by Drugs.com

How does diazoxide cause hyperglycemia?

Oral diazoxide (Proglycem) can cause hyperglycemia (high blood sugar levels) when it works too effectively at slowing the release of insulin from the pancreas. If the insulin level has been reduced too much, then blood sugar levels can become too high.

When taking diazoxide, glucose levels need to be tested often and the dose may need to be adjusted to suit the individual.

  • if the blood glucose levels are too high (hyperglycemic), then the dose will need to be lowered and
  • if the blood glucose levels are still low (hypoglycemic), the dose will need to be increased.

Oral diazoxide is taken as part of a treatment program that also includes monitoring diet. What you eat will also affect blood glucose levels so an increase in eating food containing sugars, while taking oral diazoxide, may increase the blood sugars to a level of hyperglycemia.

What is oral diazoxide and how does it work?

Oral diazoxide is used to increase the blood sugar level when the blood glucose level is low, due to high insulin levels caused by specific medical conditions.

The medical conditions in adults causing an increase in insulin are:

  • inoperable islet cell adenoma or carcinoma
  • extrapancreatic malignancy

The medical conditions in infants and children causing an increase in insulin are :

  • leucine sensitivity
  • islet cell hyperplasia
  • nesidioblastosis
  • extrapancreatic malignancy
  • islet cell adenoma
  • adenomatosis

Oral diazoxide (Proglycem) is NOT used to treat occasional low blood sugar caused by diet.

The insulin in our body reduces blood sugar levels, therefore any medical condition that has an excess of insulin will cause low blood glucose levels. The way oral diazoxide increases blood glucose is by reducing the amount of insulin that is released from the pancreas. Less insulin in the bloodstream means that the blood sugar levels will increase to a more normal level.

Bottom line:

  • Oral diazoxide can cause hyperglycemia when it is working too effectively for the individual and the dose needs to be adjusted.
  • Oral diazoxide can also cause hyperglycemia when there has been an increase in dietary sugars.
  • Oral diazoxide is used to increase blood glucose levels in patients who have low blood sugars due to specific medical conditions that have high insulin levels.
References

Proglycem Medicine Information: https://www.drugs.com/pro/proglycem.html

Diazoxide Medicine Information: https://www.drugs.com/mtm/diazoxide.html

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