Medical Questions > Conditions and Diseases > Hypoglycemia Forum

Medicine For Hypoglycemia

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For those new users who come to this board, I would like to let you know that, contrary to popular belief, there is a medicine for hypoglycemia. It's called diazoxide. It is only available through prescription. I myself have not taken it so I don't know anything about side effects or what it does to the body, but it seems to be a safe medicine, albeit somewhat dangerous. If you take this drug, please keep in mind that it's not a cure-all. It is an insulin blocker, and if you think this means you can eat bad, you can't. Eating cake while blocking your insulin will lead to dangerously high glucose levels. This medicine I would assume would be good for anyone who is having trouble on their diet or can't seem to progress any further. By following a proper diet, perhaps adding in things you couldn't eat before like grain if you had a problem with it, you should be fine. I'm considering it myself, but have yet to decide since I've been doing so good. Here is the information on the medicine:

DIAZOXIDE (Oral)

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Some commonly used brand names are:

In the U.S.-

Proglycem
In Canada-

Proglycem

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Category
Antihypoglycemic

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Description
Diazoxide (dye-az-OX-ide) when taken by mouth is used in the treatment of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). It works by preventing release of insulin from the pancreas.

Diazoxide is available only with your doctor's prescription, in the following dosage forms:

Oral
Capsules (U.S. and Canada)
Suspension (U.S. and Canada)


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Before Using This Medicine
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For diazoxide, the following should be considered:

Allergies-Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to diazoxide, sulfonamides (sulfa medicine), or thiazide diuretics (certain types of water pills). Also tell your health care professional if you are allergic to any other substances, such as foods, preservatives, or dyes.

Pregnancy-Studies have not been done in pregnant women. However, too much use of diazoxide during pregnancy may cause unwanted effects (high blood sugar, loss of hair or increased hair growth, blood problems) in the baby. Studies in animals have shown that diazoxide causes some birth defects (in the skeleton, heart, and pancreas) and other problems (delayed birth, decrease in successful pregnancies).

Breast-feeding-It is not known whether diazoxide passes into breast milk. However, this medicine has not been reported to cause problems in nursing babies.

Children-Infants are more likely to retain (keep) body water because of diazoxide. In some infants, this may lead to certain types of heart problems. Also, a few children who received diazoxide for prolonged periods (longer than 4 years) developed changes in their facial structure.

Older adults-Many medicines have not been tested in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults or if they cause different side effects or problems in older people. There is no specific information comparing use of oral diazoxide in the elderly with use in other age groups.

Other medicines-Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking diazoxide, it is especially important that your health care professional know if you are taking any of the following:

Amantadine (e.g., Symmetrel) or
Antidepressants (medicine for depression) or
Antihypertensives (high blood pressure medicine) or
Antipsychotics (medicines for mental illness) or
Bromocriptine (e.g., Parlodel) or
Cyclandelate (e.g., Cyclospasmol) or
Deferoxamine (e.g., Desferal) or
Diuretics (water pills) or
Hydralazine (e.g., Apresoline) or
Isoxsuprine (e.g., Vasodilan) or
Levobunolol (e.g., Betagan) (use in the eye) or
Levodopa (e.g., Dopar) or
Medicine for heart disease or
Metipranolol (e.g., OptiPranolol) or
Nabilone (e.g., Cesamet) (with high doses) or
Narcotic pain medicine or
Nicotinyl alcohol (e.g., Roniacol) or
Nimodipine (e.g., Nimotop) or
Nylidrin (e.g., Arlidin) or
Papaverine (e.g., Pavabid) or
Pentamidine (e.g., Pentam) or
Pimozide (e.g., Orap) or
Promethazine (e.g., Phenergan) or
Timolol (e.g., Timoptic) (use in the eye) or
Trimeprazine (e.g., Temaril)-Use of any of these medicines with diazoxide may cause low blood pressure
Ethotoin (e.g., Peganone) or
Mephenytoin (e.g., Mesantoin) or
Phenytoin (e.g., Dilantin)-Any of these medicines and diazoxide may be less effective if they are taken at the same time
Other medical problems-The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of diazoxide. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

Angina (chest pain)
Gout-Diazoxide may make this condition worse
Heart attack (recent)
Heart or blood vessel disease
Kidney disease-The effects of diazoxide may last longer because the kidney may not be able to get the medicine out of the bloodstream as it normally would
Liver disease
Stroke (recent)

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Proper Use of This Medicine
Take this medicine only as directed by your doctor . Do not take more or less of it than your doctor ordered, and take it at the same time each day.

Follow carefully the special diet your doctor gave you . This is an important part of controlling your condition, and is necessary if the medicine is to work properly.

Test for sugar in your urine or blood with a diabetic urine or blood test kit as directed by your doctor . This is a convenient way to make sure your condition is being controlled, and it provides an early warning when it is not. Your doctor may also want you to test your urine for acetone.

Dosing-The dose of diazoxide will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label . The following information includes only the average doses of diazoxide. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The number of capsules that you take depends on the strength of the medicine.

For oral dosage forms (capsules or suspension):
For treating hypoglycemia (low blood sugar):
Adults, teenagers, and children-Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. At first, the usual dose is 1 milligram (mg) per kilogram (kg) (0.45 mg per pound) of body weight every eight hours. Then, your doctor may increase your dose to 3 to 8 mg per kg (1.4 to 3.6 mg per pound) of body weight a day. This dose may be divided into two or three doses.
Newborn babies and infants-Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. At first, the usual dose is 3.3 mg per kg (1.5 mg per pound) of body weight every eight hours. Then, your doctor may increase the dose to 8 to 15 mg per kg (3.6 to 6.8 mg per pound) of body weight a day. This dose may be divided into two or three doses.

Missed dose-If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.

Storage-To store this medicine:

Keep out of the reach of children.
Store away from heat and direct light.
Do not store in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down.
Keep the oral liquid form of this medicine from freezing.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed. Be sure that any discarded medicine is out of the reach of children.

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Precautions While Using This Medicine
It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits , especially during the first few weeks of treatment, to make sure that this medicine is working properly.

Before you have any kind of surgery, dental treatment, or emergency treatment, tell the medical doctor or dentist in charge that you are using this medicine .

Do not take any other medicine, unless prescribed or approved by your doctor , since some may interfere with this medicine's effects. This especially includes over-the-counter (OTC) or nonprescription medicine such as that for colds, cough, asthma, hay fever, or appetite control.

Check with your doctor right away if symptoms of high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) occur . These symptoms usually include:

Drowsiness
Flushed, dry skin
Fruit-like breath odor
Increased urination
Loss of appetite (continuing)
Unusual thirst

These symptoms may occur if the dose of the medicine is too high, or if you have a fever or infection or are experiencing unusual stress.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible also if these symptoms of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) occur:

Anxiety
Chills
Cold sweats
Cool pale skin
Drowsiness
Excessive hunger
Fast pulse
Headache
Nausea
Nervousness
Shakiness
Unusual tiredness or weakness

Symptoms of both low blood sugar and high blood sugar must be corrected before they progress to a more serious condition. In either situation, you should check with your doctor immediately.


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Side Effects of This Medicine
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Stop taking this medicine and get emergency help immediately if any of the following side effects occur :

Rare

Chest pain caused by exercise or activity; confusion; numbness of the hands; shortness of breath (unexplained)


Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

More common

Decreased urination; swelling of feet or lower legs; weight gain (rapid)

Less common

Fast heartbeat

Rare

Fever; skin rash; stiffness of arms or legs; trembling and shaking of hands and fingers; unusual bleeding or bruising


Other side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. However, check with your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome:

Less common

Changes in ability to taste; constipation; increased hair growth on forehead, back, arms, and legs; loss of appetite; nausea and vomiting; stomach pain

This medicine may cause a temporary increase in hair growth in some people when it is used for a long time. After treatment with diazoxide has ended, normal hair growth should return.

Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.
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replied July 30th, 2007
Any Results?
Has anybody tried Diaxoxide?

I'm surprised there aren't more responses about this post...or am i just a neophyte who is missing something here. A drug that may help sure sounds good to me.
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replied July 30th, 2007
Community Volunteer
I mainly put this here for informational purposes. Did you read all of it? It's very important that you do. I myself have thought about taking it, but I've been doing so well I don't see the point. I don't really care right now if I'm eating grain.
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replied September 26th, 2007
It makes you sleepy.
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replied September 28th, 2007
what's the hypoglycemic diet?
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replied September 28th, 2007
What if you can't or are tired, like me, of eating every two hours. There's got to be a better natural solution. Eat avocadoes every day perhaps?
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replied September 28th, 2007
Maybe it would hep to take those avocado oil supplements.
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replied September 28th, 2007
Community Volunteer
I used to eat every two hours because I had to, now I only eat every 3-4, which is pretty much what you're supposed to be doing even if 'normal'. As far as I know, the oil does not contain the sugar, d-mannaheptulose, it's only obtained from eating it. I eat one every morning and it has always seemed to help a lot. One day I skipped eating one and felt awful.
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replied February 11th, 2009
Found a posting on the Hypo Yahoo group about this drug:

Yes. There is also another drug called Octreotide which works on a different part of the beta cell. It is an effective drug but may come with some side effects. Not everyon suffers the side effects. It was originally designed decades ago as a medicine for high blood pressue, and it is very effective in some people at that, so it is sill used in some cases for that. However they noticed that it turned large numbers of people into diabeteics. So it was withdrawn from general use for high blood pressure.

Side effects may be fluid retention, low blood pressure, excess hair growth, loss of appetite and in rare cases a heart murmur. Now those side effects are not meant to alarm you, just to give you an idea of what a SMALL percentage may experience. My son was on it 9 years ago and is now on it intermittently, such as when he has gastro and isn't eating anything by mouth. It is a fantastic alternative to being in hospital on a drip! Smile He only had the hair growth. I know of many people who are on it, and they are all very happy to be on it. I know of only one person who felt that the hair growth too troublesome to remove. As an adult hair removal isn't an issue, it is harder on young chidlren.

Once the correct dosage is found, and any additional extreme triggers such as protein sensitivity are ruled out, the BSL stability is fantastic, it is like a rock in about 99% of those on it.

If your hypoglycaemia is caused from excess production of insulin there is a full explanation at sur1.org.
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replied March 1st, 2009
I've known people on this med. They've all experience weight gain and I mean 50+ lbs.
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replied April 11th, 2009
Interesting. Do you know if it is available on the NHS in the UK? And would it be restricted to diagnosed diabetics, or would it be available for people with elevated insulin levels causing troublesome (but not life threatening) highs and lows in blood sugar, do you think?

Smile
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replied November 24th, 2009
Stan, I was prescribed Diazoxide by my VA Doctor for low readings and just when I received the meds after waiting two weeks my sugars starting running in a higher range. I called the Doctor and he told me do not use the meds until my sugars starting running much lower. Phil6817
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replied November 24th, 2009
Community Volunteer
Sounds like this stuff is best to be avoided...
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replied October 14th, 2010
I see these are old notes, but will add I am on Octreotide sub=q injections,and even though I still have lows, I am experiencing more energy on the good days. I may even be able to drive more with time. I had tried this med last year when still working and found the gastric problems with rushing to eat after the injections terribly painful, I was not getting good results and stopped it. After a summer of continuous lows and 911 calls (panic alarm)to the house when alone, I decided to give it another try. I am never great, but will say I go through times that no matter what I do I am constantly dropping.

I take Creon with every thing I eat, and it helps with gastric problems. At endo doc yesterday and we discussed diazoxide use, but after reading here, need to look into my Sulfa drug allergy. Thanks for that info!

My new plan is a Diabetic Alert Dog, which I hope will alert sooner that my CGM, which does not alert for quick drops and of course alerts me after it is a big problem. These dogs when trained and will alert before I are in a crisis. I am excited to start that journey, it will be a lot of work, but getting to the point I cannot be alone and hoping to avoid being that kind of problem for others at 49 years old.
Bev
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