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Drug-induced diabetes
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Drug-induced diabetes

Contributors: Michael W. Winter MD, Paritosh Prasad MD
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed


Drug-induced hyperglycemia is an elevation in the serum glucose that is due to a side effect from a medication. Prolonged hyperglycemia can lead to impairment in glucose tolerance and subsequent development of diabetes mellitus, analogous to diabetes that can result from obesity and metabolic syndrome. Sustained serum glucose > 126 mg/dL is diagnostic of hyperglycemia.

Most patients with hyperglycemia are asymptomatic. If sustained, patients will note the development of increased urinary frequency. Hyperglycemia will be detected on serologic testing. If the offending medication is prescribed for short-term use, the likelihood of developing underlying glucose tolerance impairment is low. If the medication is for chronic use, patients are at heightened risk for the development of glucose intolerance and the downstream manifestations of diabetes mellitus type 2.

Patients may present with diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), a state of severe dehydration and acidemia due to insulin deficiency.

Common medications that can cause hyperglycemia include:
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Oral contraceptives
  • Beta blockers
  • Thiazide diuretics
  • Nicotinic acid
  • Statins
  • Protease inhibitors
  • Gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists
  • Tacrolimus
  • Sirolimus
  • Cyclosporine
  • Olanzapine
  • Clozapine
  • Immune checkpoint inhibitors
Related topic: hyperglycemia


E09.9 – Drug or chemical induced diabetes mellitus without complications

441690002 – Drug-induced hyperglycemia
5368009 – Drug-induced diabetes mellitus

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Last Reviewed:10/03/2018
Last Updated:03/09/2022
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Drug-induced diabetes
A medical illustration showing key findings of Drug-induced diabetes : Fatigue, Hyperglycemia, Polyuria, Polydipsia, Weakness
Copyright © 2024 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.