Alerts and Notices
SynopsisDrug-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:
- Oral contraceptives
- Beta blockers
- Thiazide diuretics
- Nicotinic acid
- Protease inhibitors
- Gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists
- Immune checkpoint inhibitors
E09.9 – Drug or chemical induced diabetes mellitus without complications
441690002 – Drug-induced hyperglycemia
5368009 – Drug-induced diabetes mellitus
Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls
- Diabetes mellitus (type 1 and type 2)
- Adrenal insufficiency
- Thyroid dysfunction (see hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism)
- Secretory tumors – production of growth hormone, glucagon, cortisol, catecholamines
- Acute stress can cause severe infection, myocardial infarction, or cerebrovascular accident.
Drug Reaction DataBelow is a list of drugs with literature evidence indicating an adverse association with this diagnosis. The list is continually updated through ongoing research and new medication approvals. Click on Citations to sort by number of citations or click on Medication to sort the medications alphabetically.