Drug interactions in the elderly with diabetes mellitus

Authors: T. Hendrychová;  J. Vlček
Authors‘ workplace: Katedra sociální a klinické farmacie Farmaceutické fakulty UK Hradec Králové, vedoucí prof. RNDr. Jiří Vlček, CSc.
Published in: Vnitř Lék 2012; 58(4): 299-304
Category: Reviews


The elderly with diabetes mellitus are usually treated with many types of drugs. This, together with pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic changes connected with aging, can lead to an occurence of drug interactions. They are often manifested as hypoglycaemia, decompensation of diabetes or an increase of frequency of adverse effects of drugs used together. It is important to pay an attention especially to hypoglycaemia, which brings many risks in the elderly. An article is focused on probable drug interactions when combination of various antidiabetics, antidiabetics with antihypertensives or hypolipidemics is used. Despite ACE-inhibitors and beta-blockers can influence the compensation of diabetics, their use is not contraindicated in these patients, because of their huge benefit in the prevention of cardiovascular events. An article brings an overview of antidiabetics metabolised by means of the system of cytochrome P 450 and resulting drug interactions with inhibitors and inductors of these enzymes. These drug interactions are not usually important in clinical practice and it is possible to prevent them with careful monitoring of glycaemia, instruction of patients and alternatively modification of the doses of hypoglycaemic medication after a termination of the treatment of responsible inductor or inhibitor.

Key words:
drug interaction – diabetes mellitus – antidiabetics – cytochrome P 450 – hypoglycaemia


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Diabetology Endocrinology Internal medicine
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