Which Anti-Diabetes Medicines can Cause Low Blood Sugars or Hypoglycemia?

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Which Anti-Diabetes Medicines can Cause Low Blood Sugars or Hypoglycemia?

What is Hypoglycemia ?

When blood glucose level falls below 70mg/dl, person feels dizziness, headaches, sweating, confusion, anxiety symptoms, which relieve immediately after restoring blood glucose level to normal is known as Hypoglycemia.


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Common Symptoms of Hypoglycemia includes :

  1. Adrenergic Symptoms :
    • Hunger
    • Faintness
    • Weakness
    • Sweating
    • Palpitations
    • Tremors
    • Tingling
    • Nervousness
    • Numbness around mouth


  2. Neuro-glycopenic Symptoms : may require help or assistance from another person.
    • Headache
    • Double Vision
    • Lack of co-ordination
    • Inappropriate behavior
    • Confusion
    • seizures
    • Coma
    • Permanent Brain Damage & Death

Which Anti-Diabetes Medicines can cause Low blood Sugars or Hypoglycemia?

Most common is Insulin. Any type of insulin or its analogues can cause hypoglycemia.

Most commonly used insulin includes Premixes like Mixtard 30/70, Huminsulin 30/70, Novomix 3o, Humalog 25/75, regular insulin like Human Actrapid, Huminsulin R. etc or Fast acting analogues like Novorapid, Apidra, Humalog etc

Long & intermediate acting insulin & analogues like Glargine (Lantus), Detemir ( Levemir) Degludec (Tresiba), NPH, Huminsulin N etc.

In case of oral medication, those oral anti-diabetes tablets which increases insulin secretion (insulin secretagogues) from pancreas can cause hypoglycemia.

Most commonly used Insulin secretagogues includes:

  1. Sulphonyureas:

    • Glibenclamide – Daonil, Glucored, Semi daonil, etc.
    • Glimeperide – Amaryl, Zoryl, Glimestar, Glimy, Azulix, Euglim, Glimiprex, Glucoryl, etc.
    • Gliclazide – Reclide, meclazide, diamicron, Glizid, Diabend, Dianorm, Glycinorm, etc.
    • Glipizide – Glynase, Semi-glynase, Lipi, etc.
  2. Glinides:

  • Repaglinide – Eurepa, Novonorm, Repa, Regan, etc.
  • Nateglinide – Glinate, Natiz, etc.

Other anti diabetic medicines like metformin (Glyciphage, Cetapin, Metsmall, etc.), Pioglitazone (Pioz, piopar, etc.), Alfa – glucosidase inhibitors like voglibose ( PPG, Volibo, Advog, Prandial,Volix, etc.), Acarbose (Glucobay, etc.), & DPP4 inhibitors including sitagliptin ( Zita, Istavel, Januvia, etc), Viladgliptin ( Galvus, Zomelis, etc) , Saxagliptin ( Onglyza), Linagliptin ( Trajenta) DO NOT Cause Hypoglycemia when given alone or in monotherapy but can cause hypoglycemia when given in combination with insulin secretagogues or with insulin.

If you found this article useful, please share it with your friends & family. I appreciate the feedback and encouragement.

Awareness is Prevention.

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About Author

Dr. Nikhil Prabhu ( Diabetes Specialist )

Dr. Nikhil Prabhu is a Mumbai - Navi Mumbai based Consulting Diabetologist. He has been practising at Haut Diabetes Care Clinic, Ghatkopar, Noor Hospital Govandi - Mankhurd & Express Clinics Seawoods - Nerul Navi mumbai. For Appointments please see our contact us page.



October 19, 2015 at 1:45 am

Thanks for info !

My Mom is 60 yrs type 2 diabetes sice five years and right now on Tab Gemer 2,
she is getting repeated hypoglycemia episodes ,
can i get your appointment for this weekend ?


October 24, 2015 at 9:47 pm

Thank You for information.
my dad is on Glimeperide 2mg twice daily and he often get low sugar episodes.
we have met our diabetes doctor and decreased dose of glimeperide. he also has kidney issue due to diabetes


October 31, 2015 at 6:21 pm

Thanks doc for information


July 29, 2017 at 12:46 pm

Thank you


July 29, 2017 at 8:06 pm


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