Diabetes mellitus (DM) has emerged as one of the most common diseases of this century. Its incidence is on the rise and the numbers are projected to reach a dreaded level by the year 2030 (1). In the United States alone, 4000 cases of diabetes are diagnosed every day (2). Most of them are type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), and overall 8% of the population carries this diagnosis (3). Hyperglycemia is the sine qua non for diabetes. It results from the disturbance of normal glucose homeostasis. Under normal physiological conditions, plasma glucose concentrations are maintained within a narrow range, despite wide fluctuations in supply and demand, through a tightly regulated and dynamic interaction between tissue sensitivity to insulin and insulin secretion (4). Several pathologic processes can result in the disturbance of this balance. These range from autoimmune destruction of the P-cells of the pancreas with consequent insulin deficiency in T1DM to abnormalities that result in insulin resistance in the majority of T2DM. Impairment of insulin secretion and defects in insulin action frequently coexist in the same patient with T2DM. It is often difficult to decipher which abnormality, if either alone, is the primary cause of hyperglycemia (5).
A wide variety of frequently prescribed medications are known to cause glucose intolerance and can precipitate overt diabetes in non-diabetic individuals or worsen glycemic control in subjects with established diabetes.
This diabetogenic effect may occur even in people with normal metabolism as an undesired side effect with a great number of drugs, during an illness, or secondary to another disease process. Particularly with already existing glucose tolerance disturbances, or hereditary disposition, a further deterioration can lead to DM that may not always disappear after discontinued use of the drug or resolution of illness. Diabetes that develops in association with illness, drugs or other endocrinological disturbances is classified as secondary diabetes. Despite the rather large number of drugs known to worsen glucose tolerance, in relation to the total number of diabetics, drug-induced diabetes can be considered a rare cause of diabetes.
Was this article helpful?
Diabetes is a disease that affects the way your body uses food. Normally, your body converts sugars, starches and other foods into a form of sugar called glucose. Your body uses glucose for fuel. The cells receive the glucose through the bloodstream. They then use insulin a hormone made by the pancreas to absorb the glucose, convert it into energy, and either use it or store it for later use. Learn more...