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Suzanne960
08-29-2007, 10:39 AM
I've been frequently noticing what I think is low blood sugar symptoms, and a low showed up in my blood work even after I had eaten one day. I just read on a lupus news website that antimalarials cause hypoglycemia (and one day may be a treatment for Type 2 diabetes). Anyone else here experience that?

Saysusie
09-05-2007, 09:34 PM
Yes, I also read that hydroxychloroquine may decrease the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) is an anti-inflammatory drug that has been used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus for many years.

The studies showed that people who take Plaquenil for arthritis or lupus have lower rates of type 2 diabetes than people in the general population, who do not take the drug. However, antimalarials have been known to cause hypoglycemia as one of the side effects. Because of this, researchers started looking at what was involved in the drug that would cause blood glucose to drop when a person was taking it. Their researched found that antimalarials seemed to improve both insulin secretion and the body's sensitivity to insulin.

The researchers decided that, with additional studies, Plaquenil may prove to be a good supplemental medication (along with other diabetes medication) when the diabetes was not being controlled well with traditional drugs. And also, it is hoped that Plaquenil may one day be used to prevent type 2 diabetes, especially amongst people who are at a high risk for developing the disease. That would be great, wouldn't it?

Peace and Blessings
Saysusie

sherriepublichealth
06-26-2011, 05:46 PM
I have indeed experienced the same hypoglycemic symptoms (sweating, shaking, urge to urinate, irritability, extreme lightheadedness). Eating seems to alleviate symptoms for about an hour and then symptoms slowly emerge again. Very frustrating and scary. I stopped taking plaquenil 6 months ago, but still doctors cannot figure out the cause of symptoms. I feel strongly that is was the plaquenil. Can you tell me... how long has it taken for your situation to improve or symptoms to disappear permanently? Thank you for sharing this. I was starting to feel quite alone and I'm eager to know if this gets better. -Sherrie

sherriepublichealth
06-26-2011, 05:56 PM
SaySusie, could you please share your reference for the research you mentioned? I'm having hypoglycemic symptoms that are debilitating, even since stopping plaquenil 6 months ago. The doctors I've seen deny that plaquenil is the cause but cannot diagnose what's wrong with me. I'm very interested in proving to them that plaquenil is a possibility worth considering. I desperately want treatment for these symptoms, which have proven even more debilitating than my undifferented connective tissue disease. Please Where did you locate this research? I have access to almost all journals out there. Hope to hear from you. And thank you for posting this. Sherrie


Yes, I also read that hydroxychloroquine may decrease the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) is an anti-inflammatory drug that has been used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus for many years.

The studies showed that people who take Plaquenil for arthritis or lupus have lower rates of type 2 diabetes than people in the general population, who do not take the drug. However, antimalarials have been known to cause hypoglycemia as one of the side effects. Because of this, researchers started looking at what was involved in the drug that would cause blood glucose to drop when a person was taking it. Their researched found that antimalarials seemed to improve both insulin secretion and the body's sensitivity to insulin.

The researchers decided that, with additional studies, Plaquenil may prove to be a good supplemental medication (along with other diabetes medication) when the diabetes was not being controlled well with traditional drugs. And also, it is hoped that Plaquenil may one day be used to prevent type 2 diabetes, especially amongst people who are at a high risk for developing the disease. That would be great, wouldn't it?

Peace and Blessings
Saysusie

tgal
06-26-2011, 06:01 PM
SaySusie, could you please share your reference for the research you mentioned? I'm having hypoglycemic symptoms that are debilitating, even since stopping plaquenil 6 months ago. The doctors I've seen deny that plaquenil is the cause but cannot diagnose what's wrong with me. I'm very interested in proving to them that plaquenil is a possibility worth considering. I desperately want treatment for these symptoms, which have proven even more debilitating than my undifferented connective tissue disease. Please Where did you locate this research? I have access to almost all journals out there. Hope to hear from you. And thank you for posting this. Sherrie

First let me welcome you to WHL. We are glad to have you with us. I am inserting a link that gives the side effects of plaquenil and it does list hypoglycemia as one of the rare ones. You might want to print this page out for your doctor.

plaquenil and hypoglycemia (http://www.drugs.com/sfx/plaquenil-side-effects.html)

steve.b
06-26-2011, 06:46 PM
welcome sherrie.

Gizmo
06-26-2011, 09:39 PM
I have indeed experienced the same hypoglycemic symptoms (sweating, shaking, urge to urinate, irritability, extreme lightheadedness). Eating seems to alleviate symptoms for about an hour and then symptoms slowly emerge again. Very frustrating and scary. I stopped taking plaquenil 6 months ago, but still doctors cannot figure out the cause of symptoms. I feel strongly that is was the plaquenil. Can you tell me... how long has it taken for your situation to improve or symptoms to disappear permanently? Thank you for sharing this. I was starting to feel quite alone and I'm eager to know if this gets better. -Sherrie

Sherrie, my husband had a terrible time with hypoglycemia for many years. It finally got bad enough that we ended up in the ER because he was confused. He had just eaten, so we didn't think about hypoglycemia. Long story short, it turns out he had a tumor in his pancreas, called an insulinoma, that was squirting out insulin at random. He had it removed at the Mayo Clinic and hasn't had any trouble since. It is pretty rare, so most doctors don't think to look for it. Based on my husband's experience, I would get in to see an endocrinologist ASAP. When I was researching hypoglycemia, I discovered that it can also be an autoimmune problem, so that might be another avenue to explore.

magistramarla
06-26-2011, 09:57 PM
I have symptoms of hypoglycemia fairly often. If I don't eat on time, I get progressively more shaky and cranky, until I get very ill.
I had these symptoms mildly before I started on Plaquenil, but now they are much more pronounced. I didn't realize that this could be a side-effect of the Plaquenil.
I keep it fairly under control by eating regularly. When we travel, I have to remind my hubby to stop for food - he could keep going for hours without stopping.
Hugs,
Marla

lovedbyHim
06-27-2011, 11:29 AM
Welcome Sherrie, welcome to a great group of folks!

Peridot20_Gem
06-27-2011, 02:19 PM
Hi Sherrie,

Welcome to WHL and i myself have Anaemia and need to keep an eye on this.

I'm adding this link about plaquenil which as info about the drug and also hypoglycemia but i'll add this bit of info first incase it may help also besides tgal's Link.

Terry xxx

Hematologic

Hematologic side effects have included various blood dyscrasias such as aplastic anemia, agranulocytosis, leukopenia, anemia, and thrombocytopenia. Hemolysis has been reported in individuals with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency.

www.drugs.com/sfx/plaquenil-side-effects.html

mumsy613
06-29-2011, 03:02 PM
Yes. One needs to watch for this if you know you are already hypoglycemic to some degree. My experience was with chloroquine which is the same class of drug but just a bit stronger. It tipped me right over the cliff to a very scarey episode.

I was switched from hydroxychloroquine to chloroquine when this happened. I was already chronically moderately hypoglycemic to begin with. Suddenly, my BP dropped, body temp dropped, heart rate soared, and glucose plummeted. After stopping chloroquine, everything normalized after five days of touch and go with high protein high fat and frequent snacks. Sugar was of no help since my body just over-reacted sending everything further out of whack.

End of story: I still take hydroxychloroquine but have my chronic hypoglycemia treated. Works fine for me.

Peridot20_Gem
06-29-2011, 05:23 PM
You've stated a good thing there because i've got megolablastic Anaemia and take folic acid tablets and B12 Jab's for life and i'm on 200mg of plaquenil daily and it's my second time round with it but it's been ok this time refering side affects but i am getting where my system is crying for my B12 Jab in the 2nd week of the 2nd month and i'm very low at the moment and weak.

So it does make you wonder it's best to keep an eye on it more.

Terry xxx

laurad52
08-27-2011, 08:05 PM
I have been on Plaquenil for quite a few years for Rheumatoid Arthritis, of which the the Dr. says never shows in blood test, must have at one time, that is why my GP sent me to a Rheumy, for joint pain started over 8 years ago, bruise easy, get up 2-4 nightly to urinate, I started having rashes 7 years ago when I had been in the sun, didn't know why, noticed a year or so later being in the sun brings it on. This year has not been bad only 2 rashes! I have gone through years of achy joints, very tired, weak, ill feeling, depression, dry eyes and mouth, brittle hair and nails this past year Anyway last year I found out I have a multi nodular goiter, my Endocrinologist thinks I may have Hashimotos, but just wants to keep an eye on it, which means he checks my thyroid levels every six months, wow, way to keep an eye on it:) I had been extremely tired and very strange feeling the last few weeks so had my blood levels tested on my thyroid by my GP since I was in having an infection looked at anyway, told my blood sugar was very low , had to go for a 4 hr. glucose test, found out I am hypoglycemic. GP suggests I go to a Diabetic dietician, $180 an hr, my insurance doesn't pay. I told the nurse to tell the Dr. I will look on the internet on what I should do, and to call with suggestions. Now I think I will call on Mon. and ask if they could send the report to my Rheumy and my Endo. Dr.
I believe it does have to do with my thyroid and possibly my Plaquenil, and ask for them to look into the reason for my hypoglycemia, instead of just treating my symptoms. Thanks for listening to me. Any other suggestions would be appreciated.
Peace be with you,(stress doesn't help:)
Laura

steve.b
08-27-2011, 08:30 PM
welcome laura,
i do not have any suggestions, but wanted to welcome you anyway.

this forum appears to be slower on weekends.
someone will be along to help answer your questions, but maybe on monday.

tgal
08-28-2011, 10:22 AM
Hi Laura,

Steve is correct. We are less active on the weekends in general and now with the storm on the east coast it is especially quiet. What you are dealing with is very common. Many times we get the diagnosis of one AI disease and over time it is found out that we have several of them. It is what we call overlapping diseases. It is also common for our blood work to fluctuate. That is one of the reasons it is often difficult to diagnose them. I understand your frustration and fear but you have dealt with it this far and you will keep doing so. Just know that we are here for you as you travel down this path.

Keep us posted

laurad52
09-05-2011, 06:36 PM
Thank you tgal,

I am treating myself for hypoglycemia, no simple carbs.,have complex carbs. which is hard since I love sweets and I work at Panera Bread who makes wonderful bakery items:( It is a standing joke amongst my friends and I that I only go to showers and weddings for the cake! I have noticed in just a few days that I haven't been getting the headaches, and that if I don't have something to eat at least every couple hours I get shaky. I have stopped the Paquenil. Many times I feel like what will happen next, I know I should not stress, it only makes my health worse, but my mind goes there sometimes. I repeat to myself that all we have is this moment and don't worry about tomorrow, I have enough on my plate for today. It just gets so tiring when I don't have a clear cut diagnosis, treat me for R.A., maybe you have Hashimotos says the Endo dr.(I have a goiter), gp says might have raynauds.(I get very cold hands and toes and can't stand the cold), eye dr. and dentists says sjogren's, my dermatologist thinks I just have had bouts of eczema, next time I get a patch I will have them skin graph.

Thanks for being here:)

Laura