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Thread: Plaquenil and Hypoglycemia

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    Default Plaquenil and Hypoglycemia

    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?

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    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?

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    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

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    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

    Quote Originally Posted by Saysusie View Post
    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

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    Quote Originally Posted by sherriepublichealth View Post
    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
    Mari

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    welcome sherrie.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sherriepublichealth View Post
    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.

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    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

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    Welcome Sherrie, welcome to a great group of folks!

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    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

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