Concurrent Use of Sulfonylureas and Antimicrobials of the Elderly in Korea: A Potential Risk of Hypoglycemia

고령자에서 Sulfonylureas와 항균제의 병용투여 현황

  • Lee, Sera (College of Pharmacy, Sookmyung Women's University) ;
  • Ock, Miyoung (College of Pharmacy, Sookmyung Women's University) ;
  • Kim, Hyunah (College of Pharmacy, Sookmyung Women's University)
  • 이세라 (숙명여자대학교 약학대학) ;
  • 옥미영 (숙명여자대학교 약학대학) ;
  • 김현아 (숙명여자대학교 약학대학)
  • Received : 2018.07.05
  • Accepted : 2018.09.10
  • Published : 2018.09.03


Background: Previous studies have noted that the simultaneous use of sulfonylureas and antimicrobials, which is common, could increase the risk of hypoglycemia. In particular, an age of 65 years or older is a known risk factor for sulfonylurea-related hypoglycemia in hospitalized patients. Therefore, we performed this study to determine the potential risk of hypoglycemia from the concurrent use of antimicrobials and sulfonylureas. Methods: We performed a cross-sectional study on the National Health Insurance Service-National Sample Cohort from 2013. The eligibility criteria included patients of 65 years of age or older taking a sulfonylurea with 25 different antimicrobials. Different risk ratings of severity in drug-drug interactions (potential DDIs), level X, D, or C in Lexi-$Interact^{TM}$ online, and contraindicated, major, or moderate severity level in $Micromedex^{(R)}$ were included. SAS version 9.4 was used for data analysis. Results: A total of 6,006 elderly patients with 25,613 prescriptions were included. The largest age group was 70 to 74 (32.7%), and 39.7% of patients were men. The mean number of prescriptions was 4.3 per patient. The most frequently used antimicrobials were levofloxacin (6,583, 25.7%), ofloxacin (6,549, 25.6%), fluconazole (4,678, 18.0%), and ciprofloxacin (2,551, 9.8%). Among sulfonylureas, glimepiride was prescribed most frequently, followed by gliclazide, glibenclamide, and glipizide. Conclusion: Of the antimicrobials with a high potential of hypoglycemia, levofloxacin, ofloxacin, fluconazole, and ciprofloxacin were used frequently. Thus, the monitoring of clinically relevant interactions is required for patients concurrently administered sulfonylureas and antimicrobials.


Supported by : National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF)


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