Popular Pain Medication Associated with Greater Risk of Hypoglycemia

Jill Murphy, Assistant Editor
Published Online: Friday, August 30th, 2019
Researchers at the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of California in San Diego found that patients using tramadol (ConZip and Ultram) may be at a greater risk for developing hypoglycemia.
Recently published in Science Daily, the study was based on the investigating team’s analysis of more than 12 million reports from the FDA Adverse Effect Reporting System (FAERS) and Adverse Event Reporting System (AERS) databases. These reports outlined the adverse effects that people experienced while taking tramadol between January 2004 to March 2019.
Adverse effects recognized include dizziness, nausea, headaches, and constipation, which are common side effects of opioids. More serious and rare adverse drug reactions listed include serotonin syndrome, and increased seizure risk.
Another factor examined by the research team was widely prescribed opioids and similar acting, nonopioid medications. Only tramadol produced a significant risk of developing hypoglycemia in patients, according to the research. The only other drug that was comparable in effect was methadone, an opioid commonly used to help a person reduce or quit an addiction to other opiates, such as heroin.
Popular pain medication associated with greater risk of hypoglycemia. Science Daily website. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/08/190828080533.htm. Published August 28, 2019. Accessed August 30, 2019.

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