Acute effect of different antidepressants on glycemia in diabetic and non-diabetic rats

Braz J Med Biol Res. 2001 Jan;34(1):57-64. doi: 10.1590/s0100-879x2001000100007.


Diabetic patients have a 20% higher risk of depression than the general population. Treatment with antidepressant drugs can directly interfere with blood glucose levels or may interact with hypoglycemic agents. The treatment of depression in diabetic patients must take into account variations of glycemic levels at different times and a comparison of the available antidepressant agents is important. In the present study we evaluated the interference of antidepressants with blood glucose levels of diabetic and non-diabetic rats. In a first experiment, male adult Wistar rats were fasted for 12 h. Imipramine (5 mg/kg), moclobemide (30 mg/kg), clonazepam (0.25 mg/kg), fluoxetine (20 mg/kg) sertraline (30 mg/kg) or vehicle was administered. After 30 min, fasting glycemia was measured. An oral glucose overload of 1 ml of a 50% glucose solution was given to rats and blood glucose was determined after 30, 60 and 90 min. Imipramine and clonazepam did not change fasting or overload glycemia. Fluoxetine and moclobemide increased blood glucose at different times after the glucose overload. Sertraline neutralized the increase of glycemia induced by oral glucose overload. In the second experiment, non-diabetic and streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats were fasted, and the same procedures were followed for estimation of glucose tolerance 30 min after glucose overload. Again, sertraline neutralized the increase in glycemia after glucose overload both in diabetic and non-diabetic rats. These data raise the question of whether sertraline is the best choice for prolonged use for diabetic individuals, because of its antihyperglycemic effects. Clonazepam would be useful in cases with potential risk of hypoglycemia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Antidepressive Agents / adverse effects*
  • Blood Glucose / drug effects*
  • Clonazepam / therapeutic use
  • Diabetes Mellitus / blood*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / drug therapy
  • Drug Interactions
  • Fasting
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Sertraline / therapeutic use


  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Blood Glucose
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Clonazepam
  • Sertraline