Study objectives: To compare rates of blood glucose abnormalities in hospitalized patients receiving fluoroquinolones or ceftriaxone, and to describe the characteristics of patients who develop blood glucose abnormalities while receiving these agents.
Design: Retrospective chart review.
Setting: Two community-based hospitals in the Houston, Texas, region.
Patients: Seventeen thousand one hundred eight patients who received fluoroquinolones or ceftriaxone; of those, 101 received levofloxacin, gatifloxacin, or ceftriaxone and also had serum glucose concentrations above 200 or below 50 mg/dl within 72 hours of receiving the drug.
Measurements and main results: Baseline demographics of patients with glucose abnormalities while receiving gatifloxacin, levofloxacin, or ceftriaxone were similar. Mean +/- SD patient age, weight, and estimated creatinine clearance were 67 +/- 17 years, 79 +/- 21 kg, and 52 +/- 32 ml/minute, respectively. Dysglycemia rates relative to treatment were as follows: gatifloxacin 76 (1.01%) of 7540 patients, levofloxacin 11 (0.93%) of 1179, ceftriaxone 14 (0.18%) of 7844, ciprofloxacin 0 (0%) of 545, and any fluoroquinolone 87 (0.94%) of 9264. Dysglycemia was more likely to occur in patients receiving any fluoroquinolone than in those receiving ceftriaxone (relative risk [RR] 3.32, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.31-4.78, p < 0.05). The rate of dysglycemia did not differ with gatifloxacin and levofloxacin (RR 1.07, 95% CI 0.62-1.86, p = 0.8). Of the 101 patients with dysglycemias, hypoglycemia occurred in nine (9%) and hyperglycemia in 92 (91%). In a multivariate analysis of patients receiving fluoroquinolones, only concomitant sulfonylurea therapy was identified as an independent risk factor for development of hypoglycemia compared with patients who experienced hyperglycemia.
Conclusion: In the 17,108 patients receiving a fluoroquinolone or ceftriaxone, the rate of dysglycemia was greater in those receiving levofloxacin or gatifloxacin than in those receiving ceftriaxone. However, no difference was noted in the rate of glucose abnormalities with levofloxacin versus gatifloxacin. Clinicians should be aware of dysglycemic events that may occur in patients receiving fluoroquinolones, especially in those with diabetes mellitus or those receiving sulfonylureas.