Severe hypoglycaemia associated with ingesting counterfeit medication

Med J Aust. 2010 Jun 21;192(12):716-7. doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2010.tb03710.x.


Cross-border importation of traditional and prescription medications is common, and many of these drugs are not approved by the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration. Furthermore, counterfeit versions of prescription medications are also available (eg, weight-loss medications, anabolic steroids, and medications to enhance sexual performance). We describe a 54-year-old man with the first Australian case of severe hypoglycaemia induced by imported, laboratory-confirmed counterfeit Cialis. This serves to remind medical practitioners that counterfeit medication may be the cause of severe hypoglycaemia (or other unexplained illness).

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Drug Contamination*
  • Erectile Dysfunction / drug therapy*
  • Glyburide / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemia / chemically induced*
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Piperazines / therapeutic use
  • Purines / therapeutic use
  • Self Medication / adverse effects*
  • Sildenafil Citrate
  • Sulfones / therapeutic use
  • Vasodilator Agents / therapeutic use


  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Piperazines
  • Purines
  • Sulfones
  • Vasodilator Agents
  • Sildenafil Citrate
  • Glyburide