search for


Concurrent Use of Sulfonylureas and Antimicrobials of the Elderly in Korea: A Potential Risk of Hypoglycemia
Korean J Clin Pharm 2018;28(3):188-193
Published online September 30, 2018
© 2018 Korean College of Clinical Pharmacy.

Sera Lee#, Miyoung Ock#, and Hyunah Kim*

College of Pharmacy, Sookmyung Women's University, Seoul 04310, Republic of Korea
Correspondence to: Hyunah Kim, College of Pharmacy, Sookmyung Women's University, Cheongpa-ro 47-gil 100, Yongsan-gu, Seoul 04310, Republic of Korea
Tel: +82-2-2077-7961, Fax: +82-2-2077-7629
#Sera Lee and Miyoung Ock are co–first authors, with each contributing equally to this manuscript.
Received July 5, 2018; Revised September 10, 2018; Accepted September 10, 2018.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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™online, and contraindicated, major, or moderate severity level in Micromedex® 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.
Keywords : Sulfonylurea compounds, anti-infective agents, hypoglycemia, drug interactions

September 2018, 28 (3)
Full Text(PDF) Free

Social Network Service

Cited By Articles
  • CrossRef (0)

Funding Information