Possible Cefcapene Pivoxil- or Clarithromycin-Induced Severe Hyperglycemia in a Patient With Type 2 Diabetes: A Case Report

Yoji Miyoshi


There are various reasons for the deterioration of glycemic control observed in patients with diabetes, one of which is drug-induced hyperglycemia. Antibiotics, especially the fluoroquinolones, have been reported to be associated with glucose disturbances. However, induction of hyperglycemia by cephem or macrolide antibiotics has rarely, if ever, been reported. Here, we report the case of possible antibiotics-induced severe hyperglycemia in a patient with type 2 diabetes. A 67-year-old Japanese diabetic man, who was not using oral hypoglycemic agents or insulin but whose condition was controlled with diet and exercise, presented at an otolaryngology clinic with nasal discharge and rhinorrhea. His glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) level had been stable at 6.6-7.2% for several years. He was diagnosed with acute sinusitis and given an oral cephem antibiotic, cefcapene pivoxil, for 1 week. His otolaryngeal symptoms were slight and disappeared soon. Thereafter, therapy was switched to a macrolide antibiotic, clarithromycin, for 3 weeks. Twenty-five days after the initiation of antibiotic therapy, severe hyperglycemia was pointed out; his random serum glucose and HbA1c levels were 29.4 mmol/L and 10.6%, respectively. The patient required insulin and oral hypoglycemic agent therapy. The Naranjo probability scale suggests that the relationship between the administration of cefcapene pivoxil or clarithromycin and the patients severe hyperglycemia might be possible. To the best of our knowledge, there has been no previous report of a deterioration in glycemic control in a patient with diabetes administered a cephem (cefcapene pivoxil) or macrolide (clarithromycin) antibiotic. Considering the global prescription of cephem and macrolide antibiotics, awareness of the fact that some patients are at high risk for impaired glucose tolerance is important when prescribing antibiotics. Further studies are warranted to determine the incidence rate of hyperglycemia among patients with diabetes who are administered cephem and macrolide antibiotics.

J Med Cases. 2013;4(6):416-419
doi: https://doi.org/10.4021/jmc1274w


Cefcapene pivoxil; Clarithromycin; Drug-induced hyperglycemia; Type 2 diabetes

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