Blood Thinners and Antidiabetic Drugs: Recipe for a Hospital Visit?

If you're taking a blood thinner in addition to your antidiabetic medication, you may be more prone to hospitalizations due to falls, insulin shock or an altered mental state, according to a new study.

The research, published in BMJ, found that 40 percent of American adults who are hospitalized for drug interactions are taking warfarin - a blood thinner - and antidiabetic drugs, like glipizide or glimepiride.

"Until now, no one had really studied the interactions between them," said lead study author John Romley.

For patients taking warfarin with glipizide or glimepiride, hospital admissions or emergency room visits are about 22 percent higher, the study found.

Drug-to-drug interaction is 'clear'

The study found that hospitalizations for falls was the most common occurence among patients, and that admissions for hypoglycemia were rare.

According to co-author Anne Peters, patients taking both medications may need to engage in simple precautions like monitoring their glucose levels more often.

"The take-home message is simply that an interaction can occur that has clinical significance, so providers need to be aware in order to prevent a low blood sugar issue from occurring," Peters said.

Source: USC

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