Template:Sulfonylurea Toxicity

Hypoglycemia from Sulfonylureas[1][2]

Activated charcoal[3]

  • Administer activated charcoal, preferably within 1 hr of ingestion
  • Multiple doses may be beneficial, especially for glipizide

Glucose Treatment

  • Initial therapy regardless of known cause
  • 50mL D50W bolus
  • Start a D10 1/2NS drip (100mL/hr)
  • 1mL/kg of D50W OR
  • 2mL/kg D25W OR 5-10mL/kg D10W
  • Neonate: 5-10 mL/kg D10W


  • Theoretical benefit to reduce risk of recurrent hypoglycemia
  • Hyperpolarization of the beta cell results in inhibition of Ca influx and prevents insulin release
  • 50-100 mcg subcutaneous in adults with repeat dosing Q6hrs
  • 2 mcg/kg (max 150mcg) subcutaneously Q6hrs should be used in children
  • Continuous infusion of 50-125 mcg/hr is an alternative in adults
  • Administer octreotide for 24 hours, then after discontinuing, monitor for hypoglycemia for another 24 hours

Special Considerations

  • Glucagon 5mg IM may be used as temporizing measure, e.g. while obtaining IV access
    • Dependent on glycogen stores which may be depleted in prolonged hypoglycemia
    • Also short duration of action
    • Caution in using glucagon drip
      • Glucagon also has an insulin-releasing effect
      • May subsequently cause initial paradoxical hypoglycemia
  • Rowden AK, Fasano CJ. Emergency management of oral hypoglycemic drug toxicity. Emerg Med Clin N Am 2007; 25:347-356
  • Howland MA. Antidotes in Depth: Octreotide. In: Flomenbaum NE, Goldfrank LR, Hoffman RS et al, eds: Goldfrank’s Toxicologic Emergencies. New York NY, 2006;770-773
  • Tran D et al. Oral Hypoglycemic Agent Toxicity Treatment & Management. Jul 14, 2015. http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1010629-treatment#showall.
  • Fasano CJ et al. Comparison of Octreotide and standard therapy versus standard therapy alone for the treatment of sulfonylurea-induced hypoglycemia. Ann Emerg Med 2008; 51:400-406