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Ann Emerg Med. 2008 Apr;51(4):400-6. Epub 2007 Aug 30.

Comparison of octreotide and standard therapy versus standard therapy alone for the treatment of sulfonylurea-induced hypoglycemia.

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Department of Emergency Medicine, Albert Einstein Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA 19141, USA.



This study is designed to test the hypothesis that the administration of octreotide acetate (Sandostatin; Novartis Pharmaceuticals) in addition to standard therapy will increase serum glucose level measured at serial intervals in patients presenting to the emergency department (ED) with sulfonylurea-induced hypoglycemia compared with standard therapy alone.


This study was a prospective, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. All adult patients who presented to the ED with hypoglycemia (serum glucose level < or = 60 mg/dL) and were found to be taking a sulfonylurea or a combination of insulin and sulfonylurea were screened for participation in the study. Study participants were randomized to receive standard treatment (1 ampule of 50% dextrose intravenously and carbohydrates orally) and placebo (1 mL of 0.9% normal saline solution subcutaneously) or standard treatment plus 1 dose of octreotide 75 microg subcutaneously. Subsequent treatment interventions were at the discretion of the inpatient internal medicine service.


A total of 40 patients (18 placebo; 22 octreotide) were enrolled. The mean serum glucose measurement at presentation was placebo 35 mg/dL and octreotide 39 mg/dL. The mean glucose values for octreotide patients compared with placebo were consistently higher during the first 8 hours but showed no difference in subsequent hours. Mean glucose differences approached statistical significance from 1 to 3 hours and were significant from 4 to 8 hours after octreotide or placebo administration.


The addition of octreotide to standard therapy in hypoglycemic patients receiving treatment with a sulfonylurea increased serum glucose values for the first 8 hours after administration in our patients. Recurrent hypoglycemic episodes occurred less frequently in patients who received octreotide compared with those who received placebo.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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