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Pediatrics. 2011 Jun;127(6):e1558-64. doi: 10.1542/peds.2010-3235. Epub 2011 May 23.

Hypoglycemia in pediatric sulfonylurea poisoning: an 8-year poison center retrospective study.

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Department of Clinical Pharmacy, University of California, San Francisco, California, USA.



The goal of this study was to describe the clinical effects and time of onset of hypoglycemia in pediatric sulfonylurea poisoning.


This was a retrospective, descriptive study of pediatric (<6 years old) sulfonylurea exposures with hypoglycemia (glucose concentration <60 mg/dL) that were consulted on by the California Poison Control System for the 8-year period between January 1, 2002, and December 31, 2009.


Of the 1943 consultations for pediatric sulfonylurea exposure in the study period, 300 children developed hypoglycemia. Ten percent had hypoglycemia occurring or persisting ≥ 12 hours after ingestion despite receiving treatment. All 5 children with seizures experienced these before hospital presentation. The mean (SD) time to onset of hypoglycemia in children not given any prophylactic treatment was 2.0 (1.2) hours. The mean (SD) times in children receiving prophylactic food only, intravenous glucose only, and both food and intravenous glucose were 5.9 (3.9), 5.7 (2.5), and 8.9 (3.6) hours, respectively. Ranges were 1 to 18, 1.5 to 9, and 2.5 to 15 hours. Seven of 40 patients (18%) receiving prophylactic food only had an onset of hypoglycemia >8 hours after sulfonylurea ingestion.


Pediatric sulfonylurea exposure can result in significant poisoning. Severe effects such as seizures occurred only in cases of unrecognized sulfonylurea ingestion. The onset of hypoglycemia after pediatric sulfonylurea ingestion can be delayed by as much as 18 hours by either free access to food or administration of intravenous glucose.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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