A new study has found that people who take two prescription drugs in combination, the antidepressant Paxil and Pravachol for lowering cholesterol, could have their levels of blood sugar increased. This is bad news for people suffering from diabetes, who already have excessive levels of blood sugar because of their condition.
The scientists used data mining to detect associations that might not be obvious to doctors treating individual patients. They then tested the findings on mice to find the factors involved.
They managed to identify 135 patients without diabetes who took both drugs, who had their levels of blood sugar increased by 19 milligrams per decilitre after they began their treatment, and also another 104 diabetics whose blood sugar increased an average of 48 mg/dl while taking both drugs. It could be the case that patients who take the two drugs could find they trigger type 2 diabetes in some people.
It was found that either drug on its own didn’t have the same effect on blood sugar, and the team have not managed to determine the reason for their impact on blood sugar taken in combination. Paxil is a type of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), while Pravachol is a stati,
Russ Altma, lead researcher on the study, published in Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, pointed out “This interaction may affect as many as 1 million Americans who might be on these two drugs and who are getting a bump in their blood glucose that may be unnecessary.”

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