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Diabetes caused by diuretics


Wide clinical use of oral diuretics has shown that they very occasionally raise the blood sugar; this effect has also been observed in experimental animals1–8. Oral diuretics are often given for the control of hypertension, and Freis9 has pointed out the difficulty of distinguishing in these cases between diabetes developing in association with hypertension and diabetes developing because of treatment with oral diuretics. The effect has followed the use of thiazide, phthalimidine or quinethazone derivatives given for some weeks or longer. The mechanism by which the diabetes is produced is still unknown. Apparently even thin patients with no family history of diabetes and a normal fasting blood sugar before therapy can be affected5. The condition is usually reversible but in some of Wolff's5 patients the change was permanent.

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