antidiabetic medicationsWith several new diabetes medications available, it is important to know which ones are likely to cause hypoglycemia after overdose. Based on mechanism of action and reported cases, the likelihood of hypoglycemia after overdose is listed below by drug class. 1

Keep in mind that other drugs can interact with antidiabetic medications resulting in hypoglycemia. The following table applies only to single agent ingestion/administration.

Drug ClassExamplesHypoglycemic Potential
InsulinsGlargine, Aspart, DetemirHigh
SulfonylureasGlyburide, Glipizide, GlimepirideHigh
MeglitinidesNateglinide, RepaglinideHigh
Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 (GLP-1) Receptor AgonistsExenatide, Albiglutide, LiraglutideLow-Moderate
Alpha-glucosidase inhibitorsAcarbose, MiglitolLow
ThiazolidinedionesRosiglitazone, PiaglitazoneLow
Dipeptidyl Peptidase 4 (DPP-4) InhibitorsSitagliptin, Saxagliptin, LinagliptinLow
Sodium-Glucose Cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) InhibitorsCanagliflozinLow
Adapted from a University of Maryland Emergency Medicine (UMEM, @UMEmergencyMed) Educational Pearl.

Image credit

Nelson L, Lewin N, Howland M Ann, Hoffman R, Goldfrank L, Flomenbaum N. Antidiabetics and Hypoglycemics. In: Goldfrank’s Toxicologic Emergencies. 9th ed. New York: Mcgraw-Hill; 2010:714-727.
Bryan D. Hayes, PharmD, DABAT, FAACT, FASHP

Bryan D. Hayes, PharmD, DABAT, FAACT, FASHP

Leadership Team, ALiEM
Creator and Lead Editor, Capsules and EM Pharm Pearls Series
Attending Pharmacist, EM and Toxicology, MGH
Associate Professor of EM, Division of Medical Toxicology, Harvard Medical School
Bryan D. Hayes, PharmD, DABAT, FAACT, FASHP


EM Pharmacist & Toxicologist @MassGeneralEM | Asst Prof @HarvardMed/@EMRES_MGHBWH | @ALiEMteam leadership | Capsules creator, ALiEMU | President, ABAT | #FOAMed