Management and Treatment of Glucocorticoid-Induced Hyperglycemia

Sílvia Paredes, Marta Alves


Introduction: Glucocorticoids have been associated to several side effects, specially a diabetogenic action, the most common and representative effect. Glucocorticoid-induced hyperglycemia is a common medical condition, with general associated morbidity and
Material and Methods: It was performed a literature review about the management and treatment of glucocorticoid-induced hyperglycemia.
Results: Through numerous not quite fully understood mechanics, glucocorticoids promote hyperglycemia in non-diabetic patients and
worsen diabetes control in diabetic individuals. Glucocorticoid-induced hyperglycemia presents key patterns, enhanced in the postprandial period and scheduled-dependent. Despite the existence of guidelines for hyperglycemia treatment in non-critic hospitalized and non-hospitalized patients, there are no guidelines respecting glucocorticoid-induced hyperglycemia. Nevertheless, it is known that glucocorticoid-induced hyperglycemia is complex and demanding, requiring a specific approach. Indeed, glucocorticoid-induced hyperglycemia treatment depends on the glucocorticoid used, its dose, frequency and schedule. Furthermore, the scheme of treatment previously used by diabetic individuals also influences the choice of the new scheme.
Discussion and Conclusion: The authors reviewed the glucocorticoid induced-hyperglycemia thematic and propose strategies to approach and treat glucocorticoid induced-hyperglycemia in diabetic and non-diabetic individuals. This review is expected to be useful in different settings and crosswise to all medical specialties.


Glucocorticoids/adverse effects; Hyperglycemia/chemically induced; Hyperglycemia/diagnosis; Hyperglycemia/therapy.

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