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All about: Proglycem

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Some commonly used brand names are:

In the U.S.—

  • Proglycem

In Canada—

  • Proglycem


  • Antihypoglycemic


Diazoxide (dye-az-OX-ide) when taken by mouth is used in the treatment of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). It works by preventing release of insulin from the pancreas.

Diazoxide is available only with your doctor's prescription, in the following dosage forms:

  • Oral
  • Capsules (U.S. and Canada)
  • Suspension (U.S. and Canada)

Before Using This Medicine

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For diazoxide, the following should be considered:

Allergies—Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to diazoxide, sulfonamides (sulfa medicine), or thiazide diuretics (certain types of water pills). Also tell your health care professional if you are allergic to any other substances, such as foods, preservatives, or dyes.

Pregnancy—Studies have not been done in pregnant women. However, too much use of diazoxide during pregnancy may cause unwanted effects (high blood sugar, loss of hair or increased hair growth, blood problems) in the baby. Studies in animals have shown that diazoxide causes some birth defects (in the skeleton, heart, and pancreas) and other problems (delayed birth, decrease in successful pregnancies).

Breast-feeding—It is not known whether diazoxide passes into breast milk. However, this medicine has not been reported to cause problems in nursing babies.

Children—Infants are more likely to retain (keep) body water because of diazoxide. In some infants, this may lead to certain types of heart problems. Also, a few children who received diazoxide for prolonged periods (longer than 4 years) developed changes in their facial structure.

Older adults—Many medicines have not been tested in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults or if they cause different side effects or problems in older people. There is no specific information comparing use of oral diazoxide in the elderly with use in other age groups.

Other medicines—Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking diazoxide, it is especially important that your health care professional know if you are taking any of the following:

  • Amantadine (e.g., Symmetrel) or
  • Antidepressants (medicine for depression) or
  • Antihypertensives (high blood pressure medicine) or
  • Antipsychotics (medicines for mental illness) or
  • Bromocriptine (e.g., Parlodel) or
  • Cyclandelate (e.g., Cyclospasmol) or
  • Deferoxamine (e.g., Desferal) or
  • Diuretics (water pills) or
  • Hydralazine (e.g., Apresoline) or
  • Isoxsuprine (e.g., Vasodilan) or
  • Levobunolol (e.g., Betagan) (use in the eye) or
  • Levodopa (e.g., Dopar) or
  • Medicine for heart disease or
  • Metipranolol (e.g., OptiPranolol) or
  • Nabilone (e.g., Cesamet) (with high doses) or
  • Narcotic pain medicine or
  • Nicotinyl alcohol (e.g., Roniacol) or
  • Nimodipine (e.g., Nimotop) or
  • Nylidrin (e.g., Arlidin) or
  • Papaverine (e.g., Pavabid) or
  • Pentamidine (e.g., Pentam) or
  • Pimozide (e.g., Orap) or
  • Promethazine (e.g., Phenergan) or
  • Timolol (e.g., Timoptic) (use in the eye) or
  • Trimeprazine (e.g., Temaril)—Use of any of these medicines with diazoxide may cause low blood pressure
  • Ethotoin (e.g., Peganone) or
  • Mephenytoin (e.g., Mesantoin) or
  • Phenytoin (e.g., Dilantin)—Any of these medicines and diazoxide may be less effective if they are taken at the same time

Other medical problems—The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of diazoxide. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Angina (chest pain)
  • Gout—Diazoxide may make this condition worse
  • Heart attack (recent)
  • Heart or blood vessel disease
  • Kidney disease—The effects of diazoxide may last longer because the kidney may not be able to get the medicine out of the bloodstream as it normally would
  • Liver disease
  • Stroke (recent)

Proper Use of This Medicine

Take this medicine only as directed by your doctor . Do not take more or less of it than your doctor ordered, and take it at the same time each day.

Follow carefully the special diet your doctor gave you . This is an important part of controlling your condition, and is necessary if the medicine is to work properly.

Test for sugar in your urine or blood with a diabetic urine or blood test kit as directed by your doctor . This is a convenient way to make sure your condition is being controlled, and it provides an early warning when it is not. Your doctor may also want you to test your urine for acetone.

Dosing—The dose of diazoxide will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label . The following information includes only the average doses of diazoxide. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The number of capsules that you take depends on the strength of the medicine.

  • For oral dosage forms (capsules or suspension):
    • For treating hypoglycemia (low blood sugar):
      • Adults, teenagers, and children—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. At first, the usual dose is 1 milligram (mg) per kilogram (kg) (0.45 mg per pound) of body weight every eight hours. Then, your doctor may increase your dose to 3 to 8 mg per kg (1.4 to 3.6 mg per pound) of body weight a day. This dose may be divided into two or three doses.
      • Newborn babies and infants—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. At first, the usual dose is 3.3 mg per kg (1.5 mg per pound) of body weight every eight hours. Then, your doctor may increase the dose to 8 to 15 mg per kg (3.6 to 6.8 mg per pound) of body weight a day. This dose may be divided into two or three doses.

Missed dose—If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.

Storage—To store this medicine:

  • Keep out of the reach of children.
  • Store away from heat and direct light.
  • Do not store in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down.
  • Keep the oral liquid form of this medicine from freezing.
  • Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed. Be sure that any discarded medicine is out of the reach of children.

Precautions While Using This Medicine

It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits , especially during the first few weeks of treatment, to make sure that this medicine is working properly.

Before you have any kind of surgery, dental treatment, or emergency treatment, tell the medical doctor or dentist in charge that you are using this medicine .

Do not take any other medicine, unless prescribed or approved by your doctor , since some may interfere with this medicine's effects. This especially includes over-the-counter (OTC) or nonprescription medicine such as that for colds, cough, asthma, hay fever, or appetite control.

Check with your doctor right away if symptoms of high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) occur . These symptoms usually include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Flushed, dry skin
  • Fruit-like breath odor
  • Increased urination
  • Loss of appetite (continuing)
  • Unusual thirst

These symptoms may occur if the dose of the medicine is too high, or if you have a fever or infection or are experiencing unusual stress.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible also if these symptoms of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) occur:

  • Anxiety
  • Chills
  • Cold sweats
  • Cool pale skin
  • Drowsiness
  • Excessive hunger
  • Fast pulse
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Nervousness
  • Shakiness
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness

Symptoms of both low blood sugar and high blood sugar must be corrected before they progress to a more serious condition. In either situation, you should check with your doctor immediately.

Side Effects of This Medicine

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Stop taking this medicine and get emergency help immediately if any of the following side effects occur :


Chest pain caused by exercise or activity; confusion; numbness of the hands; shortness of breath (unexplained)

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

More common

Decreased urination; swelling of feet or lower legs; weight gain (rapid)

Less common

Fast heartbeat


Fever; skin rash; stiffness of arms or legs; trembling and shaking of hands and fingers; unusual bleeding or bruising

Other side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. However, check with your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome:

Less common

Changes in ability to taste; constipation; increased hair growth on forehead, back, arms, and legs; loss of appetite; nausea and vomiting; stomach pain

This medicine may cause a temporary increase in hair growth in some people when it is used for a long time. After treatment with diazoxide has ended, normal hair growth should return.

Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.

Revised: 05/24/1994

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