Journal of Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology

Journal of Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology
Open Access

ISSN: 2155-9570

+44 1223 790975


The Effect of Topical Steroids on Blood Glucose Profile in Diabetic Patients

Irit Bahar, Shlomo Vinker and Igor Kaiserman

Purpose: To investigate the effect of topical steroidal eye drops on blood glucose levels and glycemic control among diabetic patients.
Methods: We reviewed the electronic medical records of all the diabetic members in the district of the largest health maintenance organization in Israel (the Central District of Clalit Health Services). All steroidal eye drops prescriptions (n=44,118) filled by diabetic patients in the district between January 1st, 2001 and July 31st, 2006 were documented. We included only those patients that filled at least 3 consecutive prescriptions (n=2697 patients). Of those, 1360 (50.4%) patients had laboratory data for their glycemic control (fasting blood glucose levels and HbA1c) measured around the period of topical steroidal treatment. Main Outcome measures included the relationship of topical steroidal eye drops prescription use on blood glucose levels and Hemoglobin A1C levels among diabetic patients.
Results: The baseline fasting glucose level was 145.8 ± 2.1 (SEM) mg/dl and HbA1c 7.6 ± 0.1%. Fasting blood glucose levels increased up to 157.4 ± 6.3 mg/dl on the 3rd week on topical steroids (p= 0.05). HbA1c increased to 8.2 ± 0.3% on the 7th week under topical steroids treatment (p= 0.03).
Conclusions: The use of topical steroids by diabetic patients appears to increase blood glucose levels and interfere with glycemic control.