• spontaneous reporting databases;
  • case-non-case methodology;
  • hypoglycaemia;
  • ACE inhibitors;
  • diabetics

Aims To test the existence of an association between reports of hypoglycaemia and angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors, in a spontaneous reports database.

Methods The French Pharmacovigilance database was examined for an association between adverse drug reaction reports mentioning hypoglycaemia, and angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEI) using the case/non-case methodology, with reports of hypoglycaemia as cases and all other reports as comparators. The association between ACEI or other chosen drugs and hypoglycaemia was also tested in the subgroups of patients taking or not antidiabetic agents (ADA).

Results 428 of 93338 reports mentioned hypoglycaemia (202/2227 with ADA (OR 40, 95% CI 33–48)). 46/5717 reports mentioned ACEI (OR 1.8 (1.25–2.54)). Other study drugs associated with hypoglycaemia were cibenzoline (OR 80 (57–112)), disopyramide (OR 32 (22–46)), nifedipine (OR 2.16 (1.32–3.51)), diltiazem (OR 1.76 (1.01–3.06)) nitrates (nitroglycerin, molsidomine) (OR 1.91 (1.16–3.16)) and frusemide (OR 1.89 (1.31–1.76)), but not nicardipine, amlodipine, felodipine or nitrendipine, diazepam, atenolol or combination thiazide diuretics. However, ACEI and other drugs were associated with ADA, so that in the subgroups of patients taking or not ADA, the association of ACEI with hypoglycaemia disappeared (OR 0.9 (0.5–1.4) and 1.2 (0.7–2.2), respectively). The same was found for other drugs except cibenzoline.

Conclusion The association between reporting of hypoglycaemia and ACE inhibitors was related to concomitant use of antidiabetic agents. This was true also for other drugs used in arterial disease or renal failure, such as calcium channel blockers, nitrates, and frusemide.