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Adverse cardiovascular events during treatment with glyburide (glibenclamide) or gliclazide in a high-risk population


Aims — Sulphonylureas promote insulin release by inhibiting pancreatic potassium channels. Older sulphonylureas such as glyburide (glibenclamide), but not newer ones such as gliclazide, antagonize similar channels in myocardium, interfering with the protective effects of ischaemic preconditioning. Whether this imparts a higher risk of adverse cardiac events is unknown.

Methods — The researchers conducted a population-based cohort study of patients aged 66 years and older who were hospitalized for acute myocardial infarction or who underwent percutaneous coronary intervention between 1 April 2007 and 31 March 2010 while receiving either glyburide or gliclazide. The researchers used a high-dimensional propensity score matching process to ensure similarity of glyburide- and gliclazide-treated patients. The primary outcome was a composite of death or hospitalization for myocardial infarction or heart failure.

Results — During the 2-year study period, the researchers matched 1690 patients treated with glyburide to 984 patients treated with gliclazide at the time of hospitalization for acute myocardial infarction or percutaneous coronary intervention. The researchers found no difference in the risk of the composite outcome among patients receiving glyburide (adjusted hazard ratio 1.01; 95% CI 0.86–1.18). The researchers found similar results in secondary analyses of each outcome individually, and in two supplementary analyses (haemorrhage and pneumonia) in which the researchers anticipated no difference between the two patient groups.

Conclusions — Among older patients hospitalized for acute myocardial infarction or percutaneous coronary intervention, treatment with glyburide is not associated with an increased risk of future adverse cardiovascular events relative to gliclazide, suggesting that the effect of glyburide on ischaemic preconditioning is of little clinical relevance.



Juurlink DN, Gomes T, Shah BR, Mamdani MM. Diabet Med. 2012; 29(12):1524-8. Epub 2012 Nov 14.