From the Journals

COVID-19: Extra caution needed for patients with diabetes



After a diagnosis

If patients with diabetes develop COVID-19, then home management may still be possible, wrote the authors, who recommended basic treatment measures such as maintaining hydration and managing symptoms with acetaminophen and steam inhalation, and home isolation for 14 days or until the symptoms resolve.

In the event of hyperglycemia with fever in patients with type 1 diabetes, blood glucose and urinary ketones should be monitored often. “Frequent changes in dosage and correctional bolus may be required to maintain normoglycemia,” they cautioned.

Concerning diabetic drug regimens, they suggest patients avoid antihyperglycemic agents that can cause volume depletion or hypoglycemia and, if necessary, that they reduce oral antidiabetic drugs and follow sick-day guidelines.

For hospitalized patients, the investigators strengthened that statement, advising that oral agents need to be stopped, particularly sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors and metformin. “Insulin is the preferred agent for control of hyperglycemia in hospitalized sick patients,” they wrote.

Untested therapies

The authors also discussed a range of untested therapies that may help fight COVID-19, such as antiviral drugs (such as lopinavir and ritonavir), zinc nanoparticles, and vitamin C. Supplementing those recommendations, Dr. Gupta and colleagues provided a concise review of COVID-19 epidemiology and extant data relevant to patients with diabetes.

The investigators reported no conflicts of interest.

SOURCE: Gupta et al. Diabetes Metab Syndr. 2020;14(3):211-12.


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