Research: SATAKE, 1.

Listed in Issue 262

Abstract

SATAKE, 1. Ebisu Pharmacy, Japan

Background

In November 2013, the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare issued a directive that required the revision of the package inserts of 13 substances whose consumption carries risks associated with driving and the operation of machinery due to their side effects, such as dizziness. Medical personnel are required to remind patients taking these drugs about the risks, but the abovementioned directive did not apply to any antidiabetic drugs at that point.

Methodology

In January 2014, it was decided that patients should "pay attention while driving and at the workplace" when taking any antidiabetic drugs. This point is mentioned in the "important precautions" section of the drugs' package inserts. Since the revised Road Traffic Law was enacted in June 2014, the penalty for car accidents caused by a lack of awareness of hypoglycaemia has increased. It has therefore become essential for medical personnel to instruct diabetic patients how to avoid falling unconscious due to hypoglycaemia during driving.

Results

Patients taking antidiabetic drugs that are categorized as high-risk drugs are required to take an extra set of precautions and these are important for preventing severe hypoglycaemia as well as reducing patients' cardiovascular risk. For more than 20 years, my pharmacy has been giving annual intensive counselling on hypoglycaemia to diabetic patients.

Conclusion

This counselling includes reminding patients about preventative measures, the risks associated with driving, and the need to keep a source of sugar in their cars. Only about 10% of diabetic patients keep a source of sugar in their cars.

References

Satake M1. Pharmacists' Advice about Driving for Diabetic Patients. Yakugaku Zasshi.;137(3):329-335. doi: 10.1248/yakushi.16-00237-4. 2017. [Article in Japanese]

Comment

The above is a useful directive for drivers with diabetes to keep a source of sugar in their cars to avoid hypoglycaemia and the possibility of falling unconscious while driving.

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