Oral anti-diabetics in Ramadan

Document Type



Internal Medicine


A large proportion of Muslim patients with type 2 diabetes fast during the month of Ramadan worldwide. Hypoglycaemia is one of the major complications associated with long periods without food during the fasting hours. There is also a risk of hyperglycaemia due to over indulgence in food during the two main meals of Suhur and Iftar. Healthcare providers need to be cognizant of the risk of fasting and be competent to provide Ramadan adjusted diabetes care particularly adjustment of oral anti diabetics. This review article has taken into consideration observational studies, randomized trial data, pathophysiology and practical experience in recommending adjustment in oral anti-diabetics during fasting in type-2 diabetics. Metformin and Thiazolidinediones (TZD'S) being insulin sensitizers need minimum adjustment with low risk of hypoglycaemia. Older generation Sulphonylureas (SU) pose a high risk of hypoglycaemia but the newer generations of Sulphonylureas have a reasonable safety profile. Alpha- Glucosidase inhibitors are safe during fasting but their use is limited due to the side effects.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Journal of Pakistan Medical Association