Physicians and health experts in Israel warn against using prescription medications in emergencies, and said they had never encountered a case of a patient taking a sugar pill.
In recent weeks, several cases of patients taking sugar pills have been reported, including one in which a diabetic patient took a drug called diazepam in an attempt to control her symptoms, the medical association said on Thursday.
Medical students, pharmacists and hospital staff are also advised to inform patients of the risks of taking such drugs.
An expert from the Israel Institute for Medical Care Policy and Management told the newspaper that there is no evidence that taking such medications causes a condition called hypoglycemia, which is caused by the inability to absorb glucose.
Dr. Avi Cohen, an expert in drug safety and pharmacology, said there is currently no research available on the long-term effects of taking sugar tablets, but the drug’s side effects are not known.
He said there has been no evidence yet that the drug can cause serious complications in a person who has a severe heart condition or diabetes.
Dr. Yaakov Levin, an Israeli medical professor and researcher at Tel Aviv University, said that even though the risk of serious complications is low, it is not worth taking the drug.
“The risks of diazepams have been known for some time, but they have not been proven to be fatal,” he told the AP news agency.
“The fact that we are seeing such cases is an indication that we should not take these medications.”
Doctors warn against taking sugar pill in emergencyArticle Physicians and medical experts in Israeli warn against prescribing medications to patients in emergency situations.
Some health professionals have recommended that patients avoid taking sugar medications, saying that they can cause long-lasting side effects.
The medical association cited a study from Israel that found that sugar pills cause severe side effects in about 20 percent of patients.
The health ministry said the warning did not apply to sugar tablets.