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Drugs that can affect blood glucose levels

Many drugs can affect blood glucose levels, but not all drugs affect everyone in the same way. Even if a drug tends to raise or lower your blood glucose, that doesn´t necessarily mean you can´t use it; you may just need to adjust your diabetes tratment plan. This chart lists some drugs that can affect blood glucose levels, but to be on the safe side, always ask your doctor about the potencial side effects of any drugs you take.

Over-the-Counter
Products
Therapeutic
Uses
Therapeutic Uses
Blood Glucose Effects
Aspirin Pain relief At high doses, may lower blood glucose, especially in people taking sulfonylureas. (One aspirin a day is not considered a high dose).
Cold remedies
with epinephrine
Descongestants May raise blood glucose.
Cough drops and
syrups with sugar
Cough relief May raise blood glucose.
Niacin (Vitamin B3) Dietary supplement At high doses, may raise blood glucose.
Nicotine patches Smoking cessation May lower blood glucose.

Prescription
Drugs
Therapeutic
Uses
Therapeutic Uses
Blood Glucose Effects
Beta-Blockers High blood pressure. Usually lowers but sometimes raises blood glucose. May mask symptoms of hypoglycemia.
Chloramphenicol (Chloromycetin) Antibiotic May lower blood glucose in people taking sulfonylureas.
Clofibrate (Antromid-S) High cholesterol and lipid levels. May lower blood glucose in people taking sulfonylureas.
Corticosteroids (Cortisone, Prednisone, and others) Asthma, arthruis, multiple sclerosis. May raise blood glucose.
Diuretics High blood pressure, heart failure. May raise blood glucose.
Epinephrine, Adrenaline Asthama, allergic reactions. May raise blood glucose.
Estrogens Birth control, menopause symptoms. May raise blood glucose.
Lithium Carbonate Bipolar mood disorde. May raise blood glucose.
Methyldopa High blood pressure. May lower blood glucose in people taking sulfonylureas.
Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors Depression May lower blood glucose.
Nicotinic Acid (Niacin) High cholesterol At high doses, may raise blood glucose
Phenobarbital Sedative, epilepsy. May raise blood glucose in people taking sulfonylureas.
Phenytoin (Dilantin) Epilepsy May raise blood glucose.
Rifampin Tuberculosis May raise blood glucose in people taking sulfonylureas.
Sulfa Drugs Antibiotic May raise blood glucose in people taking sulfonylureas.
Thyroid Drugs Underactive or removed thyroid gland. At high doses, may raise blood glucose and increase insulin requirements.
Educational Treatment Unit
Source: American Diabetes Association
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