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7 Common Medications That May Affect Blood Sugar In Diabetes

One of the major problems for the patients of diabetes involves not only maintaining their blood sugar levels but also keeping conditions, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol at bay. Studies have shown that all these conditions likely to be seen together which make the situation complicated. The data presented by National Heart association reflects that 65% of people with diabetes die from heart disease or stroke. Generally, the risk of death with heart disease is double in diabetic patients.

Now let me tell you, where the problem lies. The concern is that the medications which are prescribed for high blood pressure and high cholesterol can raise blood sugar level. But, it doesn’t mean that you should not take diabetes medications. You just need to be extra careful and find the best approach for you.


Here follows the list of some of the medications that can affect blood sugar:

1. Corticosteroids

Corticosteroid is generally taken for conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, and joint pains. It helps in decreasing inflammation and pain, but taken for a longer period can raise blood sugar levels. According to one of the chief endocrinologist, Timothy In-chhu Hsieh, if corticosteroid is used only for short-term treatment, there won’t be a problem. But, if used for several days, then it can raise the sugar level and worsen Type 2 diabetes.

In such a scenario, talk to your doctor for other options that won’t cause such side effects. 

2. Statins

Statins work by blocking a substance that our body uses to make cholesterol and helps in the absorption of cholesterol from the artery wall. But, it has side-effect too. It can raise blood sugar levels and people with prediabetes can incur diabetes. Based on one of the studies published in 2017 in the journal BMJ Open Diabetic and Research care, people with prediabetes using statins are a 30% higher risk of developing diabetes.

3. Beta-Blockers

This drug type is basically used to lower blood pressure and treat irregular heartbeat. However, some beta-blockers are known to raise blood sugar level too. So, check with your doctor and ask for alternative prescription meds for this drug class that can be used by patients with type 2 diabetes.

4. Niacin

It is a vitamin B supplement. It also helps in lowering down the cholesterol. But again, it can raise blood glucose levels in people with diabetes. A medical study found that, like statins, niacin surges the risk of developing diabetes.

5. Antipsychotics

Certain antipsychotics drugs, which are used to treat schizophrenia and other mental illnesses, can increase blood glucose levels. Since such medications are prescribed for a longer period of time, proper recommendation and advice to be followed.

However, one of the studies believes that this drug class reduces the risk of diabetes complications.

6. Certain Antibiotics

Fluoroquinolones, a class of drug, which is used to treat infections of the urinary tract and illnesses like pneumonia can lead to a decrease or increase blood sugar.

7. Decongestants

Medicines which are usually taken to get relief from common cold or flu can increase blood sugar levels. Short-term usage of decongestants is not a problem, but it is always advised to check with your doctor.

Being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes means that you are on diabetes meds. But by making simple changes to your lifestyle and proper medication, you can maintain your blood sugar levels. All you need to do is make simple changes to your daily routine and consult your doctor whenever in doubt about any new medication.

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