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November is National Diabetes Awareness Month (NDAM). Please take some time to check out our T1D topics. We encourage you to share this information on your social media to help educate and raise awareness about type 1 diabetes.



People with type 1 diabetes require insulin 24/7 to survive. It is THE most important strategy used to manage blood glucose (sugar) levels. However, it may not be the only medication taken and many over-the-counter drugs and prescriptions not related to diabetes can affect BG levels. Most side effects can be relatively easy to control by adjusting your insulin regimen with the help of your healthcare team.

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Common medications that can lead to an increase in blood sugar include:

  • Valium and Ativan (benzodiazepines)

  • Thiazide diuretics, which are taken as blood pressure medicine

  • The steroids cortisone, prednisone, and hydrocortisone

  • Birth control pills

  • Progesterone

  • Catecholamines, which include the EpiPen and asthma inhalers

  • Decongestants that contain pseudoephedrine

  • Niacin

  • Zyprexa and many other antipsychotic medications


Common medications and/or supplements that can cause blood sugars to drop include:

  • Aspirin

  • Asian ginseng

  • Aloe

  • Magnesium salicylate

  • Quinine


Diabetes in Control offers a searchable database of medications that can affect blood sugar levels on their website. You can also click HERE review a more comprehensive listing. DLife also lists common medications that can impact BGs, click here to access their website.


If you are considering vitamins and/or supplements or when you are given a new prescription, make sure to ask questions of your healthcare team, read labels carefully, and review any implications of taking vitamins, supplements and/or any new medications with your pharmacist. Consider asking if there is an alternative that wouldn't have an effect on BGs. If not, it's okay, just be sure to discuss and understand how you need to adapt your insulin timing and dosages with your healthcare team to counter any unavoidable side effects.

CONTRIBUTING SOURCE: Insulin Nation; Diabetes In Control; DLife

DISCLAIMER: You are strongly encouraged to confirm any information obtained from or through this site, and review all information regarding any medical condition or treatment with your physician. PLEASE DO NOT DISREGARD PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE OR DELAY SEEKING MEDICAL TREATMENT BECAUSE OF SOMETHING YOU HAVE READ ON THIS SITE.

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