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Non-Diabetes Medicines That May Raise Blood Sugar

Topic Overview

Some medicines for conditions other than diabetes can raise your blood sugar level. This is a concern when you have diabetes. Make sure every doctor you see knows about all of the medicines, vitamins, or herbal supplements you take. This means anything you take with or without a prescription.

Examples include:

  • Barbiturates.
  • Thiazide diuretics.
  • Corticosteroids.
  • Birth control pills (oral contraceptives) and progesterone.
  • Catecholamines.
  • Decongestants that contain beta-adrenergic agents, such as pseudoephedrine.
  • The B vitamin niacin. The risk of high blood sugar from niacin lowers after you have taken it for a few months.
  • The antipsychotic medicine olanzapine (Zyprexa).

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer David C.W. Lau, MD, PhD, FRCPC - Endocrinology
Last Revised July 11, 2013

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