Some medicines cause changes in the blood sugar level (decrease, increase or both depending on the situation). In each case, it may be necessary to adjust the insulin dose to avoid blood sugar levels that are either too low or too high. Be careful when starting or stopping taking another medicine. Tell the physician or pharmacist if taking, have recently taken, or might have taken any other medicine. Before taking a medicine, ask the physician if it can affect blood sugar level and what action, if any, may need to be taken.
Medicines that may Cause Blood Sugar Level to Fall (Hypoglycemia): All other medicines used to treat diabetes, angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors (used to treat certain heart conditions or high blood pressure), disopyramide (used to treat certain heart conditions), fluoxetine (used to treat depression), fibrates (used to lower high levels of blood lipids), MAOIs (used to treat depression), pentoxifylline, propoxyphene, salicylates (eg, aspirin, used to relieve pain and lower fever) and sulfonamide antibiotics.
Medicines that may Cause Blood Level to Rise (Hyperglycemia): Corticosteroids (eg, cortisone used to treat inflammation), danazol (medicine acting on ovulation), diazoxide (used to treat high blood pressure), diuretics (used to treat high blood pressure or excessive fluid retention), glucagon (pancreatic hormone used to treat severe hypoglycemia), isoniazid (used to treat tuberculosis), estrogens and progestogens (eg, in the contraceptive pill used for birth control), phenothiazine derivatives (used to treat psychiatric disorders), somatropin (growth hormone), sympathomimetic medicines [eg, epinephrine (adrenaline) or salbutamol, terbutaline used to treat asthma], thyroid hormones (used to treat thyroid gland disorders), protease inhibitors (used to treat HIV), atypical antipsychotic medicines (eg, olanzapine and clozapine).
Blood Sugar Level may Either Rise or Fall with: Beta-blockers (used to treat high blood pressure), clonidine (used to treat high blood pressure), and lithium salts (used to treat psychiatric disorders). Pentamidine (used to treat some infections caused by parasites) may cause hypoglycemia which may sometimes be followed by hyperglycemia.
Beta-blockers like other sympatholytic medicines (eg, clonidine, guanethidine and reserpine) may weaken or suppress entirely the 1st warning symptoms which help to recognize a hypoglycemia.
If the patient is not sure whether to take one of these medicines, ask the physician or pharmacist.
Blood sugar levels may either rise or fall with alcohol.