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Diabetes: Safe Use of Nonprescription Medicines

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Topic Overview

Many over-the-counter medicines can affect the blood sugar level of people who have diabetes. Some should be used with caution, and some should be avoided. Follow all instructions on the label. When you have a minor illness (such as a cold or the flu) and need a nonprescription medicine, talk with your doctor or pharmacist before buying one.

Cough and cold medicines may not be safe for young children or for people who have certain health problems. Before you use them, check the label. If you do use these medicines, always follow the directions about how much to use based on age and in some cases weight. These medicines may help with symptoms, but they won't help you get better faster. There are other things you can do that may work just as well or better.

Some medicines use artificial sweeteners instead of sugar to improve taste or do not contain ingredients that increase blood sugar in other ways.

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Theresa O'Young, PharmD - Clinical Pharmacy
David C.W. Lau, MD, PhD, FRCPC - Endocrinology

Current as ofMarch 13, 2017

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