Type 2 Diabetes – Which Drugs Do You Think Affect Your Blood Sugar Levels?

Type 2 Diabetes – Which Drugs Do You Think Affect Your Blood Sugar Levels?

The number of people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes has really skyrocketed over the past twenty years.  Add to that the number who are prediabetic and those walking around who have no idea they will be diagnosed in the years to come.  At least 50% remain undiagnosed!  Research shows one in four has a disturbance in how their body metabolizes sugar.

Whilst we are aware that genetics and obesity plays a big role in the rise of diabetes some drugs including prescripton drugs, can actually induce this condition in otherwise normal people.

Known offenders include:


birth control pill


beta blockers

It is not unusual for impaired glucose tolerance to develop during the treatment of hypertension, and the condition does not go away when treatment is discontinued. Other drugs can either increase blood sugar levels or decrease them.  Leading offenders that diabetics should avoid include:

Drugs that lower blood-sugars:

Salicylates (Aspirin), and acetaminophen (paracetamol) or Panadol, can both lower your levels, especially if taken in large doses

Phenylbutazone (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory)

Ethanol (in alcoholic drinks) especially when taken without food

Sulfonamide antibiotics

Coumarin anticoagulant

Trimethoprim (used for urinary tract infections)

Drugs that increase your blood-sugars:

Caffeine in large quantities

Corticosteroids such as prednisone, are used to block autoimmune conditions.  Even when applied topically it increases your levels


Estrogen when the dose is high, modern oral contraceptives are usually not a problem

Frusemide and thiazide diuretics often raise the glucose by causing a loss of potassium


Nicotinic acid in large doses.  Used to lower cholesterol can bring out a hyperglycemic reaction

Phenytoin or Dilantin, a drug used for seizures, blocks insulin release

Rifampin (used in the treatment of tuberculosis)

Sugar containing medications

Thyroid hormone in elevated levels, raises blood glucose by reducing insulin from the pancreas

If you find a sudden change in your blood sugar levels and you have started a new medication, don’t hesitate to check with your health care provider.

Looking after yourself and your type 2 diabetes is your show, so know which drugs affect your blood sugars levels, find a diet that works for you, lose weight, and increase your physical activity.  You are the CEO of your body!