Learn which commonly prescribed and over-the-counter drugs can cause dangerous interactions if you have diabetes.



If you have diabetes and take other prescription and non-prescription drugs, it’s time to evaluate your medications. It’s very common for those with the condition to take other drugs in addition to their diabetes medications. When certain meds are mixed together, however, the result is not always a positive one. In fact, certain drug interactions can produce harmful reactions that end with a trip to the hospital. Though not inclusive, take a look at the following list of commonly-used drugs. If you are taking any of these medications, make sure you discuss their use with your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

  • Beta Blockers – You might know these by the names Lopressor, Tenormin, or Inderal or their generic names, Metoprolol, Atenolol, and Propranolol. These are all considered beta blockers and can reduce the amount of insulin released in your body.
  • Blood ThinnersRecently, researchers discovered that taking the blood thinner, warfarin, along with diabetes medications puts you at a higher risk for hospitalization. The blood thinner can intensify the diabetes drugs’ effects, causing your blood sugar levels to plummet.
  • Calcium channel blockers – Prescribed for hypertension and angina, drugs such as Calan (Verapamil), Adalat (Nifedipine), and Norvasc (Amlodipine), are calcium channel blockers that can reduce insulin secretion.
  • Corticosteroids – Although this type of steroid can be used topically, it tends to result in raised blood glucose levels.
  • Diphenylhydantoin – The more recognizable name for this drug is Dilantin. Though used to help control seizures, it also blocks insulin from being released in the body.
  • Minoxidil – This drug is a direct vasodilator, meaning it opens the blood vessels; however, it can also raise blood glucose levels.
  • Niacin – This is a popular B vitamin used to lower cholesterol levels. In people with diabetes, though, it can cause hyperglycemic tendencies.
  • Oral contraceptives – While current oral contraceptives are thought to be safe, older versions of the drugs sometimes caused hypoglycemia when high doses of estrogen were taken.
  • Thiazide Diuretics – Drugs including Diuril (Chlorothiazide), Zaroxolyn (Metolazone), and Oretic (Hydrochlorothiazide) are thiazide diuretics that cause the loss of potassium and thereby have a reputation for raising glucose levels.
  • Thyroid hormone – When thyroid hormone levels are elevated, your blood glucose levels also increase due to a reduced amount of insulin coming from your pancreas.

As you navigate your journey with diabetes, you’ll likely have questions about your medication and possible drug interactions like those mentioned above. Let the trained experts at Focus Express Mail Pharmacy help answer your questions about diabetes, insulin pumps and diabetes supplies of all types. Learn more at www.focuspharmacy.com or call 1-866-403-6287!