It’s important to know what medications are safe to take when you have a cold or allergy symptoms if you’re a diabetes sufferer. Here are some tips.

cold or allergy

Cold and allergy season is here again! As someone with diabetes, careful consideration should be made before taking any over-the-counter medications for your cold or allergy. When you’re sick, your glucose levels are already affected, so it’s best to avoid certain medications that may make it worse.

The Safe Ones

Pain and fever relievers like Aspirin and Tylenol are generally safe to use if you have diabetes. These drugs should have little to no impact on your glucose level, but if you have renal disease, you may want to consult with a doctor.  Also, anti-inflammatory drugs like Ibuprofen, Advil and Motrin are generally safe to use if you don’t have renal disease.

Use with Caution

If you do have renal disease, high blood pressure or heart disease along with diabetes, you should definitely use anti-histamines cautiously. Some versions of drugs like Allegra or Zyrtec may contain pseudoephedrine or phenylpropalamine, and can cause increases in blood pressure or glucose levels. To be safe, you will want to look for anti-histamines that do not contain these ingredients.

What to Avoid

All diabetes sufferers will want to avoid medications that contains any of the following: sucrose, dextrose, fructose, lactose, honey and alcohol. Alcohol-free cough medicines that are safe to use include Chlor-Trometon tablets, Dimetapp Elixir, Scot-Tussin DM Liquid and Cerose-DM Liquid.

It’s always a good idea to consult with a pharmacist if you have any questions regarding what over-the-counter medications are safe. In general, it’s better to stick with pill-based cold and flu medications, rather than syrups which typically contain sugar.

In addition to picking the right medications, you’ll also want to pay close attention to your glucose levels while fighting a cold or flu. When you’re sick, your body is under stress and that increases hormones. This can have a negative impact on your blood glucose levels and interfere with the blood glucose-lowering effects of insulin. So when you have a cold or the flu, be sure to keep a close eye on your glucose, rest and drink plenty of fluids.

If you have questions, the experts at Focus Express Mail Pharmacy are available. They have years of experience working with diabetes sufferers, insulin pumps and diabetes supplies. Contact us at 1-866-403-6287 or visit