Managing blood sugar levels is crucial for individuals with diabetes or those at risk of developing it. While lifestyle changes and proper diet play a significant role, certain medications can also impact blood sugar levels. In this article, we will explore the effects of several common medications on raising blood sugar levels.
Corticosteroids, such as prednisone and dexamethasone, are commonly prescribed to reduce inflammation and suppress the immune system. However, they can also increase blood sugar levels by promoting insulin resistance, inhibiting insulin secretion, and enhancing glucose production in the liver (1).
Studies have shown that corticosteroids can lead to impaired glucose tolerance and an increased risk of developing diabetes (2). Monitoring blood sugar levels regularly and adjusting diabetes management strategies may be necessary for individuals taking corticosteroids.
Beta blockers are commonly prescribed for conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and migraines. While not all beta blockers have a significant impact on blood sugar levels, some non-selective beta blockers, such as propranolol and nadolol, can inhibit the body’s response to hypoglycemia symptoms (3).
These medications can mask the symptoms of low blood sugar, making it more difficult for individuals with diabetes to recognize and treat hypoglycemia promptly. It is important for people with diabetes to work closely with their healthcare providers to find suitable alternatives or adjust their diabetes management plan if beta blockers are prescribed.
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