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Diabetes: Safe Use of Nonprescription Medicines - 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. If you give medicine to your baby, follow your doctor's advice about what amount to give. 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.

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Are You in Diabetes Denial?

Don White, 68, a retired science teacher from upstate New York, first suspected he had type 2 diabetes when he was 45 years old and his school held a health fair for students and teachers. A simple prick of his finger to test for high blood sugar -- a sign of diabetes -- revealed some unexpected news. "My numbers were way above normal," says White. "In a matter of days, and a couple of doctor's appointments later, I found out I had type 2 diabetes." White and his family were surprised by the diagnosis...

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

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: June 24, 2013
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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