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

    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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    If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

    People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

    Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.

    However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

    Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

    Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

    One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

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