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From Red Wing, Minnesota, USA:

Our daughter, age 6, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes two months ago. It has been mentioned to us that if she were to get sick it might take her longer to recovered then before she was diagnosed. Are there over-the-counter medications that she should never take? She is in her honeymoon period now, we are being told.


I don't know if I agree with the information about it taking longer for your daughter to recover from an illness due to her diabetes. In children with diabetes, illnesses like colds, etc., can make blood glucose levels go up because they put a stress on the body. For these reasons, it is important to monitor more often during illness, both blood sugars and urine ketones. Some children require extra insulin during illness, along with special attention to diet when they cannot eat. (If a child's blood sugars are high during illness, it is probably not due the medications but due to the illness.)

To answer your question about over-the-counter medications, if you are a label reader, you will find that most medications have a warning to seek medical advice if you have diabetes (and some other conditions) before taking. I would consult your diabetes doctor. However, it has been my experience that most over-the-counter medications seem to be safe, especially if your child took this medication and experienced no side effects before being diagnosed with diabetes. There are a number of sugar free cough medicines and decongestants on the market. You might want to ask your diabetes educator about Sick Day Rules also.


Additional comments from Dr. Lebinger:

It is my experience that many children do find that their blood sugars go higher if they take over the counter decongestants, even if they are "sugar free". This is because the decongestants themselves can raise the blood sugar and make the child more prone to spilling ketones.


Original posting 22 Mar 1998
Posted to Other Medications


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