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April 16, 2008 at 5:25 AMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Adverse Drug Interactions With Insulin

By Smarty More Blogs by This Author

Drug Interactions

All medications inherently come with known side effects.  Therefore, medications should be prescribed by a physician. It is essential that you and your physician weigh the negative effects against the benefits when deciding about any medication use. There are certain drug interactions you should be aware of before you begin insulin treatment. These drug interactions can be avoided by telling your physician your true medical history and current medication list.

Other Medical Problems

The following is a list of medical problems you should be sure to tell your physician before beginning your insulin treatment regiment. These problems correlate directly with the drug interaction list provided in this article:

  • Adrenal gland over activity
  • Adrenal gland under activity
  • Diarrhea
  • Fevers
  • Gastro paresis
  • Hormonal changes
  • Infections
  • Injuries
  • Intestinal blockages
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Mental stress
  • Pituitary gland under activity
  • Thyroid over activity Surgeries Vomiting

Increased Insulin Requirements

There exist certain drugs that interact with insulin in such a manner as to induce increased insulin requirements:

  • Adrenocorticosteroids
  • Birth Control Pills (Oral contraceptives)
  • Danazol
  • Dextrothyroxine
  • Furosemide
  • Phenothiazine
  • Phenytoin
  • Smoking (nicotine)
  • Water Pills (Thiazide diuretics)

Insulin: Hypoglycemic Drug Interactions

There are many drugs that interact with insulin in such a manner as to influence decreases in overall blood sugar levels leading to hypoglycemia.

  • Alcohol (large quantities or in addition to an empty stomach)
  • Anabolic Steroids
  • Angiotensin Converting Enzyme (ACE) Inhibitors
  • Aspirin (Large doses)
  • Clofibrate
  • Disopyramide
  • Guanethidine
  • Ketoconazole
  • Monoamine Oxidase (MAO) Inhibitors
  • Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS)
  • Sulfinpyrazone
  • Tetracycline

Insulin: Beta-Blocker Interactions

Beta-blockers are known to have adverse interactions with insulin. Beta-blockers are known to mask signs of hypoglycemia by increasing the overall effects of insulin in addition to extending overall time length of the low blood sugar incidence. Beta-blockers can also increase overall chances of developing high blood sugar.The following list has been provided with the typical beta-blockers:

  • Acebutolol (Sectral)
  • Atenolol (Tenormin)
  • Betaxolol (Kerlone)
  • Bisoprolol (Zebeta)
  • Carteolol (Cartrol)
  • Esmolol
  • Labetalol (Normodyne)
  • Metoprolol (Lopressor)
  • Nadolol (Corgard)
  • Oxprenolol (Trasicor)
  • Penbutolol (Blocadren)
  • Pindolol
  • Propanolol
  • Timolol

Additional Considerations

In addition to drug interactions and medical history, there are several other considerations that should be discussed with your physician before insulin use including the following:

  • Age: Children are especially sensitive to the effects of insulin. Older adults typically require the normally prescribed adult amounts of insulin; however, it's more common for high/low blood sugars to be unnoticed. Also, extra equipment or training may be necessary to ensure proper use.
  • Allergies: It's possible to have allergic reactions to insulin use.
  • Breast-feeding: Commonly, breast feeding changes insulin requirements for insulin, and it should be noted that insulin cannot be passed from mother to child through breast milk.
  • Pregnancy: Pregnancy changes insulin requirements. Be aware that it's particularly important to your health and the health of your baby that insulin levels be monitored and regulated.

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