Can Some Medications Raise Blood Glucose?

Q: Can certain non-diabetes medicines cause blood glucose to rise? My fasting blood glucose at the doctor's office was 190. At home, it was 130. I didn't eat anything before my visit, and I only took aspirin and my blood pressure medicine. My fasting numbers at home average 120.

A: Aspirin doesn't cause blood glucose levels to rise, and neither do most blood pressure medicines. One category of blood pressure medicines, thiazide diuretics, may cause a small rise in blood glucose.

Reasons for the variations in your blood glucose readings at home and at your doctor's office could be:

  • Feeling stressed prior to and when visiting your doctor. Stress can make blood glucose levels rise.

  • The reading done in your doctor's office might have been taken from your arm and analyzed by the lab. Laboratory blood glucose readings are the most accurate. Results from your blood glucose meter may not match the value obtained by the lab. Next time, check your meter reading against the lab's or the doctor's office meter. When the technician takes your blood, check with your meter.

Madhu Gadia, M.S., R.D., CDE, is a dietitian and certified diabetes educator.

Answer reviewed July 2010