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September 1, 2001

Other Medications

Question from Winter Haven, Florida, USA:

My 15 year old son has had type 1 diabetes for about three years, and we have never really been given a clear answer about specific cold medications he can use. I know you advise that most over-the-counter cold preparations are usually okay if they were used safely prior to diagnosis. Could you comment on the use of over-the-counter cold preparations?


From: DTeam Staff

Most cold preparations are safe to use in children — even when they have diabetes. However, you may see sugars that are a little higher than if you don’t use the cold preparations. Be ready to use a little extra Humalog during any illness to cover higher blood sugars that your son may encounter. If you are concerned about the safety of cold preparations with diabetes, then I would suggest using the cold preparations that are labeled for use in people with diabetes (ask your pharmacist if you have any questions).

The answer to this question has caused some controversy in the past and remains a question to which there are numerous opinions and “right” answers.