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November 24, 2002

Sick Days

Question from Muskego, Wisconsin, USA:

My daughter has gotten several colds now, and her blood sugar goes up which I know is to be expected. Do Tylenol, Dimetapp, or Get Better Bear suckers have carbohydrate? There is no information on the labels, and I’d like to keep her blood glucose level under control as it makes her feel better.


There is sugar in many over-the-counter medications. Dimetapp, for example, is available in a “diabetic” variety that is less prone to influence blood sugars when taken for a cold. I would ask your pharmacist for further information regarding this.


[Editor’s comment: These days, most people recommend using any over-the-counter product to treat a cold. The amount of carb contain in of them is negligible, and the rises in blood glucose are more likely due to the stress of the illness rather than it’s treatment. I suggest you use any product that works, monitor blood glucose levels closely, and adjust insulin as needed.