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Q.

can certain medications cause diabetes?

Related Topics: Diabetes
 

Answers From Experts & Organizations (1)

Family Medicine
61 Answers
1,774 Helpful Votes
25 Followers
A.

Yes. There are several classes of drugs that may increase blood sugar levels and thus increase the risk for diabetes. Some of these are:

• Statins: These are very effective medicines that reduce cholesterol. They reduce risk of heart attack and stroke. These include atorvastatin (Lipitor), simvastatin (Zocor), rosuvastatin (Crestor), fluvastatin (Lescol), lovastatin (Mevacor), and pravastatin (Pravachol)

• Thiazide diuretics: These are a type of water pills that are sometimes used to treat high blood pressure or swelling. Hydrochlorothiazide or HCTZ is a common example.

• Steroids: These are anti-inflammatory medicines such as prednisone and cortisone. They also include anabolic steroids used in muscle building.

• Beta-blockers: They are used to treat high blood pressure and certain heart problems including heart failure. They are also used after heart attacks to increase survival rate. Examples include carvedilol (Coreg), propranolol (Ideral), metoprolol (Toprol and Lopressor), nadolol (Corgard) and atenolol (Tenormin).

• Atypical antipsychotics: These are used to treat a variety of psychiatric illnesses.  These medications may cause weight gain and increase the risk for diabetes.  They include: olanzapine (Zyprexa), risperidone (Risperdal), aripiprazole (Abilify),  and ziprasidone (Geodon)

In many cases the benefits of using these medicines outweigh any risks. Only your own doctor can help you decide what medicine is right for you. Never stop any medicine without first talking to your doctor.

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Answers from Contributors (4)

2 Answers
21 Helpful Votes
A.
A study from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston published in July 2012 found a link between phthalates, commonly called "plasticizers,"and diabetes in women. Researchers analyzed urinary concentrations of phthalates in 2,350 women aged 20 to 80 participating in the government-sponsored National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, and found that those with higher levels of phthalates in their urine were more likely to have diabetes than those with low levels.
Phthalates are found in medical products including tubing, IV bags, and some medications diabetic link does exist.

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Statins may be very effective at stopping our body from producing natural endogenous cholesterol, but they are not very effective in stopping heart attacks according to the medical research I have read. This may be due to the fact that cholesterol is not the cause of arteriosclerosis; cholesterol buildup in the artery walls is caused by inflammation. Forcibly lowering cholesterol causes other problems too numerous to list here.

Other than this important point, the answers to the question seem to be accurate, but the standard knee-jerk response that statin drugs are useful as a blanket approach to high cholesterol is outdated and misguided. It should be corrected.

The opinions expressed here are solely those of the User.down arrowThe opinions expressed here are solely those of the User.
User-generated content areas are not reviewed by a WebMD physician. WebMD understands that reading individual, real-life experiences can be a helpful resource, but it is never a substitute for professional medical advice. Please see the
bottom of the page for more information or visit our Terms and Conditions.up arrow

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