Amoxicillin is an antibiotic used to treat various types of infection. If you are taking insulin for diabetes or other diseases, taking amoxicillin might give you cause for concern. In most cases, amoxicillin does not interact with insulin, although the infection it is treating might cause changes in your blood sugar levels 1. Consult your doctor if you have any concerns about taking amoxicillin.
The drug amoxicillin is a penicillin antibiotic primarily used to treat infections caused by bacteria, such as bladder infections or pneumonia. Amoxicillin does not treat viral infections. According to consumer website Drugs.com, amoxicillin can cause issues if you have asthma, liver disease, kidney disease or mononucleosis 2. It is not known to cause issues with insulin or in those with diabetes 3. However, you should not take amoxicillin if you are allergic to penicillin.
Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas. The primary function of insulin is to control the level of glucose, or blood sugar, in the body. When you consume foods in the form of basic sugars or carbohydrates, your body breaks them down into glucose, which it then absorbs into your bloodstream. If the level of glucose in your blood gets too high, your pancreas secretes insulin, which then prompts cells in your fat tissues, liver and muscle tissues to take up glucose and store it in the form of glycogen for later use. In those with diabetes and other insulin-related diseases, the ability of the body to secrete or take up insulin is impaired, leading to potentially harmful levels of blood glucose 3.
Taking amoxicillin does not directly interfere with the level of insulin in your body, according to Dr. Sheetal Kaul of the Ask Doctor Free website 1. However, the infection you are treating with the amoxicillin could cause fluctuations in your blood glucose levels. According to the University of Iowa Health Care website, a high blood glucose level is a common result of infection, which would in turn affect your need for insulin. In most cases, blood glucose levels decrease once the infection is cleared.
If you are fighting an infection and take insulin for diabetes or another condition, talk with your doctor to see if you need to adjust your insulin dosage. Talk to your doctor about amoxicillin if your are taking it for an infection, particularly if it was prescribed by another physician, which is common if you are seeing multiple specialists. Consult your doctor immediately if you experience high levels of glucose for two to three days in a row. If your glucose levels stay above your required levels for too long, you might need to be hospitalized.
- Dar1930/iStock/Getty Images