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Pain Medications That Affect Glucose

By William Norman ; Updated July 27, 2017

Some pain medications can raise or lower the body’s levels of glucose, or blood-sugar. These effects may occur from prescribed medicines or from common pain relievers.

Glucose Levels

The human body requires a certain level of glucose, or blood sugar, to function properly. Diabetes or hypoglycemia, food type or intake, and some medications can all have an impact on glucose levels.

Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, do not normally affect glucose levels when taken by themselves. Taking them with diabetes medication, however, may cause an unnatural drop in blood sugar, according to Diabetic Living Online.


Aspirin in high doses may improve some diabetics’ ability to metabolize glucose. A study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation found that diabetics who took seven grams of aspirin daily for two weeks improved their blood sugar readings.

Prescription Pain Relievers

Prescription pain medications such as hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine and codeine can cause elevated blood sugar, according to the addiction treatment center Casa Palmera.


People with blood-sugar conditions should consult a doctor before taking any pain medication to make sure the product will not interact with their medications or condition.

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