Taking Antidepressants and Cholesterol Lowering Medications Could Raise Your Blood Sugar
Are you a diabetic who is suffering with depression and high cholesterol? Are you having problems with your blood sugar despite taking your medications? Do you still suffer with fatigue, Restless Leg Sydrome, hormone problems and weight loss?
New research confirms what we have seen clinically in our office when working with patients who take both statins and antidepressants.
Up to 1 million Americans may be taking a prescription drug combo that may significantly raise blood sugar levels, and in some cases may be responsible for a blood sugar spike that leads to the diagnosis of type 2 diabetes.
The drugs — Paxil and Pravachol —belong to two of the most commonly prescribed drug classes in the United States: Antidepressants and statin cholesterol-lowering drugs.
When taken in combination, Paxil and Pravachol increased blood sugar by an average of 19 milligrams per deciliter among those without diabetes and an average of 48 mg/dl among diabetics.
The fact that the blood sugar spike was so significant in those with diabetes is concerning considering the American Diabetes Association notes that statins like Pravachol are the “most effective cholesterol-lowering drugs” to reduce the amount of cholesterol your body naturally produces” as well as to “reduce heart attacks and strokes.”
One in four people with diabetes also suffer from depression, a rate that’s nearly twice as high as it is among those without diabetes.
They also note in this PowerPoint presentation that “most people with diabetes need medications to reach their target blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol(ABC) targets.”
This is debatable according to Dr. Hagmeyer at the Naperville Institute For NeuroMetabolic Solutions, but the point is that many diabetics are prescribed cholesterol-lowering drugs, including Pravachol, by their physicians. We also know that their is a link between statin use and depression. One in four people with diabetes also suffer from depression, a rate that’s nearly twice as high as it is among those without diabetes. So it’s safe to say that many diabetics are also prescribed antidepressants.
But taking this drug duo if you have diabetes clearly appears to be dangerous to blood sugar levels, and even if you don’t, the drug combo could potentially push your blood sugar into a diabetic or pre-diabetic range.
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The finding was not a fluke, either, as in addition to analyzing data from human patients, the researchers conducted an experiment in mice. Once again, when taken together Paxil and Pravachol increased blood sugar, this time from an average of 128 mg/dl to 193 mg/dl —that’s a whopping 65 mg/dl increase!
Other drugs, ranging from <corticosteroids to decongestants and cold remedies to statins on their own, can also wreak havoc on your blood sugar levels, so if you experience an unexpected increase in yours, always ask your health care provider if your medications could be to blame.
Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics May 25, 2011
Medline Plus May 25, 2011
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