Do Antibiotics Raise Blood Sugar Levels in Diabetics?

Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Mohammad Suleman Hussain, M.B.B.S January 6, 2022

Last updated on July 17th, 2023

A person might have taken a course of antibiotics at some point in his or her life. Maybe he or she has consumed Penicillin being a child for treating strep throat. Or possibly have been given Azithromycin for a sinus or upper respiratory infection. Without a doubt, antibiotics are lifesavers in many cases. A person may wonder how antibiotics affect his or her diabetes control, if at all. There are some things that one should keep in mind when it comes to making use of antibiotics. Read this blog to know about antibiotics and blood sugar.

Antibiotics and Blood Sugar

Antibiotics are medications that work by fighting off infections resulting due to bacteria. They kill bacteria or prevent them from reproducing or multiplying. Antibiotics are powerful medications that save millions of lives when utilized in an effective manner. Can amoxicillin affect blood sugar? Alexander Fleming was the first person who discovered Penicillin in 1928, and now there are numerous antibiotics associated with Penicillin, such as Ampicillin, Amoxicillin, and Benzylpenicillin. These medications are used to treat several infections, like chest infections, skin infections, and urinary tract infections (UTIs). Also, some current antibiotics are available, including:

  • Fluoroquinolones: classified under broad-spectrum antibiotics. These are used in the treatment of respiratory infections and UTIs. These may involve Ciprofloxacin, Levofloxacin, and Ofloxacin.
  • Cephalosporins: These antibiotics help treat UTIs, respiratory infections, ear and skin infections, sepsis, and bacterial meningitis. These can include Cephalexin.
  • Tetracyclines: These can be frequently useful for treating acne and rosacea. These include tetracycline (Sumycin, Panmycin) as well as doxycycline (Vibramycin).
  • Macrolides: Used for treating lung and chest infections, and can also be used for a penicillin allergy or penicillin resistance. These can be Erythromycin or Azithromycin.
  • Aminoglycosides: Helpful for treating severe and difficult-to-treat infections, like sepsis. They can often be given via intravenous route; however, they’re also available via oral route or in drop form. These may include Gentamicin and Tobramycin.
  • Sulfonamides: This antibiotic class can be used for treating eye and ear infections, UTIs, bronchitis, bacterial meningitis, and pneumonia. These can be Co-trimoxazole and Trimethoprim.

Do Antibiotics Raise Blood Sugar Levels in Diabetics?

Antibiotic Resistance

Undoubtedly, antibiotics are priceless. Thanks to antibiotics being overused and used inappropriately, people are now experiencing a severe and scary issue named antibiotic resistance. It has been estimated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that a minimum of two million individuals have been infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics as well as a minimum of 23,000 individuals die every year due to these infections.

What exactly is antibiotic resistance? Concisely, it indicates that microbes, like bacteria, factually “resist” the consequence of medications. The antibiotics fail to kill them or delay their growth. Forms of microorganisms like bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites, are equipped with the capability to become resistant to medications. Resistant bacteria are named superbugs. Unluckily, antibiotics are among the most frequently approved drugs, and up to 50% of the time they are recommended improperly (for instance, treatment of viral infection using an antibiotic) or not consumed in an appropriate dose or for the appropriate time duration, antibiotic resistance has become an enormous issue. To exacerbate the matter, resistant bacterial strains may multiply from individual to individual, or from non-human sources (like animals) in the environment.

Also Read: HbA1c Chart level For Adults

Do Antibiotics Raise Blood Sugar Levels?

Individuals having diabetes can consume antibiotics. This is vital to be familiar with, as having diabetes increases the risk of several kinds of infections, such as skin infections, UTIs, as well as infections in the hands and feet. If a person catches an infection, it’s similarly important to appreciate a) the kind of infection a person has, b) what is its treatment plan, and c) the most appropriate type of treatment.

One such category of antibiotics, fluoroquinolones, might be more expected to result in severe swings in blood glucose levels. Thus, if a person suffers from a UTI, for instance, and his or her physician recommends Ciprofloxacin, then he or she may run the risk of having high and/or low blood glucose levels. Gatifloxacin, particularly, has been associated with serious hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) as well as hyperglycemia (high blood sugar).

A research study has found that older adults having diabetes were consuming a category of anti-diabetic medications named sulfonylureas (Glipizide, Glyburide). The study also looked at patients who were given various types of antibiotics (Levofloxacin, Metronidazole, Ciprofloxacin, Clarithromycin, or Sulfamethoxazole-Trimethoprim). These medications were found to be associated with greater rates of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), as well as of those hypoglycemic events, roughly 40% were linked with hospitalization and 60% with emergency department visits.

Also Read: Know What is Polydipsia (Excessive Thirst) – Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

Antibiotics and Sugar Levels

Taking antibiotics for diabetes depends on the following 8 tips:

Aim for Prevention

The initial course of action is to avoid infection. Washing hands time and again, a person can do his or her best in keeping the blood glucose levels within the target range, consuming well, staying fit and active, and taking adequate rest are some of the vital steps to stay healthy.

Read More: Signs and Symptoms to Detect Diabetes

Know Your Infection

If the person is sick, don’t be too fast to beg his or her physician for an antibiotic. The majority of infections are due to a virus, and antibiotics won’t exert their mechanism of action. In actual fact, they may do more harm than good, as they might increase the risk of antibiotic resistance. Viral infections that fail to respond to antibiotics such as common cold, bronchitis, flu, stomach flu, as well a few ear and sinus infections.

Read More: Top Homeopathic Medicines To cure Diabetes

Take as Per Direction

If a person requires an antibiotic, consume it as suggested. That implies consuming the full dose for the full time, although a person feels better or signs get resolved. In addition, don’t consume any surplus antibiotics for an infection that a person can get later on, and never consume antibiotics that have been suggested for somebody else.

Read More: Can Diabetics Eat Jaggery?

Be Particular

Ask his or her physician about the best kind of antibiotic for his or her particular infection, and don’t fail to remember to ask how that antibiotic may have an effect on the blood glucose, and any anti-diabetic drugs (in fact, any medications) that a person is consuming.

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Check Blood Glucose Levels Often 

Any infection tends to increase blood glucose levels, and antibiotics can do the same. They might also result in low blood glucose. To be safe, it’s good to check the blood sugars at least 4 times a day, or as often as advised by a physician or diabetes educator. Also, follow the sick-day plan for insulin regulations (if relevant), food options, and when to look for medical help.

Read More: Top Natural Home Remedies to Cure Diabetes 

Know About Side Effects

All drugs can bring about side effects. The most common side effects of antibiotics are nausea, vomiting, loose stools, cramps, fever, as well as light sensitivity. A person can also have a hypersensitivity to an antibiotic. Few hypersensitive reactions may be particularly serious as well as even serious: breathing difficulty, hives, abnormal heartbeat, Stevens-Johnson syndrome (a state that impacts the skin and mucous membranes), ligament rupture, seizures, as well as coughing up blood or bleeding from the the the rectum. Look for any medical help immediately if any of this crops up.

Read More: Madhunashini Vati for Diabetes- Effects and Benefits

Get the Probiotic Fix

Antibiotics destroy the bad bacteria present in the system. Unluckily, they might do wonders on the good bacteria that a person has in his or her gut, and the person can experience the outcomes (diarrhea, abdominal pain, and yeast infections in females). Few experts consider that consuming probiotics, or good bacteria, might neutralize these effects. There are several types of probiotics on the market, and the person must always discuss them with his or her physician or dietitian before consuming them. On the other hand, a person can concentrate on consuming foods rich in probiotics. These may be kimchi, yogurt (with live cultures), miso, kefir, sauerkraut, and tempeh.

Also Read: Say Good Bye To Diabetes Metformin 500mg Tablets


Can type 2 diabetes be treated with antibiotics? The use of antibiotics may enhance the risk of developing high sugar problems. Studies have suggested that type 2 diabetics are seen to consume more antibiotics. People having type 2 diabetes are overexposed to antibiotics in comparison to matched control persons with normal sugar levels.

Even though the researchers exposed a relationship between the use of antibiotics and type 2 diabetes, it’s significant to note they did not ascertain a direct cause-and-effect association. Individuals having type 2 diabetes fail to produce a sufficient amount of the hormone insulin, or the insulin fails to work well to expel sugar from the blood. Millions suffering from type 2 diabetes have been seen to develop an increased risk of heart problems and chronic issues.


Does amoxicillin increase blood sugar levels?

In most cases, Amoxicillin-Clavulanate (Augmentin) is a moderately broad-spectrum oral antibiotic. This antibiotic has coverage of all Gram-positive, Gram-negative, and anaerobic bacteria. Amoxicillin for diabetics is found to be efficacious against mild to moderate diabetic foot infections along with localized cellulitis.

What antibiotics should not be taken in diabetes?

Diabetics must not be prescribed Gatifloxacin; substitute antibiotics are given preference (Levofloxacin must be utilized with caution).

Do antibiotics make diabetes worse?

The more a person takes antibiotics, the more expected he or she will have diabetes. People who packed 2 to 4 prescriptions of antibiotics of any kind had a 53% enhanced risk of experiencing diabetes type 2 as compared to people who packed 0 to 1 prescription of antibiotics.

Is it safe to consume Metformin and antibiotics simultaneously?

Studies have shown that Metformin has the potential to be utilized together with other antibiotics, and Metformin might lower down the bacterial resistance as well as effectively restore the efficiency of the antibiotics.



Last Updated on by Dr. Damanjit Duggal 


The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.

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