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Diabetes

Can spiriva and flovent cause diabetes?

06/10/2009

Question:

My husband has been experiencing sugar in the urine and blood sugars between 151 and 230. He has never been diagnosed with diabetes, and is 50 years old. He has been using flovent and spiriva for asthma symptoms for about 2 years. Could these drugs over a period of time, effect your sugar levels?

Thank You,

Answer:

It is controversial whether or not these drugs could have such an effect:  Asthma can be a source of inflammation which can worsen blood sugar control, the manufacturers of inhaled steroids claim that these drugs do not have substantial systemic absorption but not everybody agrees with them.  Frequently the issue is how much choice there is about using such drugs, what the alternatives are and whether the best alternative is to just go ahead and treat the diabetes versus discontinuing the drug - these are issues you and your husband will need to address with his health care providers.

For more information:

Go to the Diabetes health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Robert M Cohen, MD Robert M Cohen, MD
Professor of Clinical Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati