Amoxicillin is a common antibiotic used to treat various infections, and it is generally considered safe for most people.
However, some people worry about the potential risks associated with taking amoxicillin if you have high blood sugar or diabetes.
You may have heard that people with diabetes should avoid amoxicillin because it can raise your blood sugar. But is this really true? Can amoxicillin raise your blood sugar?
Amoxicillin doesn’t raise blood sugar. It is a beta-lactam antibiotic that contains a chemical compound called a beta-lactam ring in its structure. These antibiotics are typically safe for people with diabetes because they do not raise blood sugar levels.
In this article, I will show the relationship between amoxicillin and blood sugar, how it affects diabetics, discuss the safe dose and side effects, and suggest multiple alternatives. Here we go!
Table of Content
Can antibiotics raise blood sugar?
Yes, some antibiotics can raise blood sugar levels. The fluoroquinolones class of antibiotics can alter your blood sugar level by affecting the release of insulin. Antibiotics in this class can put people at risk of either hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) or hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), depending on the specific antibiotic and the individual patient.
Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections. However, they also kill the beneficial or “good” bacteria in your gut, which can lead to dysbiosis, a condition in which there is an imbalance of gut bacteria. This can lead to inflammation and indirectly lead to insulin resistance, both of which can alter blood sugar levels.
The Antibiotic Amoxicillin
Once you take amoxicillin, this antibiotic, amoxicillin, starts working to inhibit bacterial growth. It does this by preventing the bacteria from synthesizing a substance called peptidoglycan, a major component of bacterial cell walls. Without this, bacteria are unable to replicate.
Amoxicillin is used primarily to treat bacterial infections of the middle ear, sinuses, kidney, bladder infections, pneumonia, gonorrhea, E. coli or salmonella. Amoxicillin, like all antibiotics, CAN NOT be used to treat viral infections like the common cold.
Is There A Connection Between Amoxicillin And Blood Sugar?
Amoxicillin does have a connection with blood sugar. It won’t cause raising blood sugar, but taking amoxicillin for an infection can lower your blood sugar level.
Can Amoxicillin Cause Low Blood Sugar?
Amoxicillin alone won’t cause raised blood sugar. But does it lower blood sugar? The answer is yes; it can be the cause of lowering your blood sugar.
According to NCBI, several antibiotics like amoxicillin can cause hypoglycemia, meaning the blood sugar is lower than normal.
The antibiotic amoxicillin can reduce blood sugar levels by increasing the sensitivity of the body’s cells to insulin. This means that the cells are better able to use the available insulin, and as a result, blood sugar levels are lowered. If and when diabetics need to take amoxicillin, they should discuss all medications with their physician. Additional blood sugar testing may be necessary to make sure blood sugar levels are not dropping too low.
Good to know: A normal fasting blood sugar is The normal blood sugar level is less than 100 mg/dL. A normal “random” (non-fasting) blood sugar is less than 140 mg/dL. If your post-prandial (after eating) blood sugar is over 200 mg/dL 2 hours after a meal, then a diagnosis of diabetes is likely. You have “pre-diabetes” if your post-prandial blood sugar level is between 140 and 199 mg/dL. Please see your doctor if you have concerns about signs or symptoms of diabetes.
Can diabetics take amoxicillin?
Yes, diabetic patients can take amoxicillin. It is sometimes used to treat foot infections of diabetics patients.
Diabetics are more prone to infections than non-diabetics. Amoxicillin treats a fairly broad range of bacterial infections, and may be indicated for some infections in diabetic patients.
Amoxicillin is also safe for most children. It is commonly prescribed for common childhood infections such as strep throat and ear infections.
There is no connection between amoxicillin use in childhood and the development of type-1 diabetes in the future. Amoxicillin can be used by patients of all ages.
During pregnancy, amoxicillin is also regarded as safe to have. It is not thought to affect gestational diabetes (GDM) in pregnant women.
Is Amoxicillin Bad For Diabetics?
Amoxicillin is not bad for diabetics, as it does not raise your blood sugar. But there is a chance of decreasing your blood sugar. Therefore, diabetics taking amoxicillin should have their blood sugars monitored closely.
There has been some concern, and some research evidence, that there may be a connection between antibiotic usage and later development of type 2 diabetes. However, the evidence for this is not yet conclusive. Also, it is not clear whether the antibiotics lead to developing type 2 diabetes, or if the people who are about to develop type 2 diabetes are more prone to infections, and therefore require more frequent antibiotics.
Note: Elevated blood sugar does not always mean you have diabetes. You can have nondiabetic hyperglycemia too. It may happen from any sudden illness or injury. If your blood sugar remains elevated when you are not ill or injured, this is consistent with diabetes. In either case, your elevated blood sugar should be evaluated by your own physician.
Safe Antibiotics For Diabetic Patients
There is often a need for an alternative treatment because of an individual’s specific needs, age, health condition, and medication tolerance. One type of antibiotics may cause side effects, and another may be tolerated without any problems.
Here, I discuss 5 alternatives to amoxicillin. Please remember that any antibiotics need to be prescribed by your physician. This article is for informational purposes only. Only your doctor can determine the best course of treatment for you.
Metronidazole is another antibiotic that prevents bacteria growth and is used in treating skin infections, gingivitis, and abscesses.
This antibiotic treats anaerobic bacteria, and is used in the treatment of pelvic inflammatory disease and some gynecological conditions such as bacterial vaginosis.
Levofloxacin is also a substitute for amoxicillin. It’s an antibiotic that can be used in serious bacterial infections such as pneumonic and septicemic plague. It is not commonly used in the outpatient setting for mild infections.
If you are allergic to penicillin, clarithromycin is an excellent alternative for you. This medicine is used as an antibiotic to treat bacterial infections including lung infections, pneumonia, bronchitis, and others.
Clarithromycin is also used to treat Mycobacterium Avium complex (MAC) infections.
Azithromycin can fight bacterial infections such as lung, ear, skin, and throat infections. This medicine is also the treatment for some types of pneumonia, bronchitis, and some sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Drugs That Raise Blood Sugar:
Multiple medications like antibiotics, antidepressants, beta-2 agonists, corticosteroids, and Dilantin are some of the types of medicine that can raise blood sugar. Here are 2 antibiotics that may raise your blood sugar levels.
Rifampin is one kind of antibiotic that is used for treatment of tuberculosis (TB). One side effect of this medicine is that it can increase blood sugar by augmenting intestinal glucose absorption.
Ciprofloxacin treats serious infections such as chest infections, pneumonia, etc.
When other antibiotics fail to cure infections, ciprofloxacin is often used as a second line of treatment. However, this medicine can cause an increase in blood sugar levels, due to its effect on the beta cells of the pancreas.
How Much Amoxicillin Is Safe to Consume?
The typical adult dose of amoxicillin is An adult can take 250mg to 500mg 3 times per day, depending on their health condition, weight, and age. However, only a registered physician can decide the correct medication and dose for you. Amoxicillin can be taken on an empty stomach or with food.
Amoxicillin starts working within 1-2 hours after taking a dose. It will take 24 to 72 hours to reach peak levels and reach maximum effectiveness. Courses of amoxicillin range from several days to 2 weeks, depending on the type of infection.
However, the safe dose and working time vary from disease to disease too. Here is a complete guide for the dosing of Amoxicillin. However, please always consult a physician for proper dosing of medications for you or your children.
|Oral form (capsules, suspension, tablets, powder)
|Adults, teenagers, and children (weighing at least 40 kg)
|Teenagers and children weighing less than 40 kg
|Infants over 3 months
|250 to 500 milligrams every 8 hours (3 times per day)
|20 to 40 milligrams per kilogram of body weight, DIVIDED into 3 doses per dayOr 25 to 45 mg per kg of body weight per day divided into two doses, given every 12 hours
|30 mg per kg of body weight DIVIDED into two doses per day
|H. pylori infection
|1000 mg of amoxicillin every 8 hours for 2 weeks; given as part of dual therapy
|As per your doctor’s recommendation
|Not recommended for children under 2
|1000 mg of amoxicillin every 12 hours as part of triple therapy
|3g (3000 mg) taken as a single dose
|50 milligrams (mg) per kilogram (kg) of body weight taken as a single dose
|Not recommended for children less than 2 years
|1000 mg every 8 hours or 3 times per day.
Note: If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, do not take a double dose. Skip the missed dose, and resume your regular medication schedule.
Common Side Effects of Amoxicillin
Amoxicillin can kill the bacterial infections on the skin as well as infections within our bodies. While taking this medication, it is possible to experience some side effects (as is possible with any kind of medication).
Possible side effects include:
- Abdominal pain
- Allergic reaction
If you experience any side effects from amoxicillin, you should consult your doctor or healthcare provider. They will be able to advise you on whether to continue taking medicine, switch to an alternative, or stop taking it.
Can Diabetic Patients Take Antibiotics?
Diabetic patients can take antibiotics, but you should use them with caution. Some antibiotics can alter blood sugar levels, so patients should monitor their blood sugar levels closely.
What Can Amoxicillin Not Treat?
Amoxicillin does not treat or work on viral infections, such as the flu, Covid-19, or the common cold, because they work ONLY on bacteria. Amoxicillin also does not treat fungal infections. Different bacterial infections require different types of antibiotics, so some types of bacterial infections will also not respond to amoxicillin.
What Are The Symptoms Of High Blood Sugar?
The most common symptoms of high blood sugar are increased urination, blurred vision, excessive thirst, and hunger. Other symptoms can include fatigue, weight loss, and slow wound healing.
In conclusion, amoxicillin does not cause an elevation in blood sugar. In this article, we have covered the effect of antibiotics including amoxicillin on blood sugar, as well as dosing, and possible side effects.
As always, information presented here is for informational purposes only. You should consult with your doctor if you think you need antibiotics, or if you are taking antibiotics and are having any side effects.