Taking medications

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If your child has a cough, you may want to give some over-the-counter medicine to suppress it, but keep the following points in mind:

i A cough helps to get rid of secretions in the lungs that make breathing more difficult, so you shouldn't suppress it completely.

I Most over-the-counter cough preparations contain a lot of sugar and alcohol. These ingredients may provide some of the calories the child is missing, but they also may raise an already high blood glucose even higher.

Many preparations of cough medicine don't contain sugar, so read the label! Also, if you see "DM" in the name of the medicine, it usually means that it doesn't contain sugar.

i Many cough preparations contain ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, or phenylephedrine, all drugs that raise blood glucose. Read labels to make sure that you don't buy a medication that contains any of these.

If your child has a fever, you can use acetaminophen (Tylenol) to bring it down. If you or your child needs antibiotics, ones that lower the blood glucose and are safe for folks with T1DM include chloramphenicol (brand name Chloromycetin) and the sulfa drugs with brand names like Gantrisin, Septra, and Bactrim.

Ibuprofen is sometimes used for inflammation, but it can cause kidney failure in people with diabetes who already have kidney damage. Check with your doctor before giving this to your child.

You can give your child medication for his illness at any time it's needed because it doesn't interfere with his diabetes medications.

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