Zocdoc Answers

Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"What medicine can diabetics take for fever?"


I'm the mother of a 14 year old who was just diagnosed with juvenile diabetes a few months ago. Now she's coming down with a viral illness going around at her school, and I'm trying to figure out what the best medicine is for her. What won't interact with her insulin in a bad way?


Diabetes is a serious condition. As I'm sure you are aware, this requires careful attention. I strongly recommend you have communication with your child's pediatrician and even consider getting a pediatric diabetes specialist (an endocrinologist) to help manage this.

See a doctor who can help

Find a Pediatricians near you

To answer you question--most of the fever treatments (or anti-pyretics) do not interact with insulin. Tylenol (also known as acetaminophen) is probably the best to lower fevers and treat the viral aches and pains. Ibuprofen can also be helpful. These medicines can be toxic at high doses, but this should not be changed by insulin. Read the dosing instructions. Keep in mind diabetes can cause kidney problems which ibuprofen can also cause. Therefore if your child is known to have kidney problem I would then recommend Tylenol. The real thing to consider is that fevers in a diabetic can never be taken lightly. Diabetes increase one's risk for many different infections. Bacteria and fungi are more likely to infect a person with diabetes. They are more likely to get skin, lung, belly or urine infections. It is important to catch these early and treat them early otherwise significant problems can occur. It is common for new insulin users to develop a skin infection at the site of insulin injection. Talk to your doctor. It is important to not only treat the fever, but be sure you know what is causing it.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.