Acetaminophen and CGM

My trainer and customer support both told me not to take aceminophens while using my Dex.It is also stated in the users manual [can’t remember the page#] I also took the manual the my MD so he is aware of the restriction also.

Kathy L

Yep. I think there is an enzyme on the piece of the sensor that goes inside your body. This has something to do with the way that the sensor determines your blood sugar. And acetaminophin I think binds with that enzyme, causing the determinations of blood sugar to be incorrect. I know that’s not a very clear explanation, but that’s all that I remember about the reasoning.

There is an entire list of products that contain acetaminophen that need to be avoided if you use Dexcom. I’m attaching the list if you are interested

7034-DexcomDrugs.doc (39.5 KB)

I was under the impression that the drug itself often causes significant changes in BS levels. Are your Dexcom readings way off your fingerstick readings?
Best, Melissa

No, it’s not the acetaminophen raising your blood sugars. It’s a false high by the Dexcom. I can’t give the scientific reasonings, but my doctor’s office gave me the same list that Hank listed above.

Thanks Toni! My meter readings were what were expected. It was the Dexcom that was off. a couple of hours away from receiver and the acetaminophen worked through my system and everything went back to normal.

I just checked with my Dexcom trainer and she confirmed the information:
"Yes – this is true. Acetaminophen is the only medication that can interfere with the Dexcom CGM. It crosses into the sensor to create an electrical current – which the sensor interprets as an elevation in glucose. The sensor will falsely read that your levels are higher than they are. (example – the sensor will read that your value is 300 when you finger stick is 100)

Just like diabetes –each persons response can be different. Some of my customers report that the sensor reads high for an 3-4 hours – while others report false elevations for 8 or more hours. My guess is that part of the variability has to due with the type of Acetaminophen taken (extended release tablets will cause a longer elevation).

If you take this medication – you have not harmed the sensor in any way. You would just need to “ignore” the sensor for several hours and manage your diabetes with finger stick readings only until the sensor values come back into normal range. The sensor will continue working. One thing to remember is to NOT enter any calibration finger stick values after you have taken acetaminophen."

After I asked the question, I spent some time with the user manual. Of course acetaminophen is contraindicated while using the Dexcom. It’s right in the user manual. Thanks for asking your trainer. I’m going on 9 days with my second sensor and it’s been a great ride. I had to add some tape to keep the patch edges down, but that 's OK.


Sorry to hear you are coming down with a cold. Because I’m a transplant patient my doc will not allow me take any of those type of remedies.
I have taken aspirin and some sugar free Scot-Tussin Cold Reflief and Cough Suppresent.
The Dexcom has worked fine the the Scot-Tussin