Steroidal Medications and the Affect on BG and Basal rates


I am looking for more info on the affects of steroidal medication on blood glucose. I currently take a medication called Asmnex and while I don’t see any thing major happening to my BG. I have been looking at my basal rates because they are out of whack when compared to what I eat.

Normally your TDD is suppose to be around 50% basal and 50% bolus, some people are 60/40. Me, I am about 70% basal and 30 percent bolus. I don’t have issues with going low and I am going to start a round of basal testing to make sure everything is good.

The only thing I can think of medication wise would be the fact that Asmnex is a steroid based medication and from what I have read sterodial medication can increase your BG.

Looking forward to hearing from anyone who has had experience with this type of a situation.


I agree with Dave. But I would say that it’s very common to have some effect from the steroids.

One time I received a steroidal shot for tonsillitis and couldn’t come down out of the 500s for two days. My endo was the endo on call that night, thankfully, and after I’d told her how much they’d given me, she made me repeat the dosage on my ticket several times and then said that they’d given me enough steroid for someone with an inoperable brain tumor. We stayed on the phone a long time. It was just rough until we got it all worked out of my system over the next couple of days.

After a cortisone shot, I stay in the 200s and 300s for 4-5 days.

Oral steroids could certainly be causing some sort of consistent elevation. Have you talked to the doctor who prescribed it? Perhaps there’s a lower dose steroid you could go on.

I am in the same boat as you are in. My ortho just put me on a 6 day course of prednisone. I hate taking steroids and avoid them at all cost. Inhaled steroids shouldn’t affect blood sugar to much but then again each person is different. I use Advair daily and it doesn’t cause my sugars to go up since it is inhaled. Now injections or tablets do cause my sugar to raise. Injections usually only last about 48 hours affecting my blood sugar but the tablets increase it for almost 2 weeks. Good luck.

Oh yes, in fact his 3-4 year old is diabetic so he understands. His specialty is allergy and asthma and he is the one who mentioned that steroids can cause an elevation in BG. As far as dosing I only take one puff a day so it really isn’t that much. I am actually leaning towards the idea that it really does not have an affect on me for one reason. My bolusing is sound and I would think that if the steroid was interfering with my BG then when I bolus it should require more to bring it down which is not the case.

I am seeing my endo in a couple of weeks so I will be hitting her up for more info!!


Asmanex is a corticosteroid,corticosteroids inhibit insulin by causing peripheral insulin resistance thereby causing hyperglycemia. I think it has to do with a stress response in the body to the hormone,possibly cortisol release(as it is synthetic adrenal hormone). So I suppose depending on absorption this would make control difficult.

I seem to always have elevated sugars when i am put on steroids. I was recently put on simbcort for my asthma. I had to increase basals until i get off of this medication.

See that is why I think my basal rates are high and will be interested in looking at what happens if I change my medication up.

I had to adjust mine. My blood sugars were also running higher and changing the basal rates seems to of solved my problem.

Hi David,
The first thing most of us agree on is that each of us reacts differently. I take a heavy dose of prednisone each day and will never be able to get off them. These are pills and usually raise me in the afternoon I adjust my basal for that. My nebulized breathng treatments (pulmocort) usually pick me up early in the morning and later at niight because that is when I use them.and i use my Humalog for that. If you need the med that is causing the rise, then you learn whe it will make your BG rise and shoot a l;ittle extrta for that. I think what you do depends on when the rise occurs. Good luck to you david.

I am the steriod psychosis poster child. The last time I got a shot of steroids ( Don’t worry, it’ll crystalize in the tendon. You won’t have systemic effects.) I stayed in the 400’s for 3 days. I slept for 2 1/2 hours (total), cried when someone looked at me wrong, and went ballistic the rest of the time. My husband should have packed his bag and moved out for a week!
I don’t even use hydrocortizone cream anymore.

I had an alergic reaction and ended up in the ER for an evening. The prednisone I had there didn’t seem to affect me, but about 24 hrs later (and after a huge 2nd dose) I noticed a huge post meal spike. My endo warned me to take 20% increase for my meals but I was still about 350 after meals. The endo thought the prednisone dose was way too big for me, so that was why I was going that high, but still coming down to about 180 between meals. He also took me off them in 2 days (not 5 like the ER doc wanted). The first no pill morning was close to back to normal.

i took prednisone for an allergic reaction and they made my sugars go really high. i ended up in the hospital


i don’t know how much this will help, but 2 weeks ago on a thursday i had a cortisone injection in my spine for a herniated disc, and that evening i was throwing up. the following monday, i was in the icu with dka, and my doctors said it was most liklely a combination of the steroid injection and several courses of an oral steroid that i had taken for my back as well. i had no idea i could get that sick so quickly, and it was pretty scary.