Acetaminophen, CGM and blood sugar

Could someone please help enlighten my addled, sick brain about why acetaminophen is not a good option? Is it that it actually spikes the blood sugar or that it prohibits the CGM sensor from taking accurate measurements?

I know Ibuprofen is fine to take, but I could sure go for some Nyquil right about now.


It doesn’t do anything to BG, it just screws up the sensor reading.


@Irish There have been times that I felt like a good dose of Nyquil was more important to me than relying on my Dexcom.

Don’t be a slave to your CGM. Take the Nyquil, test with your meter, and get a good night’s sleep.


Here is an interesting recent study that discusses acetaminophen’s interference with subcutaneous glucose sensing:

The G6, whenever it will be released, is supposed to be able to be used for acetaminophen, FWIW.


I had no idea. So I looked it up and found an announcement that mentions that on the Motley Fool:

Our own @dm61 analyzed that release last year on tuD:

So…I shouldn’t take Acetaminophen, and my Endo tells me not to take ibuprofen…what should I be able to use?

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Hmm. Why does he say that?

Possible Kidney issues after 35 years as a Type 1.

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Another alternative is aspirin, but I believe there are also possible kidney issues.

Aspirin is another one of those medicines that seem to have upside in many different directions.

It kind of sucks, but I will still be taking acetaminophen and watching my BG levels with finger sticks.

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Acetominophen appears to be the only recommended NSAID for people with kidney issues :frowning:

Even baby aspirin doses appear to affect kidney function for those with hypoalbuminemia (very few patients in this study though):

At the same time, doing a risk/ benefit analysis still shows positive benefits to using such drugs as aspirin, for instance for hypertensive people:

So looking only at the risk part of the balance sheet may not always give a full picture. I would love to read some more detailed analysis of the use of NSAIDs for people with diabetes.

[EDIT] More evidence that low-level aspirin has a positive effect on mortality of people with kidney disease:

I will attempt to answer your question. The glucose sensor systems on the market all use an electrochemical sensor. In order to work, the the sensor must be poised at a specific potential. At the potential they currently poise them the sensor will “see” the glucose signal and the interferent (acetaminophen) signal at the same time. So, the acetaminophen current will be added to the glucose signal thereby rendering the data ineffective for the time the interferant is present. In practice, you will see an artificially high bg during the time the acetaminophen is active in your system.

Interferents that you run into in daily life include Ibuprofen and ascorbic acid.

As @docslotnick said, if you need the meds, take them, and ignore your CGM during this time and rely on meter readings instead.