Is It True That Beta Blockers Increase My Risk Of Developing Diabetes?

Dr. Sica answers the question: 'Do Beta Blockers Increase Diabetes Risk?'

— -- Question: Is it true that beta blockers increase my risk of developing diabetes?

Answer: Beta blockers are a drug class which we've had for almost four decades. These drugs are very heterogeneous, which means if you looked at the near dozen of them, each of the members of the class has a particular property to it. Most of the beta blockers do tend to change around glycemic control or the ability of the body to control blood sugar. So what that means is if you are not diabetic, you run a modest chance of becoming diabetic when receiving a beta blocker and if you are already a diabetic, you may see that the diabetes gets exacerbated somewhat. The magnitude change is not a huge change in the blood glucose values that occur, but there are some predictability to it occurring. Now saying that the beta blockers do it universally is a little bit of a stretch. Not all the beta blockers actually will do it. Some which have ancillary features don't tend to worsen glycemic control or blood sugar control. Your doctor for the most part will have a pretty good understanding of how the beta blocker relates to your management either as a pre-diabetic or as an actual diabetic as to how the beta blocker will influence the blood sugar values.