How targeted therapy can affect your diabetes

If you have diabetes, some targeted therapy drugs may affect your blood sugar level while you are having treatment. Depending on which drug you are taking, your blood sugar level may get higher or lower.

Your blood sugar levels should return to normal once you stop having targeted therapy treatment.

The targeted therapy drugs sorafenib (Nexavar®) and sunitinib (Sutent®) can lower your blood sugar.

The following targeted therapy drugs can increase your blood sugar level:

The side effects of some targeted therapy drugs can be worse if you have diabetes. Your cancer doctor or specialist nurse can give you more information.



Controlling your blood sugar during targeted therapy

A course of targeted therapy treatment may last a few months, but can also last a few years. During treatment, you may need to check your blood sugar level more often. Sometimes, you may need to change your insulin or tablet dose. Your cancer doctor or specialist nurse will help you with this.

It is important to tell your doctors how well you are controlling your blood sugar level during your treatment.

Talk to your doctor if you do not have diabetes, but develop any of its symptoms while having targeted therapy. You can find out more about symptoms of diabetes at Diabetes UK.

How we can help

Macmillan Cancer Support Line
The Macmillan Support Line offers confidential support to people living with cancer and their loved ones. If you need to talk, we'll listen.
Macmillan Telephone Buddies
With a weekly call from one of our trained Telephone Buddies, you don't have to face cancer alone.
0808 808 00 00
7 days a week, 8am - 8pm
Email us
Get in touch via this form
Chat online
7 days a week, 8am - 8pm
Online Community
An anonymous network of people affected by cancer which is free to join. Share experiences, ask questions and talk to people who understand.
Help in your area
What's going on near you? Find out about support groups, where to get information and how to get involved with Macmillan where you live.