I replied to a thread found over in the Continuous Glucose Monitoring Forum, but you can't grab a direct link to it, so I thought I would post it all in here as a new discussion, just so you might actually see it. Here's my post:
I am undergoing some pretty intense back surg in a week and a half, so my neurosurgeon wanted me to stop all anti-inflammatory meds (I've been taking several Ibuprofens a day for quite some time). His only option really was to give me a scrip for Vicodin, and we all know they contain a good deal of acetaminophen. I told him that was fine: of course, my Dex would be adversely affected, but I could just do without it for the few weeks leading up to my surgery, and whatever time it takes to heal up and stop the Watsons post-operatively.
So, I filled the scrip and decided to take one but leave my sensor on, just to see how much things went haywire when the acetaminophen hit my system. And...
That's right, not a thing. The acetaminophen in the pills did NOTHING to disturb my Dexcom G4 system IN ANY WAY. I was a little stunned that I was seeing that the medication had no effects on my CGM, especially since I inadvertently took a Tylenol once when I had the 7+, and it went crazy within minutes of me taking it! I watched my Dex pretty closely for two days, taking my bgs whenever I looked at the Rx for a number. It was entirely undisturbed by the Vicodins -- readings were all spot on.
I called Dexcom and spoke to a rep for a few minutes about this. She mentioned that they have been working on making acetaminophen less impactful on their systems, but that they were not ready yet to say that they are no longer affected at all. She was real pleased that I was having such good luck, and I couldn't be happier.
Just wanted to let you all know. You may have to do your own tests to be sure what your situation is, but at the least, know that my Dex is okay with Vicodin now, and that may or may not extend to regular OTC pills like Tylenol.
As mentioned, Dexcom is still not willing to put the contraindication idea to bed regarding the G4 and acetaminophen, but she did say that different folks do have different experiences. Good luck. Hope it works out in your favor like it did for me.
One thing to remember about medicine, a doctor's job is called a medical "practice". While not exactly literal in meaning, it does hold some semantic similarities in all of medicine's studies. I'm sure that in trial studies they did see adverse reactions to acetaminophen in some people. You appear to be one of the lucky ones that it does not affect. It's good to hear that it was worth a try to see what may happen. I may do the same as I sometimes need strong pain relief to handle muscle issues. Though it'll stink testing the old fashion way during that test, as I'm sure I'll be running BG test with my old meter a lot to ensure that I do or do not have negative results. Thanks for posting your experience.
Hey Scott -- I totally get you, but also I did wear a 7+ and the thing went bonkers when I took a Tylenol, as mentioned.
Ive also had bad results with Vicodin so when I cracked some ribs the doc gave me hydrocodone with ibuprofen - they do make this combo. I forgot what its brand name is, but they ramp up the hydrocodone to 7.5 mg with like 200 mg of ibuprofen, Worked like a charm plus you avoid any toxicity issue.
Vicoprofen is what I use. Works great and no impact on Dexcom