Diabetes Drug Tips
15 Essential Diabetes Drug Tips
Learn the facts about diabetes drugs
Someone with diabetes will typically be prescribed a number of different drugs. These suggestions will help you manage the medications.
1. Consider lifestyle changes. Diabetes pills work best when used in conjunction with a healthy diet, exercise, and (if necessary) weight loss. In fact, lifestyle changes may lower -- or eliminate -- the need for diabetes medications.
2. Know the recommended blood glucose range. You'll know medications are working if blood glucose readings fall within the recommended range. Find out from the main diabetes care provider how often you or the person you're caring for should check blood sugar levels, and be sure to keep a record of the results. Generally speaking, a blood sugar reading before meals of between 70 and 140 milligrams per deciliter is desirable.
3. Know when it's time to take action. Find out from the diabetes doctor or educator how low or high blood sugar can go before it's important to take action. For many people, blood sugar is too low below 70 mg/dL and too high above 240 mg/dL. Make sure you know the signs of hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia and how to treat either condition.
4. Ask specific dosage questions. Ask the doctor the following questions about medications. Write the response down somewhere handy, such as a medication notebook.
- When should the person I'm caring for take his diabetes pills: before a meal, with a meal, or after a meal?
- How often should he take the medicine?
- Should he take the drugs at the same time every day?
- What should he do if he misses a dosage?
- What side effects may occur?
- What should we do if he experiences side effects?
5. Consider switching medications. Diabetes pills don't work for everyone. And sometimes they lose effectiveness after a few months -- or after many years. There's no clear-cut reason why this happens; often switching to another drug or trying oral combination therapy can help.