What Oral Medicines Treat Type 2 Diabetes
You may need to take medicines to manage your type 2 diabetes, in addition to consuming healthy foods and beverages and being physically active. You can take many diabetes medicines by mouth. These medicines are called oral medicines.
Most people with type 2 diabetes start with metformin pills. Metformin also comes as a liquid. Metformin helps your liver make less glucose and helps your body use insulin better. This drug may help you lose a small amount of weight.
Other oral medicines act in different ways to lower blood glucose levels. Combining two or three kinds of diabetes medicines can lower blood glucose levels better than taking just one medicine.
Read about different kinds of diabetes medicines from the FDA.
When To Contact Your Healthcare Provider
Hyperglycemia can turn into a medical emergency like DKA and HHS that requires immediate intervention by your practitioner or a local emergency department. If you have two blood sugar readings of 300 mg/dL or more, or have blood sugar above your target range for more than a week, seek immediate medical help.
Signs of hyperglycemia include:
- Ketones in your urine
- Stomach pain, nausea, or vomiting
- Shortness of breath
How Do I Decide Which Medications Are Worth Taking
Just because some drugs and supplements may negatively affect blood sugars does not mean you should not take them! This will just require a little more planning on your part.
Always work with your doctor and medical team to determine what drugs and supplements to take, how often to take them, and how much to take to balance the benefits of the drugs or supplements with the costs to your blood sugar.
Always speak with your doctor before you start, stop, or change any medications.
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Does Grapefruit Affect Diabetes Medication
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You Need More Of The Good Fats
Afraid how will you survive when cutting back on the belly-filling carbs? This is where the good fats step in. Healthy fats that provide Omega 3 fatty acids are your friends. Not only will they keep you full for longer, they will also improve your heart health. They form a steady, slow burning source of fuel that your body can use in place of sugars. Think ghee, grass-fed butter, coconut oil, avocado, nuts, olive oil and oily fish, for example.
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Glitazones For Type 2 Diabetes
Glitazones is the name of a group of medicines called thiazolidinediones. Glitazones lower blood glucose levels by helping the body to use insulin better by reducing insulin resistance in the tissues of the body. The glitazones are:
These medicines are typically prescribed in combination with other oral diabetes medicines. Pioglitazone can be added to metformin or a sulphonylurea. Rosiglitazone can be added to metformin and is available as a combination tablet .
What Is High Blood Sugar
Your blood sugar level can be determined by taking a blood sample, either in a fasted state, or two hours after eating.
- If your blood sugar is less than 100 mg/dL after an eight-hour fast or less than 140 mg/dL two hours after eating, youre in the normal range.
- If you conduct a test in the morning, after sleeping for eight hours, and your blood sugar is at 126 mg/dL or higher, youve got high blood sugar.
An estimated 29 million people in the U.S. have type 2 diabetes, which is the result of blood sugar levels being consistently high. Another 86 million have prediabetes, which can lead to type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Prediabetes, however, can be reversed by finding ways to naturally lower blood sugar.
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How Long After Take Diabetes Medicine To Work
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Medication For Type 2 Diabetes
People with type 2 diabetes are often given medications including insulin to help manage their blood glucose levels. Most of these medications are in the form of tablets, but some are given by injection. Tablets or injections are intended to be used in conjunction with healthy eating and regular physical activity, not as a substitute.
Diabetes tablets are not an oral form of insulin. Speak with your doctor or pharmacist if you experience any problems. An alternative medication is usually available.
All people with diabetes need to check their glucose levels on a regular basis. When taking medication, you may need to check your glucose levels more often to keep you safe and to ensure the medication is having the desired effect.
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How To Control Morning High Blood Sugar
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How Does Glipizide Help Control Diabetes
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Travelling With Diabetes Medicines
If you’re going on holiday:
- pack extra medicine â speak to your diabetes nurse about how much to take
- carry your medicine in your hand luggage just in case checked-in bags go missing or get damaged
- if you’re flying with a medicine you inject, get a letter from your GP that says you need it to treat diabetes
Page last reviewed: 18 August 2020 Next review due: 18 August 2023
Changes To Your Medicines Over Time
Over time, your diabetes can change, meaning your medicines may need to change too. For example, you may need to increase the dose, switch medicines or add more medicines.
Regardless of the type of diabetes you have, its important your blood glucose levels continue to be monitored over time, to make sure your diabetes remains well controlled.
The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners recommends that if you have type 2 diabetes and take oral medication only, you should talk to your doctor or specialist about the need to test your blood sugar levels at home, as most people in this situation do not need to do this type of monitoring. For further information, visit the Choosing Wisely Australia website.
Your doctor will recommend the treatment that best suits you.
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Ensure A Good Nights Sleep
Never underestimate the power of a good nights sleep. A single night of inadequate sleep makes our body react in a manner similar to insulin resistance. It can lead to raised blood sugar levels. A good nights sleep can improve glucose metabolism. It will also keep you motivated to follow through with your diet and exercise routine.
What Should I Know About Side Effects Of Diabetes Medicines
Side effects are problems that result from taking a medicine. Some diabetes medicines can cause hypoglycemia, also called low blood glucose, if you dont balance your medicines with food and activity.
Ask your doctor whether your diabetes medicine can cause hypoglycemia or other side effects, such as upset stomach and weight gain. Aim to take your diabetes medicines as your doctor instructs you, to help prevent side effects and diabetes problems.
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Metformin For Type 2 Diabetes
Metformin lowers blood glucose by reducing the amount of glucose that the liver releases into the bloodstream, and by increasing the amount of glucose taken up by cells of the body.
It is the medicine that most people with type 2 diabetes start taking when diet and exercise are no longer enough to keep blood glucose levels on target. Metformin is very unlikely to cause abnormally low blood glucose levels or hypos and does not cause weight gain and may help weight loss, so it is particularly suitable for people who are overweight
Metformin may also help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease in people with type 2 diabetes by lowering bad cholesterol and triglycerides .
There are many brands available that contain metformin, alone or in combination with other diabetes medicines.
Medicines For Type 2 Diabetes
Most people with type 2 diabetes are able at first to manage their condition through healthy eating, regular physical activity and controlling their weight. Over time, things change and most people need medicines to control their blood glucose levels and prevent long term complications.
There are many types of diabetes medicines that work in different ways, and have different benefits and side effects.
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Other Drugs For Type 1 Diabetes
The following drugs, non-insulin injectables, are also common for people treating type 1 diabetes:
- Amylin analogs: Pramlintide mimics another hormone, amylin, that plays a role in glucose regulation.
- Glucagon can reverse blood sugar levels when they fall too low as a result of insulin treatment.
Insulin can also help manage high blood glucose levels in type 2 diabetes, but doctors typically prescribe it only when other treatments have not had the desired effect.
Women with type 2 diabetes who become pregnant may also use it to reduce the effects of the condition on the fetus.
In people with high blood glucose levels in spite of applying lifestyle measures to bring them down, doctors can prescribe non-insulin drugs to lower blood glucose. These drugs are listed below.
Many of the drugs have a combination of effects. If a person needs two or more treatments to manage glucose levels, insulin treatment may be necessary.
Can I Afford These Newer Medications
The cost of brand name medications can be very expensive if you have an insurance plan with high deductibles, including some Medicare plans, and if you do not have health insurance coverage. Even with insurance, the cost depends on the tier for your co-pay, and it will be several years before these medications are available in generic form at which time their prices are likely to decrease considerably.
If you have poorly controlled type 2 diabetes, and you cant afford these new medications right now, your best option for treatment, according to the American Diabetes Association, is to consider taking sulfonylurea or thiazolidinedione medications, so long as there are no signs of heart disease or chronic kidney disease.
To be sure that you able to participate fully as a partner in your diabetes treatment planning, tell your doctor and pharmacist about any concerns you have about your ability to pay for any new medications before anything is added to your treatment plan and prescribed for you.
Recommendations for the use of these newer diabetes medications will continue to evolve and may change as more studies are conducted. Therefore, it is important that you discuss any and all medical options with your doctor every so often in order to make sure that any adjustments that are needed related to your treatment goals are updated as necessary.
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How To Cope With Side Effects
What to do about:
- thrush â ask your pharmacist to recommend an antifungal treatment for thrush. Speak to your doctor if it does not work within a week or you get thrush often. There are also things you can do to prevent thrush returning.
- pain or a burning feeling when you pee â these can be signs of a urinary tract infection . Take paracetamol, and rest and drink plenty of fluids â fluids help your body flush out the bacteria. Speak to your doctor if symptoms are not better in 2 or 3 days, or if they get worse at any time.
- peeing more than normal â this is a sign that your medicine is working and you’re peeing out more sugar in your urine. Drink lots of water, and other sugar-free fluids, to avoid dehydration. If this side effect bothers you, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
- mild skin rash or itchy skin â it may help to take an antihistamine. Check with a pharmacist to see what type is suitable for you. Speak to your doctor if the rash or itching does not go away or gets worse.
Why Do Certain Drugs And Supplements Affect Blood Sugar
Its important to remember that these drugs and supplements are not targeting blood sugars, but are working to treat other ailments or deficiencies in the body, and blood sugars are sometimes the inevitable victim.
Blood sugar levels are extremely precarious, and taking a prescription drug that acts as a stimulant, for instance, can have significant effects on your blood sugar, but it doesnt necessarily mean that the drug is bad for you, per se.
As a person living with diabetes, you will inevitably need to take other prescription drugs throughout your life, and the goal is not to avoid other medications altogether because of their impact on blood sugars, but rather to manage the effects they may have.
Many of these drugs and supplements are either hormones that raise blood sugars naturally to prepare the body for fight or flight situations or work to inhibit liver functioning that produces higher blood sugars.
Certain stimulants, such as caffeine and Niacin, cause insulin resistance, which will raise ones blood sugars naturally.
Still more medications, such as common cold and cough suppressants, contain sugar that raises blood sugars when not carefully calibrated for.
On the other hand, aspirin has been shown to decrease diabetes-related inflammation, and thus actually decrease blood sugars.
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