Making Your Diabetes Pills Work for You

If you might have diabetes, it’s extremely doubtless that you simply take not less than one kind of drugs that will help you handle it. People with Type 1 diabetes should take insulin. Those with Type 2 diabetes could handle simply wonderful with consuming healthfully and staying energetic. On the opposite hand, many individuals with Type 2 diabetes take not less than one, if not two or three, diabetes medicines, together with tablets, non-insulin injectables, and insulin.

According to knowledge from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), the variety of adults with diabetes who take insulin, tablets, or each has tremendously elevated from 1997 to 2011. The improve, partially, is because of the improve in numbers of individuals within the U.S. who’ve diabetes. However, because of newer kinds of diabetes medicines, and higher consciousness of diabetes administration amongst health-care suppliers, extra individuals are taking drugs as a part of their diabetes remedy plan.

Taking diabetes tablets

There are 9 lessons, or varieties, of diabetes tablets. And, there are mixtures of those tablets, too, making it simpler for you to learn from two kinds of tablets. These tablets work in numerous methods to assist handle blood glucose ranges. The excellent news is that, if one kind of tablet isn’t doing the job properly sufficient, your physician can change your drugs and even add a second or third drugs, if mandatory. To be sure to’re getting essentially the most out of your diabetes tablets, take into account the next ideas for taking among the extra frequent ones.


This class of drug has been round because the 1940s. Examples embody glimepiride (model identify Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase, Micronase), and glipizide (Glucotrol). Sulfonylureas sign the pancreas to launch insulin, and should assist your physique use its personal insulin higher, too.

• Take your tablet on the similar occasions every day, earlier than meals (glipizide needs to be taken 30 minutes earlier than the meal).

• Because these tablets can improve the prospect of low blood sugar, don’t skip or delay meals. Be ready and preserve a remedy for low blood sugar with you always — glucose tablets or gel, juice, or common soda are good selections.

• Sulfonylureas can improve sensitivity to the solar, so make sure you defend your self by carrying sunscreen, a hat, and sun shades whenever you’re outside.


Metformin (Glucophage, Glucophage XR, Fortamet, Glumetza, Riomet) is really helpful as the primary line of drug remedy for people who find themselves new to Type 2 diabetes. This drug helps make cells extra “sensitive” to insulin and tells the liver to cease releasing an excessive amount of glucose.

• When you first begin taking this drug, it might trigger an upset abdomen, fuel, or diarrhea. Lessen the possibilities of unwanted effects by taking your metformin with meals.

• Start low, go sluggish. Your physician ought to begin you on a low dose of metformin and step by step improve the dose to assist reduce unwanted effects.

• “Regular” metformin is normally taken twice a day; extended-release is taken as soon as a day, normally within the night.

• Ask your physician to periodically verify your blood vitamin B12 degree. Metformin can have an effect on B12 absorption within the intestine, elevating the danger of B12 deficiency.

• Go simple with alcohol when taking metformin — an excessive amount of alcohol can elevate the danger for a uncommon however severe situation known as lactic acidosis.

• Tell your entire health-care suppliers that you simply take metformin, particularly if you’re scheduled for a CT scan involving distinction dyes.

• Don’t panic for those who see what seems like a pill in your stools — that is the outer shell of the extended-release metformin, and doesn’t imply that the tablet hasn’t been absorbed or that it’s not working.

DPP-Four inhibitors

Dipeptidyl peptidase Four (DPP-Four) inhibitors are a more moderen class of drug, and embody sitagliptin (Januvia), saxagliptin (Onglyza), linagliptin (Tradjenta), and alogliptin (Nesina). These medication sluggish abdomen emptying, improve fullness, and sluggish the discharge of glucose from the liver. DPP-Four inhibitors typically aren’t the primary alternative of drug for individuals, as they’re costly and will not be as efficient at decreasing A1C ranges as different medication.

• Take your DPP-Four inhibitor on the similar time every day. You don’t essentially must take it with meals, nevertheless. Most individuals take their tablet within the morning.

• Saxagliptin can work together with ketoconazole, a drug used to deal with fungal infections, so all the time let your suppliers know all medicines that you simply take.

• DPP-Four inhibitors are linked with pancreatitis. Stomach ache and vomiting are signs of pancreatitis. Contact your physician for those who develop these signs.

• Severe joint ache is one other doable facet impact of this class of medication. The ache goes away as soon as the drug is stopped.

SGLT-2 inhibitors

The latest class of diabetes tablets, SGLT-2 inhibitors decrease blood sugar by inflicting glucose to be moved from the bloodstream into the urine. They also can assist with weight reduction. Canagliflozin (Invokana), dapagliflozin (Farxiga), and empagliflozin (Jardiance) are the three tablets on this class of medication.

• Take your SGLT-2 inhibitor along with your first meal of the day. If you overlook to take it, take it as quickly as you keep in mind (however don’t double up in your dose).

• Keep up along with your fluid consumption to keep away from dehydration, as this drug could cause you to urinate greater than common.

• Be conscious of indicators and signs of yeast or urinary tract infections whereas taking this drug.

• Note that SGLT-2 inhibitors could trigger your blood stress to drop too low, particularly whenever you get up all of the sudden.

General ideas for taking diabetes tablets

• It goes with out saying that your diabetes tablets will work greatest for those who take them as prescribed — which means taking the best dose, on the proper time.

• Give your medicines an opportunity to do their job. But, if after a number of weeks you don’t see any or a lot of an enchancment in your blood sugars, let your physician know.

• Check your blood sugars greater than common everytime you begin a brand new diabetes drugs and/or if the dose is modified.

• Store your medicines away from warmth and humidity, and preserve tabs on expiration dates.

• Let your physician know for those who’re having hassle affording your medicines. He or she will doubtless prescribe a lower-cost different. There are additionally medicine-assistance applications, similar to, that may assist.

• Keep up with common physician’s appointments and lab assessments to verify your medicines are working and that they’re protected for you to take.

• Your pharmacist also can reply any questions you’ll have about any of the medicines that you simply take. He or she will additionally aid you provide you with a medicine schedule to just remember to’re getting essentially the most out of your medicines.

Want to study extra in regards to the function of medicines in treating diabetes? Read diabetes educator Amy Campbell’s eight-part sequence on diabetes medication, protecting metformin, sulfonylureas, meglitinides, thiazolidinediones, DPP-Four inhibitors, SGLT2 inhibitors, alpha-glucosidase inhibitors, bile acid sequestrants and dopamine receptor agonists, non-insulin injectable diabetes drugs, and insulin.