Karen Chapman Novakovski - Associate Professor of Nutrition

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Medications & Diabetes

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Type 2 Diabetes Medications: Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Does everyone with type 2 diabetes need to take medication?

    No. Healthy eating, exercise, and weight loss may lower your blood glucose levels when you are first diagnosed with diabetes. If this does not work, you may need medication.
  2. Why has my doctor prescribed medication to treat my type 2 diabetes?

    If your blood glucose levels are too high your doctor may prescribe one or more medications. These medications help your body take the extra glucose out of your blood and put it into the cells where it can be used.
  3. While taking an oral glucose lowering medication do I still need to stay on a diet or specific meal plan?

    Yes. Glucose lowering medications never take the place of healthy eating or exercise. When you first start taking medication your blood glucose may come down no matter what you are eating. If you were not following a meal plan before, the medication should help your blood glucose but if you continue to not follow a meal plan, you may eventually need more medications to control your blood glucose.
  4. How often should I take my diabetes medication?

    The number of times you take your medicine each day depends on what type of medication you are taking. Ask your doctor about how many times you need to take your medicine and when you should take it.
  5. What should I do if I miss a dose of my medication?

    It is very important to take your medicine as directed by your doctor, but if you do miss a dose you should contact your doctor or pharmacist and you may use the following guidelines:
    • If you forget to take your daily morning pill but remember later in the day most doctors recommend that you take your pill.
    • If you take one pill each day and forget one day, most doctors recommend that you do not take 2 pills the next day.
    • If you take pills 2 times a day and forget to take your morning pill, most doctors recommend that you do not take both doses in the evening.
    • Most doctors recommend that missed doses of acarbose, miglitol, or repaglinide should not be made up at the next meal.

This handout contains general information on diabetes medication. It is not intended to replace medical advice. It is important to talk to your doctor or pharmacist about your dosage and any other questions that you may have.

 

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