Diabetes pills are prescribed when physical activity and meal planning are no longer able to keep blood glucose levels in a healthy range. It is very important to remember that even if pills are prescribed for you, meal planning and physical activity remain an important part of your diabetes management.
Generally, diabetes pills are divided into two groups:
• medications that increase the amount of insulin in the body;
• medications that help existing insulin work better.
Your blood glucose results will help your physician decide when medications are required, and what type of medication will work best for you. Different medications are meant to be taken at specific times to have the best effect – ask your pharmacist or another member of your diabetes team what time you should take each medication.
Mind your medications
Diabetes pills may cause problems with other medications you are taking. Check with your pharmacist or doctor.
Monitor your blood glucose
level carefully to make sure your pills are working effectively.
If you are prescribed a pill that can increase the amount of insulin in your body, ask your diabetes educator about the prevention, signs and symptoms and treatment of low blood glucose (hypoglycemia). For more information on insulin, see right.
Drinking alcohol when taking diabetes pills may affect your diabetes control. Discuss alcohol limits with your physician. Some diabetes pills can make your skin more sun sensitive. Check with your pharmacist.