Confused about diabetes medications? It’s not surprising given there are so many different types and brands. We are however, lucky to live in a world where we have many choices of medications which can be tailored to our individual needs.
When first diagnosed
When you are first diagnosed with diabetes, you may not need medication straight away. However, diabetes is a progressive condition so you may find that your medications and/or the dose of your medications may change.
Types of medications
Medications for diabetes come in all shapes and sizes. While most are in tablet form, there are also medications which we inject, including insulin. Each type of medication works in slightly different ways to manage your blood glucose levels. Being on one medication or another does not relate to how well you are managing your diabetes, it is simply what works best for you in your situation.
So, if our diabetes medications are likely to change over time, how do we know when it’s time?
Your medications should be reviewed regularly and at least yearly as part of your diabetes annual cycle of care with your GP. Other reasons for review may include experiencing any negative side-effects, being confused about your medications, not receiving desired effect of your medications, difficulty taking your medications or changing circumstances with your health or lifestyle. Pharmacists may also be involved in Home Medication Reviews which can also be arranged by your GP if required. For more information, click here (external link).
For more information about your diabetes medications including, how they work, how to take them, problem solving, common side-effects and how to address them, you may be interested in our new MedSmart program. For more information about MedSmart click here (external link).
Other helpful links:
Marian is a Diabetes Educator and an Accredited Exercise Physiologist at Diabetes WA.