What You Should Know about Diabetes Medicine
Diabetes medicines lower your blood sugar. If you understand how your diabetes medicine works, you can more easily balance pills or insulin with food and physical activity to control your diabetes. The different types of diabetes medicines that help lower your blood sugar include:
- Sulfonylureas (sul-fah-nil-yoo-ree’-ahs) help your body make more insulin.
- Meglitinides (Meh-gli’-ti-nides) are amino acid derivates also help the body make more insulin. They are shorter acting than sulfonylureas and are especially active after meals.
- Biguanides (by-gwan’-ides) make sure that your liver does not make too much sugar and helps your body use insulin better.
- Thiazolidinediones (thy-ah-zo’-li-deen-dye’-owns) (TZDs or glitazones) help your muscles make better use of your insulin.
- Alpha-glucosidase (al’-fa gloo-kos’-ih-days) inhibitors slow down the digestion of the carbohydrates you eat. They help slow the rise of blood sugar right after you eat.
What To Do
There are many different medicines that can help you control your diabetes. Most medicines should be taken at about the same time each day. Medicines should be taken as directed.
Talk with your medical provider, diabetes educator, or pharmacist:
- about when to take your medicine.
- about what you should do if you miss a dose.
- about possible side effects of the medicines.
- before stopping any of your medications.
- before you start any herbal medicines or dietary supplements.
|Type||Medicine||Brand name||Side effects||Comments|
|Amaryl® Diabeta® Glynase- PresTab® Micronase®||Low Blood Sugar
|Take with Meal.|
|glipizide||Glucotrol® Glucotrol XL®||Low Blood Sugar
|Take 30 minutes before meal.|
||repaglinide||Prandin™||Low Blood Sugar
|Should be taken within 30 minutes before a meal. You must eat if you have taken this medication.|
|Biguanides||metformin||Glucophage® Glucophage XR®||Diarrhea/Nausea Stomach upset Bloating||Take with food. Does not cause weight gain.Caution if over 80 years old or heart failure.|
|pioglitazone rosiglitazone||Actos™ Avandia®||Weight gain Fluid build up May keep birth control pills from working.||Take at same time every day. Does not need to be taken with meals. Liver function blood test needed.|
|acarbose miglitol||Precose™ Glyset™||Bloating, Gas||Taken with first bite of each meal (up to 4 doses a day).|
|Same side effects as individual drugs|
Help Your Medicines Help You
The medicines you take help you stay healthy and keep your blood sugar in good control. Work in partnership with your medical provider to make sure you get the best results. Here are some tips:
- Take your medicines on time and in the correct amounts.
- If you want to stop taking a medicine or cut down the amount for any reason, discuss it with your medical provider first.
- Tell your medical provider about all the medicines you use, even over-the-counter products, vitamins and supplements.
- Keep an up-to-date list of your medicines to take with you to all medical appointments.
- Keep all your medicines in labeled containers.
- If your forget to take your medicine, do not double up on the next dose.
Do you struggle with the cost of your diabetes drugs?
They can be hard to pay for. Sometimes people skip taking their medicine because of the cost. Be sure to let your medical provider know if this is a problem for you. You may be eligible for financial assistance with your medicines.
Refer to this list for some resources
Healthy Vermonters Prescription Drug Program - This program is for those who have no insurance for prescription
medicines or those who do not have enough
income to pay for medicines.
www.dsw.state.vt.us/Programs_Pages/Healthcare/Healthy_vermonters.htmor call 1-800-250-8427.
Medicare Part D -
Medicare now provides a prescription drug plan regardless of
income, health status or prescription drug usage.
www.medicare.gov or call 1-800-633-4227.
United Health Alliance (UHA) - UHA runs a medicine assistance program in the Bennington,
www.unitedhealthalliance.com/ or call 802-447-3170.
Veteran’s Administration - Call 1-866-687-8387
Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Assistance (PMA) - PMA is an in-house program at various drug companies, run in Vermont by Northeast Kingdom Community Action (NEKCA). You can call NEKCA at 800-639-4065 (VT only) for help in applying. The program is run statewide, not just in the Northeast Kingdom.