Medications for Diabetes
Currently, there are seven different classes of diabetes medications and a prescription is needed for all. Medications do not mean failure and may be started when A1C levels are > 7%.
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General Guidelines for Taking Medications

  • Know answers to the following questions about your medication:
  • What's name of the drug, both the brand name and generic name?
  • Does it come in generic form?
  • How does the medication work?
  • What does the drug look like?
  • What is the proper dosage?
  • When should it be taken?
  • What are the common side effects?
  • How is this drug affected by other medications?

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Remembering to Take Your Medication

  • Use a pill box as an organizational tool
  • Set calendar alerts
  • Use apps with reminders
  • Tie your medication doses with a daily activity
  • Get help from family and friends

Care and Storage

  • Store according to package guidelines
  • Do not use discolored pills
  • Keep medicines with you when traveling (not in your suitcase)
  • Take enough medicines with you for your trip, plus extras
  • Bring a letter from your doctor if traveling abroad

Medication Types

Oral Medications

Diabetes pills are taken to lower blood glucose levels. Diabetes pills are not insulin. Insulin cannot be taken orally – it would be destroyed by digestive enzymes. The pills are effective only when the pancreas still produces some insulin.


Non-Insulin Injectables



Insulin Pens

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